Oracle has been under increasing scrutiny for its handling of Sun's open-source technology, not only with Java, but with MySQL as well. Not helping with the perception, Java founder James Gosling has left the company.
Yet Bloch sees Oracle as Java's savior. He pointed to the December 2007 resolution that Oracle put forth to the JCP of "an open independent vendor-neutral standards organization where all members participate on a level playing field."
Bloch said that the future success of Java would depend on this vendor-neutral setting, and he said he saw no reason why Oracle would no longer support this move. He also called on Oracle to simplify Java licensing.
The company could also provide a "true leader" for Java, one who "commands the respect of the technical community and one who can get releases out on a regular schedule with a clear focus," Bloch said.
Despite these issues, Bloch nonetheless expressed optimism for the future of the language, noting that any technology with as much inertia as Java will be around for a while. "The king is not dead. The king is alive and well. He has a slight cold," he said.
Later in the Web conference, Vijay Seetharaman, Hewlett-Packard's global Java capability lead manager for the company's enterprise services division, echoed many of Bloch's concerns, noting that the development of the language has stagnated and that it has been outgunned in the mobile space.
But, like, Bloch, he saw Java as continuing to be a presence for some time to come. "Java will remain a dominant platform in the enterprise space," he said.