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20 September 2010, 14:36

Oracle going with Java Plan B according to JDK 7 feature list - Update

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Oracle have published an updated feature list for JDK 7 (Java Development Kit) which appears to confirm that the company is going with "Plan B" from Mark Reinhold's recent blog posting . Reinhold, Oracle's Chief Architect of the Java Platform, outlined two plans; "Plan A" would deliver JDK 7 in mid 2012 with all previously planned features while "Plan B" would deliver a reduced JDK 7 in mid 2011 and JDK 8 in 2012.

The update to the JDK 7 Feature List appears to confirm that "Plan B" has been selected with some features now being listed as "deferred to JDK 8 or later". It is most likely that Oracle will publicly confirm the decision later today during the Oracle OpenWorld / JavaOne conference which is currently running in San Francisco.

Among the features that have made it into JDK 7 are JSR292's support for dynamically typed language through the InvokeDynamic instruction, JSR203's new I / O APIs (aka NIO.2), closeable URL class-loaders, updates to concurrency and collections support and an updated XML stack.

There are also a number of new features on the list for JDK 7. Oracle says they have been added "because we expect them to be of high value for developers and users and because they are essentially finished". These features include locale enhancements, an ability to have separate user and user-interface locales, NIO.2 support for zip and jar archives, JDBC 4.1, TLS 1.2 and support for the Windows Vista IPV6 stack.

Deferred features which will not appear until 2012's JDK 8 release include modular programming support at the VM and language level, Java type annotations, language support for collects, lambda expressions ("closures"), Project Jigsaw's low level modularisation, the Swing application framework (JSR296) and the addition of JXDatePicker to the Swing library.

Update - Reinhold has now confirmed, in a blog posting, that Oracle will be following Plan B. He said "The voluminous feedback was strongly–though not universally–in favour of Plan B" and that "As of today that is the plan of record for JDK 7 and JDK 8". A new milestone schedule is promised when the JDK 7 replanning phase is complete, and it is possible for the feature list to change during this phase.


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