GraalVM Community Survey results

Alina Yurenko
Dec 22, 2020 · 4 min read

Recently we ran a developer survey in the GraalVM community. The goal was to hear back from the you about the most important aspects of GraalVM for you and its future: upcoming features, supported languages and platforms, and how we can overall improve the releases.

We want to thank everyone who took the time to fill out this survey or shared it with their communities to get more opinions. We’ve closed the survey to share the results, but we’re always looking for feedback from our community — feel free to share it via GitHub, Slack, or Twitter.

Now, let’s take a look at the results!

“How well do you know GraalVM?”

The first production ready version of GraalVM was released just last year — in May 2019. So it’s great to see that many people have already adopted GraalVM and even more are considering it for production use.

We also highly appreciate all contributions to the project — pull requests, documentation suggestions, or issue reports. If you are interested in becoming a contributor, but not sure where to start, take a look at this guide.

“How do you use GraalVM”?

Since GraalVM consists of multiple components, and is highly extensible and embeddable, there are countless ways how one can use it. So we wanted to find out which of them are the most popular at the moment. Naturally, Native Image and the GraalVM compiler received a lot of love. But polyglot features, dynamic language implementations, and using GraalVM as a platform are widely used as well.

If you’re a library or language author, we hope these results will be insightful for you too!

“What kind of applications are you mostly working on?”

Knowing what kind of workloads you’re running on GraalVM allows us to understand what features, libraries, and platforms to prioritize. In response to this question we saw a lot of attention given to microservices, where GraalVM native image really shines; but also to desktop and CLI applications.

“Which Java version do you mainly use in production?”

This question was also intended to better understand the context in which you are using GraalVM. Almost half of our respondents use Java 11 for their workloads. “Java 8” and “versions above 11” each got about a quarter of responds.

“Which of the following technologies are you using?”

As you probably know, we are working closely with many organizations in the GraalVM ecosystem to ensure that various frameworks, libraries and tools are well integrated. Frameworks like Gluon, Helidon, Micronaut, Quarkus and Spring Boot help you to easily build applications that leverage GraalVM’s capabilities. Let us know what other frameworks or technologies would be helpful for you too.

“What language(s) do you use with GraalVM?”

I’m sure this question is interesting for many people! Who doesn’t love to talk about programming languages?:)

Not surprisingly, Java is the leader here. JavaScript is also quite popular with every fourth developer using it in their GraalVM applications. Other JVM languages are in the top-3, followed by Python (13%).

“What technologies are you using?”

The absolute leaders here are HTTP client & server and the database connection. Metrics, Cloud SDKs, Kafka, and reactive stack are widely used as well.

“What is your primary deployment platform?”

The most popular deployment platform among our respondents is the cloud with 44% of the votes. Own hardware (21%) and desktop (19%) close the top-3.

“Which of the following would you like to see?”

One of very interesting questions was about future/possible features and which of them would be the most helpful. The most popular answers were inclusion of GraalVM in other JDK distributions, full support for Java desktop applications as native executables, and performance improvements to GraalVM LLVM runtime:

We also had an open question where anyone could share their feature suggestions. Some of popular responses were:

  • platform support updates (extended Windows support, ARM32)
  • supporting latest Java versions
  • more integrations with popular IDEs
  • further performance and developer experience improvements to native image
  • cross-platform compilation, and others.

Thank you again for taking time to share your feedback with us. We’ve received a lot of great answers and suggestions and will use this information to adjust the project roadmap and plan future releases.

As always, we are looking forward to hearing your feedback via any of our community platforms.

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