Well, it’s near one deadline

Developers now able to get their hands on Java 8 preview

Oracle has now released the preview test build of Java SE 8, intended for broad testing by developers – although the much delayed general-release development kit will be percolating for at least another few months.

In a blog post yesterday, Oracle's Mark Reinhold, chief architect of the Java Platform Group, urged developers to test out the developer preview for JDK (Java Development Kit) 8.

So what are the key features to look out for in this release? Well, of course there’s the much anticipated  Project Lambda (JSR 355) - cited in a blog post from Reinhold as one of the main reasons for pushing back the release earlier this year- which "adds lambda expressions, default methods, and method refer­ences to the Java programming language and extends the libraries to support parallelizable operations upon streamed data."

Other noteworthy developments in JDK 8 include a new date and time API, compact profiles, and the Nashorn JavaScript engine. There are also some “anti-features”, such as the removal of the permanent generation from the HotSpot virtual machine.

This month was originally slated for the release of JDK 8, but due to the numerous security concerns that have dogged Java recently, Oracle wisely postponed availability until Q1 2014 - at the earliest. Though, based on the track record for this release, we’re hedging our bets.

Although Oracle has been putting its energies into resolving outstanding security glitches and restore confidence, recent incidents show that there’s still some considerable work to be done. With exploits like watering hole attacks and zero-days still fresh in the minds of many, Oracle won’t want to risk the final release becoming yet another excuse for Java baiting.

If you’re eager to get stuck into the release, you can download it here.

Lucy Carey

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