As technology evolves, the underpinnings of that technology need to change. Or do they? While Fortran is no longer the dominant language, there is still a large amount of code out there written in it. That code will likely never be updated. And so that brings us to Java. Is Java on the way out?
Massive Existing Codebase
One thing to remember, Java is one of the most largely distributed codebases in existence. It is virtually (pun intended) everywhere. This means that there are major corporations out there that have millions of lines of code that exist in Java. Are they planning on updating that code anytime soon? Not likely.
For that reason alone, Java is not going anywhere anytime soon. The cost to port all of that existing code from Java to something else is a game most corporations aren’t willing to play. This is especially true considering the advantages that you would get for going to another platform wouldn’t necessarily earn or save them any additional revenue. Companies are driven by profits. Until those profits are or bolstered by a change or threatened by remaining constant, everything will likely stay the same.
The Android Problem
Android is out there in a big way. The numbers show a massive adoption of Android devices in the consumer and portable electronics market. Java is the primary programming language for the Android platform. That means lots and lots of Java users. This means, again, there are millions of lines of code out there that are powering multiple millions of smart devices worldwide. It is hard to say that the use of a language is in decline when you think about the number of Android smart devices that are using it.
Are there rumors that Android might be moving away from Java? Of course, but they are only rumors.
The Java Virtual Machine is a very powerful runtime environment. Compiled Java bytecode runs in it. So do other languages like C, C++ and Scala. Even if you don’t like Java, it is hard to deny the power and platform integration that JVM offers you. JVM runs on Windows, Linux and OSX, as well as others. As long as developers want to use JVM, Java is going to ride along on its coattails.
The Waning Footprint
While all of the things above do indicate that Java is not going anywhere anytime soon, there are indications that the industry might be moving in another direction. Schools find teaching languages like Ruby on Rails and Angular are much better for students. These lightweight scripting languages match up better with learning how to build full stack web applications than Java does.
Newer developers are much less likely to use Java to begin a project. It is being replaced with RoR, the MEAN stack and Django. Why? Because they are simply more suited to the modern development environment. Java might not be going anywhere anytime soon, but the future of application development is likely on another platform.