It's really coming!

Buggy or not, Java 8 will arrive on time

Lucy Carey

After a series of false starts, it looks like Oracle is holding fast for a March release date – just watch out for a few holes.

It’s been a long (much longer than anticipated), and bumpy road, but it appears that Java 8 is really coming in March – albeit with a few rough edges.

In an update published on Monday, Mathias Axelsson, Oracle JDK 8 Release Manager, wrote that for the past few months, the devs team had been furiously beavering away in Oracle Towers to get the upgrade pushed out this spring.

To achieve this however, Axelsson emphasised that some compromises will have to be made. At this stage of development, only “showstopper bugs” are being considered for fixing in the initial JDK 8 release.

According to Axelsson, “Non-showstopper bugs will be deferred to a later release in order to ensure we keep to the JDK 8 schedule and can ship on March 18.”

As anyone who’s been keeping track of Java 8’s progress will be well aware, the retooled platform was originally supposed to have shipped six months ago. Security issues were one of the major reasons driving this deferral, as well a need to tighten up Project Lambda, arguably the biggest feature of the release.

Axelsson added that, though there are a number of fixes “pending integration”, on the whole,  the team are all set to have the release candidate ready in time for the January 23 deadline.

He noted that after today’s promoted build deadline, builds will be made on demand based on the fixes that have gone in, stating that; “We’re making this adjustment to keep the turnaround time as short as possible if we have to take a fix and respin.”

Legacy problems with Java have continued to be a thorn on Oracle’s side over the last 18 months, but the stewards are doing their utmost to weed them out. In a bumper quarterly update this Tuesday, it pushed out 36 patches for Java SE alone, 34 of which were for remotely executable attacks.

Although it’s certainly not ideal for the company to be pushing out a not-entirely watertight release, Oracle’s readiness to advertise this fact is certainly an encouraging sign that it’s serious in its intent to openly deal with holes in the platform going forward.

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