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Eric Bruno

Dr. Dobb's Bloggers

Java SE 8 Schedule Update

April 19, 2013

Yes, the release of Java SE 8 (JDK8) has slipped again. But it's for good reason: platform-wide security enhancements. Mark Reinhold today announced the slip, due to a shift of resources inside the Java team to focus on platform security, on his blog here. In it, he outlines multiple scenarios, all of which have their pros and cons, none of which have been decided on yet:

  • First: Drop Lambda and stick to a Sept. 2013 release date. Well, most would agree that Lambdas are the most anticipated new feature for Java, so this is most likely not an appealing option.

  • Second: Rush Lambda out the door as quickly as possible. With a platform like Java, used so widely in the industry, this could result in bugs, flaws, and shortcomings that Oracle would have to then address, and some that the community would have to live with for years. Again, not an appealing option for that very reason.

  • Third: Slip the schedule, add Project Jigsaw back into the release, and wait for it all to be done as long as that takes. Well, that's not so bad if we get more in the Java SE 8 release than currently planned, but not so good if it takes years.

  • Fourth (and probably the most feasible): Focus on security of the platform and Lambdas, and slip the schedule enough to do these two things right in this release. It seems that Oracle and the Java are leaning towards this one. This will most likely be proposed to the Java SE 8 Expert group and the contributors to JDK 8, and we'll have to see if it's agreed to but really there's probably no other choice.

As a result, we will most likely now see Java SE 8 released in early 2014 instead of late 2013 (probably a full quarter later than expected) with a solid Lambda implementation, a much-improved security model within Java — whatever that turns out to be — and maybe even a few more minor features that creep in there.

So hang on, Lambda-lovers! It will be a little while longer before you can start releasing your closures on the world, but the wait may be worth the extra security it affords us. If you disagree, let your feelings be known in the comments here, and with Oracle.

NOTE: In case you didn't notice earlier this week with all that's going on in the world, Oracle released a new security update to Java SE 7, update 21, which is available for download now.

Happy coding!
--Eric

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