Seven Java projects that changed the world

Celebrating a decade of game-changing Java software.

Java 7/7 Posts

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  • roger

    HotSpot JVM improvements, I’d say :)

  • d33j

    IntelliJ was doing that stuff before eclipse iirc.

  • Tinh T. Dinh

    So, what about Hibernate, Struts, Tomcat,..ect? Didn’t it change the world? I don’t think with only 7 projects listed here can say about ‘changed the world’. I believe that it must be estimate 20. Do you think so?

  • http://www, Reza Rahman

    I guess the open source fetishism should come as no surprise coming from O’Reilly, but to forget about Hibernate and Struts? The fundamental game changers in Java is the JVM itself (including ideas like annotations), the idea of declarative services/server-side Java/ORM brought to the mainstream by Java EE and the idea of running Java on limited resource hardware introduced in Java ME.

  • Charlie Hubbard

    What? Why isn’t Tomcat tops on that list? And Ant? Some of these projects are pretty new relative to those I mentioned. I’d have to argue Tomcat and Ant blazed the trail that made those others more likely because it help establish the Open Source community around Java.

  • Edd Dumbill

    Thanks for the comments everyone. All of the projects you mention are also very worthy. In particular I did strongly consider Tomcat. But heck, nothing about this article implies these are the *only* 7 important projects. Just ones that might help people both inside and outside of the Java world understand the importance open source has played in the ecosystem—many of these projects changed software development outside of the Java world alone.

  • Derrick

    Android isn’t a java “project”, its a particular variation of the platform and language.

  • Engineer

    Of those, only Hadoop Solr changed the world for the better.

    Android is a blatent ripoff of another companies innovative work, based on a virtual machine that is a blatent ripoff of the java VM.

    It is the very definition of a pirated product.

  • Mikael O. Bonnier

    I think Azureus – now called Vuze – Bittorrent Client is the most impressive Java application. In a time when almost no one was using Java on the client side, Azureus was doing the heavy lifting. Then came Java ME and, later, Android apps. I developed my first Java applets in 1995 and they are still very popular and have not been recompiled for 15-16 years. I’ve thought about updating them to Java 1.1.

  • Alexander B.

    JSF did change the world – it is no more pleasure to live in

  • Robert Young

    Engineer says:
    based on a virtual machine that is a blatent ripoff of the java VM.

    The only problem with that statement is its falsity. The jvm is a stack machine, while Dalvik is a register machine. There is zero comparability between them. Dalvik byte code is generated from java bytecode. And, java isn’t the sole source language for building Dalvik binaries. Oracle doesn’t have a prayer, unless the Right Wingnut judges get their way.

  • Cuper Hector

    Solr is a great project, but it not great enough to be mentioned in the Top 7 java projects

  • JamesJiang

    Thanks for your sharing.

  • Tim O'Brien

    You missed two big ones.

    Ant: Ant was and still is the foundation of many builds and formed a foundation for most open source projects from about 2001-2006.

    Maven: Without the repository format that Maven put forward many of the projects on your list would’ve have a very difficult time with distribution. The Maven repository serves millions of developers every day, and every new build system being developed relies on it.

  • HommeDeJava

    Definitely, GWT (Google Web Toolkit) is definitely a breakthrough in opening Rich Internet Application and Ajax technologies to Java’s ecosystem. Compiling Ajax client Java code to multiplatform JavaScript is awesome.

  • Christian

    .Net and C#

  • Wim Jongman

    OSGi! (gesundheit)

  • Kostas K

    Tomcat definitely, Scala, Groovy

  • omid

    Add JBoss Seam

  • pranav

    The list shows the miracles and wonders of java programming

  • Chris

    Great article, Edd! If you are coming to OSCON 2011, come see us at booth 311 to see launch of uberSVN in action! Check out the video for info: