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Java 8 On Track for March Release

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After a slight delay the long anticipated release of Java 8 is now back on track and scheduled for release on March 18.

This is according to the recent announcement by Mathias Axelsson, Oracle Director of Release Management, and Release Manager on JDK 8.

According to Axelsson:

At this stage only showstoppers are being considered for fixing in the initial JDK 8 release. 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.

Axelsson adds that they are on-track to have a release candidate built before the January 23 deadline.

Java 8 represents one of the largest changes to the Java language since the language was first introduced by Sun Microsystems under the stewardship of James Gosling in 1995.

The most prominent feature of Java 8 is support for lambda expressions or "closures". Java is late to the game in offering closures, a feature that is basic to functional programming. C# support for closures has been evolving since version 2 was released in 2005. Closures feature prominently in JVM languages such as Groovy, Scala, and Clojure.

Complementing  Java's closure support is a new set of Collections APIs that are intended to be used with closures to express traditionally complex implementations using a clearer, more terse syntax.

The release also features a new java.time package derived from the popular Joda Time library.

Other major Java releases included JDK 1.1 (Feb. 1997) which introduced the enhanced collections APIs, Java 5 (Sep. 2004) which introduced high level concurrency utilities as well as generics, and Java 7 (Jul. 2011), which introduced invoke dynamic, the first change to the Java byte code specification since JDK 1.0. Every release also added performance improvements and garbage collection optimizations.

Trademarking concerns prompted Sun to use "dot" versioning (1.0, 1.1, 1.2, etc.) until 2004 when the numbering was bumped to the full release Java 5.



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