Oracle Deep Dive into Java 7

Oracle Introduce Java 7

Jessica Thornsby

“For the first time in Java 7, we’re starting to see the Java Virtual Machine really chart its own course.”

Yesterday, Oracle held their ‘Introducing Java 7: Moving Forward‘ event in
Red Shores, São Paulo, and London to celebrate the imminent release
of Java 7. Adam Messinger, Vice President of Product Development at
Oracle, led the ‘Introducing Java 7′ opening hour of the
four-and-a-half-hour long introduction to the latest update to the
world’s number one programming language.

During the introduction, Oracle revealed that there are now 9
million Java developers worldwide, with over 1 billion computers
currently running Java. According to Messinger, this demand for
Java is reflected in the size of Oracle’s Java team, as he revealed
that, by combining the HotSpot and JRockit teams, Oracle “now have
the largest team ever working on Java.”

The launch event deep dived into the introduction of new Java
bytecode, ‘invokedynamic,’ and an accompanying linkage mechanism,
which together enable implementers of compilers for dynamically
typed languages, to generate bytecode that runs much faster on the

Alex Buckley, who is responsible for the Java Language
Specification and the Java VM Specification, sees this as a
fundamental change in the course of the JVM, saying that:

“For the first time in Java 7, we’re starting to see the Java
Virtual Machine really chart its own course. Features are being
added to the JVM that are beyond the capabilities of the core Java
programing language……those new features will really go in
different directions, to help those other language

These changes increase Java’s potential to engage other
developer communities, with Bruno Souza from SouJava urging the
Java user groups to now reach out to such communities. This is
crucial to strengthening the Java ecosystem as, in forging
relationships with other languages, Java developers can benefit
from the innovations that are happening in those languages – and
vice versa.

Luciano Ramalho, who created the Python Association in Brazil,
was present to underline the potential for collaboration between
Java, and other languages, neatly summarised by his choice of
clothing for the event: a Python Jacket over a Java t-shirt.

“I am really happy to be wearing my Python jacket on top of a
Java t-shirt, because I’ve always been very interested in this
combination of running Python on top of Java,” he said.

Another topic of discussion, was the openness of the development
process. Mark Reinhold admitted that, although the development
process was not as transparent as he, and others, would have liked,
“we are continually improving that.” He also pointed out that,
despite the criticism regarding openness, “all the code has been
out there” during the development process.

Adam Messinger introduces Java

The final issue that grabbed headlines during the creation of
Java 7, was IBM’s decision
to join OpenJDK
, after discontinuing their involvement with
Apache Harmony. IBM’s Trent Gray-Donald was present at the event to
answer the question of IBM and Oracle’s status as simultaneous
competitors and collaborations: “Yes, we are absolutely fierce
competitors, but it turns out that we can collaborate. We should,
and we need to.” Adam Messinger stressed the collaborative side of
their relationship, stating “IBM’s collaboration has been one of
the things I’m most proud of over the last year. It’s been great to
have you aboard OpenJDK, and I look forward to many strong years of
working together.”

Also at the event, Eclipse Executive Director Mike Mikilovich
revealed that Eclipse will release a feature pack when Java 7
ships, so that developers can start working with Java 7 on top of

The first
release candidate of JDK7
can be downloaded now, with a GA
release expected later this month.

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