JDK7 by mid-2011?
The delays that have held back the next version of the Java platform, Java Development Kit 7 (JDK7), are set to continue. Originally and provisionally scheduled for 2008, then this spring, and then delayed to this autumn, one of two plans offered by Oracle's Chief Architect of the Java Platform, Mark Reinhold, says a JDK7 release could arrive mid-2011. Reinhold notes that the previous schedule for JDK7's release had become "mildly unrealistic" having been created before Oracle's acquisition of Sun and a "post-acquisition process which took longer than any of us anticipated".
The mid-2011 release schedule is part of 'Plan B' which would see JDK7 arrive without a number of previously planned features, specifically the Lambda implementation of first class functions, the Jigsaw modularisation work and some of the language enhancements of Project Coin. The omitted features would be incorporated in a late 2012 release of a JDK8, along with other enhancements.
Under "Plan B", JDK7 would contain a number of enhancements, despite the three omitted features. According to Oracle's Joseph Darcy, the Coin enhancements in Plan B's JDK7 would include strings support in switch, binary literals, improved exception handling, simplified varargs and try-with-resources. The "Plan B" JDK7 would also include most of the features already planned.
Oracle's "Plan A" would see all these features incorporated into a mid-2012 release, which the company considers to be a more risky plan. Reinhold says that Oracle is "heavily leaning toward the lower risk Plan B" and adds that whichever plan is selected, the company intends to ship both releases with appropriate Java SE JSRs (Java Specification Request) ratified by the Java Community Process along with JSRs submitted for Lambda and Coin.