Java devs love OpenJDK, Jenkins, IntelliJ…Oracle, not so much

Java developers are a generally united lot according to Snyk’s annual JVM ecosystem report, particularly when it comes to a general antipathy towards Oracle.

Oracle assumed stewardship of Java when it took over floundering Sun Microsystems back in 2010. A decade on, Big Red still doesn’t appear to have completely grasped the Java community’s hearts and minds.

The report showed the proportion of the 2000 respondents using Oracle JDK in production slumping from 70 per cent in the previous year, to 34 per cent in 2019. This leaves Oracle’s flavour still the biggest single player, with OpenJDK via Adopt OpenJDK in second place with 24 per cent. Overall, OpenJDK implementations  – including Oracle OpenJDK at 15 per cent – accounted for 57 per cent of respondents.

All of which meant it was no surprise that developers are overwhelmingly NOT spending money on JDK support. Just 9 per cent chose to pay for support, with Oracle taking 55 per cent of those, while Red Hat and IBM sharing 33 per cent between them.

Recent changes to the release cadence of JDK – to every six months – doesn’t seem to have affected this position, with just 7 per cent of respondents expecting to change their mind.

Likewise, while a quarter of developers are now using Java 11 in production, just under two thirds are still on Java 8. Over half said the main reason they hadn’t moved was their “current setup works just fine”.

That seems to be a recurring theme throughout the survey. While there was some growth in the use of other languages – Kotlin use more than doubled to 5.5 per cent – almost 87 per cent of respondents said they use Java as their main language.

Likewise the introduction of Java Modules with Java 9 has left most unmoved, with just 7 per cent of developers using them. While 29 per cent plan to use them in future, almost two thirds have no plans to.

And just to round off things Oracle-related, 37 per cent of devs were “very disappointed” and 32 per cent “a little annoyed” at the lack of an agreement between Oracle and the Eclipse Foundation on the javax namespace from Jakarta 8 onwards, meaning Jakarta EE changes lead to a divergence in package names and the migration of library code.

Consistency seems to be the name of the game when it comes to other elements of developers’ setups. Almost two thirds use the Spring Framework. A similar number use IntelliJ as their main IDE with the vast majority using the paid for version. The Eclipse IDE is used by 20 per cent. Maven is the build tool of choice for 64 per cent, and Jenkins was the CI server of choice for 58 per cent. The next closest was GitLab on 6 per cent. Actually, the next closest was none whatsoever at 12 per cent. GitLab was the top choice for code repository, at 35 per cent, while GitHub hit 31 per cent, and BitBucket, 25 per cent.