The star of JavaOne is ... JavaScript?

Fearing developers could defect, Oracle makes accommodations for JavaScript at its upcoming Java conference

Java and JavaScript are two very different programming languages, albeit with similar names. Java is generally associated with enterprise application development and the Android mobile platform. JavaScript, meanwhile, is the lingua franca of Web development. But JavaScript apparently has captured the attention of Java steward Oracle in a big way.

Perhaps out of fear that Java developers could end up switching to JavaScript development or simply recognizing the interest in both platforms, Oracle is making accommodations for JavaScript at its JavaOne technical conference in San Francisco next month. The industry's top Java get-together will feature a multitude of sessions covering JavaScript, including:

  • Java versus JavaScript. The two languages will be compared and contrasted to determine which is the king of languages starting with "Java."
  • The Nashorn JavaScript engine, featured in Java Development Kit 8. One session is intended for content developers who want to use the Java platform for JavaFX development but prefer to write JavaScript code, and for Java developers who want to use JavaScript to manage applications.
  • TypeScript, a typed superset of JavaScript that compiles to plain JavaScript. This will be covered from the perspective of Java developers who write JavaScript on the client.
  • DukeScript, for programming JavaScript in Java, offering the functionality of a JavaScript library minus the "pitfalls of JavaScript."
  • Project Avatar, for server-side JavaScript on the JVM. Attendees will learn how single-threaded Node applications can benefit from a multithreaded JV and interoperate with existing Java libraries.
  • Emerging open source frameworks for mixing Java and JavaScript in the same application.

Oracle's focus on JavaScript is no surprise. Forrester analyst Jeffrey Hammond says the company "is very interested is shaping the messaging about JavaScript in a way that's complementary to Java as opposed to evolutionary from it. JavaOne gives them a good forum to make that case to the right audience."

Forrester survey data says developers are spending more time with JavaScript, including Java, .Net, and HTML developers, Hammond says. "Increased use of JavaScript could take the form of a complement to Java infrastructure or potentially a replacement as more and more devs become familiar with server-side frameworks like Node.js and client side frameworks like Angular.js."

Another Forrester analyst, John Rymer, sees Oracle facing a challenge to make its WebLogic application server relevant to new JavaScript applications: "Simply accommodating server-side frameworks like Node.js in Java Web containers is a step toward relevance. Embedding screaming-fast JavaScript runtimes is a step toward being required."

Oracle did not respond Wednesday for comments on the JavaScript bent of its upcoming Java conference. Clearly, however, Oracle feels the heat of JavaScript breathing down the neck of Java in the programming space and realizes it must make accommodations.

This story, "The star of JavaOne is ... JavaScript?," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

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