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11 April 2012, 15:22

Java: Roadmap for JDK 8 proposed

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OpenJDK logo Oracle has proposed dates for various releases on the path to the next new version of the open source implementation of the Java programming language. According to Mathias Axelsson, Oracle's Release Manager for the Java Development Kit (JDK), the company plans to release JDK 8 in September 2013. Before the final release though, the developers intend to publish six JDK "Milestone" releases that will incorporate the new features and enhancements:

  • M1: 24 April 2012
  • M2: 14 June 2012
  • M3: 30 June 2012
  • M4: 1 September 2012
  • M5: 26 November 2012
  • M6: 30 January 2013

The developers have yet to detail which feature will be incorporated into the new Java and at what time. However, JDK 8 is scheduled to become "feature complete" (FC) with the release of Milestone 6. A general test phase will probably take place from early February until the beginning of April 2013, followed by a period during which the developers plan to tackle priority 1 to 3 bugs; it appears that from mid-June 2013, they only intend to handle the showstoppers, the high priority bugs which could create obvious problems at release time.

Proposals for the Java 8 Java Specification Requests (JSRs) are to be submitted to the JCP by the beginning of May, 2013. The developers also want to include an "M7 Developer Preview" and set a date for the end of testing and bug reporting which leaves enough time for them to fix the reported bugs. They hope that this will enable them to avoid bugs such as the ones they encountered just before the release of Java 7, when the developers of the Apache Lucene search framework pointed out optimiser defects that potentially caused flawed loops. Oracle was only able to fix this bug with the first Java 7 update.

The Lambda and Jigsaw projects are considered to be the next version's main new features. Lambda introduces closures to Java, while Jigsaw handles language modularity. Other new aspects mentioned so far include JavaFX, JavaScript interoperability, and improved developer productivity and device support, as well as various API updates.


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