Thoughts on Dave Thomas’ Keynote

By Doug Schaefer

Ed Merks already gave a summary of Dave Thomas' keynote yesterday morning here at Eclipse Summit Europe.
It was the first time I saw Dave speak and I was warned he tended to
say things that offended the audience. And to Dave's point, that is
kind of what a keynote speaker should do. Spark thought. Break through
the assumptions that we tend to fall into when we get comfortable in
our skin. And I think he raised some serious points that are making me
wonder about what's really happening in our industry.

I guess
his main point is that Java for embedded has missed the boat. If you
haven't gone through the pain of doing Java for embedded devices, don't
worry, you didn't miss anything. I've been waiting to see when I need
to care about Java in this space and I've talked to some of the people
here at Eclipse Summit Europe about this. I think they quietly agree
with Dave. Those that have figured out how to do Java on embedded are
doing OK with it. But there are a lot of issues to face. The worst of
them is the bloat that the Java VM continues to grow from release to
release. The embedded VMs are horribly crippled, and if you want to use
the Sun VM, you are crippled from paring down that bloat. The
discussion is interesting, and we may still be proven wrong, but for
now, I can ignore Java for embedded and I can sleep at night.

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