Friends of OpenJDK Today

Java Predictions for 2021

December 30, 2020


  • Geertjan Wielenga

    Geertjan is Senior Director of Open Source Projects at Azul and Apache NetBeans PMC Chair.

To celebrate the world of Java and predict our highlights for 2021, several key Foojay participants have been sharing their thoughts and hopes over the past days on Foojay, starting with Frank Delporte, Foojay Community Manager for the Raspberry Pi, continuing with Jadon Ortlepp, Foojay Community Manager for Microservices, and now wrapping up with a list of brief predictions from a wide variety of other leading members of the Java community.

Reza Rahman (Microsoft): "There may finally be significant uptake of Java SE LTS releases past 8. There will be a Jakarta EE 9.1 release supporting Java SE 11. There may be a major Jakarta EE 10 release.

Well structured monoliths and server-side rendering will enjoy a comeback. GraalVM based approaches such as Helidon, Micronaut and Quarkus will gain more traction."

Matt Raible (Okta): "Java 8 usage will decrease by 50%! (I hope) Largely because many Java frameworks default to Java 11 now."

Dustin Marx (Independent): "Records will likely be finalized in 2021 and will be widely popular with Java developers who are fortunate enough to work on a version of the JDK with final (not preview) Record support.

The release of the OpenJDK 17 implementation in 2021 (which will be the foundation of Oracle's LTS version and other community members' LTS versions) will motivate many who are already working on versions of the JDK later than JDK 8 to start moving or investigate moving to JDK 17. However, JDK 8 will remain widely popular (probably will still be used by over half of Java developers), creating (in the long term) a bimodal distribution of most commonly used JDK versions (8 and 17)."

Simon Ritter (Azul): "We will see JDK 16 and JDK 17 released. We already know the content of 16 and will have to wait to see what gets into 17. I also predict JDK 17 will be an LTS! What I hope will happen is the inclusion of Loom in JDK 17."

Almas Baimagambetov (University of Brighton): "We have already upgraded our Computing curriculum to use JDK 11. In 2021, I predict that we (alongside other Higher Education providers) will explore JDK 17 LTS and how it can be integrated into the offered courses."

Marcus Hirt (Datadog): "Datadog will make at least one major contribution to make OpenJDK even better for production profiling. Adoption of JDK 17 by the JDK 11 crowd will be fairly quick, and by the end of 2022 a majority will have transitioned."

Brice Dutheil (BlaBlaCar): "I am worried about so many OpenJDK vendors, this fragmentation is great for innovation but will provoke confusion.

Also, I believe that with the coverage of Java Flight Recorder (JFR) this year, we are likely to see more libraries adopting JFR. And finally, I think by the end of 2021 we may see Loom merged as a preview in OpenJDK, probably for Java 18."

Stephen Chin (JFrog): "The Java community has the best global conference ecosystem and quickly adapted to virtual events in 2020. I predict that we will see the Java community lead the charge with innovative solutions to solving the hybrid conference model in 2021, getting us all back together in person and connected globally."


  • Geertjan Wielenga

    Geertjan is Senior Director of Open Source Projects at Azul and Apache NetBeans PMC Chair.

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