Java 7 on schedule: Oracle releases JDK 7 developer preview
Mark Reinhold has announced that the developer preview for Oracle's Java 7 JDK, JDK 7, has now become available. The chief architect of the Java platform at Oracle has now invited Java programmers and users to test the forthcoming version of the Java Development Kit and provide the JDK developers with feedback. This developer release has been "feature complete" since the beginning of the year and has reportedly been tested against all supported platforms – according to Reinhold, no major issues have been found.
The executive said that the sooner any bugs are reported, the better, and that the best time for submitting issues is the allocated window between now and the end of March. Bugs reported later might not get ﬁxed in time for the initial release, he added. The official release of JDK 7 has been scheduled for 28 July 2011. The developer preview was released a week after the originally scheduled date. The developers are, therefore, almost on schedule, unlike in previous years when they almost appeared to have come to a stand-still due to Oracle's take-over of Sun.
It is worth noting that the Oracle release of Java, though based on OpenJDK, is not under an open licence. This is because it is still compiled with a number of licensed closed source libraries, the same libraries that were replaced with free alternatives by the IcedTea project.
An overview of the new features is available on the relevant features web page. The first tool developers are already working to support the JDK 7 advancements in their products. For instance, Oracle itself has done so in the recently developed NetBeans 7 development environment, and Czech software firm JetBrains has announced that JDK 7 will be supported in the next version of its IntelliJ IDEA IDE.