Java has gone back to being a reliable old tool in the box, rather than the soap-opera poster child for process-locked committees.
Java has never been such a thing.
Plus, Oracle has proven itself to be a good steward of the language, resisting the temptation to bog down the JCP with Oracle-specific features.
Oracle has pushed very few features, Oracle-specific or not, and delayed many important changes, like the module system, until 2015.
Instead of releasing time-saving tools like Roo, or improving the Spring framework to keep up with a changing Web environment, SpringSource’s core has been pushed over to CloudFoundry, VMware’s Platform-as-a-Service offering.
Spring Roo and Spring Framework are mature projects, and there isn’t much that only VMware can do, unlike the modular JDK and Oracle. Most of the work to do in Spring Roo is developing add-ons, for example.
Cloud platforms are the future, and Java EE 8 is also going to focus on them.
And, as we enter 2013, this is the primary hope for the Eclipse IDE: When will it be usable again?
Eclipse continues to lead the way.
It turns out that while Oracle has scared many away from MySQL to MariaDB, from Hudson to Jenkins, and from OpenOffice to LibreOffice, there’s one open-source project it’s not going to squeeze for every penny: the OpenJDK.
I hope so.
That’s because this was also the first year in which Oracle truly showed how it’s going to make money from the language and platform: by selling you middleware.
Sorry, but that was 2009.