Oracle: Java 8 will be revolution, not evolution

JavaFX 2.0 released, Java 9 detailed

JavaOne Mark Reinhold, chief architect for Java at Oracle, gave details on developments in Java 8 and beyond, and announced the release of JavaFX 2.0 during his turn on the keynote stage at the JavaOne conference in San Francisco.

Oracle cut back on its plans for Java 7 in order to get the new build released in July, adding three of the five key improvements it had planned: Project Coin, InvokeDynamic, Fork/Join framework, Project Jigsaw and Project Lambda. The latter two functions were cut from the JDK 7 release and will be bundled in version 8.

“Java 7 was an important release, but in the history of Java it was more evolutionary than revolutionary,” Reinhold told the crowd. “Java 8 will be more revolutionary.”

Project Jigsaw looks to make handling larger chunks of code more flexible, and will allow for sections of application or platform software to be used and reused in larger operations. Project Lambda will enable Java to work much more effectively with multicore processing systems – the most likely hardware used by Java going forward.

“Some would say adding Lambda expressions is just to keep up with the cool kids, and there’s some truth in that,” Reinhold said. “But the real reason is multicore processors; the best way to handle them is with Lambda.”

Other improvements in Java 8 will be JVM convergence, the addition of type annotations, a Date/Time API (JSR310) and support for sensors to widen the deployment options for the code.

Looking ahead to Java 9 and beyond, he explained, Oracle is already identifying key areas of development: a self-tuning JVM, improved native integration and big-data support, reification, adding tail calls and continuations, a new meta-object protocol to improve cross language support, multi-tenancy, resource management for cloud applications, and the building of heterogeneous compute models.

Oracle also announced the availability of JavaFX 2.0, and early access for the Java FX SceneBuilder. The whole package has CSS support deeply embedded, a FXML system for defining interfaces that will be popular with those with markup experience from web programming, richer graphics, and more-integrated web content. ®

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