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Is use of Java on the rise? Do you use Java for embedded systems development and why?
#1 Posted : Tuesday, November 20, 2012 12:52:25 PM(UTC)
Rank: Newbie

Joined: 9/13/2012(UTC)
Posts: 2

In UBM Electronics' 2012 Embedded Market Study, Java may edge out Assembly language this year as the third most-used programming language in embedded systems. Why would this be? When would you consider using Java? What are you seeing out there in your work world? Obviously C and C++ are still most commonly used. When would you use Java over C/C++?

Here are the two questions we asked in the 2012 survey early this year.

My current embedded project is programmed mostly in:
C, 65%
C++, 20%
Assembly language, 5%
Java, 2%
.NET, 2%
MatLab, 1%
LabVIEW, 1%
UML or other modeling language, below 1%
XML, below 1%
(1,675 responses)

My next embedded project will likely be programmed mostly in:
C, 60%
C++, 24%
Java, 4%
Assembly language, 3%
UML, MatLab, or the like, 2%
.NET, 2%
LabVIEW, 2%
XML, 1%
Other, 4%
(1,667 responses)

The survey is Web survey that was conducted from January 10, 2012 to February 3, 2012. It had 1,704 responses, of which 95% were valid respondents. Confidence overall +/- 2.36%. The sample came from e-mail invitations sent to the following subscribers of UBM Electronics' embedded brands:
• Embedded.com newsletter subscribers
• Embedded Systems Design (ESD) magazine subscribers
• EE Times subscribers

Thanks for you comments in advance.

--Susan Rambo
Managing editor, Embedded.com
Johan Dams
#2 Posted : Friday, November 23, 2012 7:25:45 AM(UTC)
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/16/2012(UTC)
Posts: 35


I think it pretty much depends on how you define embedded system, and if you consider the support infrastructure around it part of the 'embedded system'. For example, if we look at real time embedded systems and micro controllers, Java will have 0% use. However if you take the data logging server written in Java of said real time system, which might be running on an 'embedded server' somewhere as part of it, then yes, Java is on the rise.

My personal gripe with all this is that the definition of 'embedded system' itself is too broad. If one considers a hidden computer running Debian Linux an embedded system, then sure. That would also explain why .NET is in your list (does anyone really consider 'embedded Windows' embedded?).

Furthermore, what is XML (and also UML) doing in the list? It's not a programming language. It can be used to represent a data set in an ordered way on your embedded system, but does not belong in the list. Same with UML - you can use that in the design phase, but you're not programming a system in UML. It needs to be translated to a programming language afterwards. At that point, Java can be used at the prototyping phase, to verify algorithms, etc, but it does not mean the embedded system itself uses Java.

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