Standard Java improvements due in phases

Java Platform, Standard Edition (SE) will be upgraded in separate releases in 2011 and 2012, with the platform getting capabilities for developer productivity, modularity, and dynamic languages.

The two-phase upgrade involves offering Java SE 7 next year and Java SE 8 the year afterward. Previous plans had called for bundling improvements of both releases in Java SE 7, which would have arrived in 2012. Oracle engineers, however, decided to put out releases in a phased approach rather than waiting for all of the planned improvements to be ready in two years.

Java SE enables deployment of Java applications on desktops and servers as well as on real-time and embedded environments. It can serve as a basis for the enterprise edition of Java, known as Java Platform, Enterprise Edition (EE)

Initially, Java SE 7 was to feature technologies from Project Lambda, for boosting developer productivity; Project Coin, for small language changes, and Project Jigsaw, for modularity. Other capabilities were to include Invoke Dynamic, to support dynamically typed languages on the Java platform, as well as a fork/join framework.

An analysis was done on when all this would be ready, said Mark Reinhold, chief architect for Oracle’s Java platform group, at the JavaOne conference Tuesday afternoon in San Francisco. “The answer was mid-2012,” he said. So Oracle reduced the scope of Java SE 7, based on when specific capabilities would be ready, he explained.

Based on slides presented by Reinhold, Java SE 7 would feature capabilities from Project Coin and Invoke Dynamic while Java SE 8 would add Jigsaw and Lamba functions.

Reinhold also cited previously stated plans to merge the JRockit and HotSpot Java Virtual Machines. Also on the agenda is plans to eliminate the Java class path, which is the path the Java runtime environment uses to search for classes and other resource files.

In the Java Platform, Micro Edition (ME) space, for mobile devices, plans call for commonality between the Connected Limited Device Configuration (CLDC) and Connected Device Configuration (CDC) technologies, via the Java ME.Next project. Java ME. Next is about modernizing Java ME.

Backward compatibility will be featured as part of Java ME. Next, Greg Bollella, Oracle chief architect for embedded Java, stressed

“We are not going to leave anybody out in the cold,” he said.

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