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Further Delays in JDK7: Which Plan Would You Choose?

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In his latest blog entry , Mark Reinhold, Chief Architect of the Java Platform Group, explains how the current schedule for JDK7 is unrealistic.
Following the Oracle acquisition, there were some delays in integration that slowed things down. Mark explains that there are two plans at the moment:

    Plan A:      JDK 7 (as currently defined)      Mid 2012
    Plan B:      JDK 7 (minus Lambda, Jigsaw, and part of Coin)     Mid 2011
                    JDK 8 (Lambda, Jigsaw, the rest of Coin, ++)     Late 2012
Plan B looks good to me. It's low impact, gets the basic release out to developers sooner, and would probably take the pressure off development of Lambda, Jigsaw & Coin. As I'm sure most software developers would agree, it's better to have more small releases, than one release with a hard to reach goal. We have high expectations for Java releases, so it's best to keep quality in mind rather than rush something out. In fact, with such a high profile release, a rushed delivery could really damage Java's reputation.

As Mark says:

"This approach would give developers production-quality access to the nearly-?nished features sooner rather than later, and with much less risk. It would also allow more time to really shake out Lambda and Jigsaw, which is critical given that these higher-risk efforts are making deep changes to the very foundations of the platform. "

Things aren't all that bad for Java developers - we get regular updates on the Java6 stream with continuous improvements. A lot of the functionality we need can be provided by other frameworks and libraries. So, which plan would you choose?


Ronald Miura replied on Thu, 2010/09/09 - 10:44am

If Plan A is feasible, I think it's better to wait the 6 months to get the full package in one release.

Upgrading the JDK version is a real pain in enterprise environments. Most of our servers still run JDK 5.

I don't want intermediate versions, I want the real thing!

Mauricio Lopez replied on Thu, 2010/09/09 - 11:18am

Ditto, get modularity into the platform and you can then iterate individual modules as quickly as possible.

Otengi Miloskov replied on Thu, 2010/09/09 - 3:17pm

I think is better as Linux, small releases every 6 months than as Microsoft one huge release every 2 or 3 years or even 5 years. IMHO we need more minor releases more often so Java ecosystem is more healthy, less bugs etc. Jigsaw will help a lot. If I was with the JCP or OpenJDK I will concentrate more on Jigsaw and let lambda and Coin for JDK8. Really who needs right away lambdas? It will take long time for Jars and libraries use lambdas, Swing would be great it use lambdas for events instead of anonymous classes but it will take time to port it so I think from now on begin to port the libs with lambdas in mind and for JDK8 everything will be ready.

haroon idress replied on Fri, 2010/09/10 - 12:58am

I am passionated for Jigsaw Modularity,It will impact more and it will open new grounds for developers it should come asap,Plan B is also looks good to me as far as development is concern. Minor releases will break the effect and passion for adoption 

Monis Iqbal replied on Fri, 2010/09/10 - 1:29am

I think with Plan A we can all focus on a single solid release rather than get the features in bits and pieces. Also, it would be easier for organizations to plan ahead and adopt in one go.

Anyways, I made a video response to the Re-thinking JDK7, do check it out (geek humor): Behind the scenes of Re-thinking JDK7

Dominique De Vito replied on Fri, 2010/09/10 - 3:20pm

IMHO, Plan B looks like the best idea for everyone :
- early adopters would be happy playing sooner with a new release (JDK 7), within the next months.
- other people would wait the following first "Service Pack" release (JDK 8) for adopting a new JDK, after JDK 6.



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