Train held

Java 8 now set for Spring 2014 release

It’s official - the next major version of Java is now scheduled to arrive on 18 March 2014, six months late than originally planned.

Last week, Chief Architect Mark Reinhold explained that JDK 8 would likely be delayed after priority was placed on the security of the Java platform, amidst browser security problems. Members of the JDK 8 team were drawn in to patch the platform, which in part caused features to slip from M6, pushing back the Developer Preview of JDK 8.

Many of the unfinished features are within Project Lambda, the centrepiece of the release which finally adds closures to the language. With so much riding on this feature, Reinhold decided the best course of action would be to “stop the train” to allow Project Lambda time to catch up.

“This option would not open the gates for a flood of new features in Java 8, nor would it permit the scope of existing features to grow without bound,” Reinhold explained last week. “We’d likely add a select few additional features, especially in areas related to security. In general, however, we’d use the additional time to stabilize, polish, and fine-tune the features that we already have rather than add a bunch of new ones.”

Reinhold thanked those who commented on the news in his latest blog, intimating that “feedback was generally in favour, though understandably tinged with disappointment.”

The updated schedule means that a feature complete JDK 8 (M7) will be available on May 23, before a Developer Preview arrives on September 5th. This should pave the way for a Final Release Candidate next January ahead of Java 8 goes GA in March.

If you’ve been following development closely, Java 8’s pushback was expected and although it tarnishes Oracle’s reputation in terms of delivering on time, it is the correct decision. You could also argue it was the only option with Project Lambda being the driving feature of the release. More damaging however is Java’s security woes, which continue to be a thorn in the side for Java’s guardian, as well as bad press.

Image courtesy of Yoyoyopo5

Chris Mayer

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