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Oracle: Java upgrades are worthwhile

Stop moaning about postponed features, Java EE 7 and Java SE 8 will offer new capabilities

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The next upgrades to the Enterprise and Standard editions of Java are expected to lack some hoped-for improvements, the upgrades still will have a lot to offer, including enhancements for HTML5 and multicore processors, Oracle officials said Sunday night.

Oracle technologists gave the status updates on Java Platform, Enterprise Edition (Java EE) 7, which is due in the second quarter of next year, and Java Platform, Standard Edition (Java SE) 8, also planned for release in 2013, during an opening keynote presentation at the JavaOne technical conference in San Francisco.

Java EE 7 is not expected to feature platform-as-a-service cloud computing enhancements that had been planned. Those are being deferred to a later release, likely due in 2015. But EE 7 will be easier for programmers to use, stressed Arun Gupta, Oracle's Java EE technology evangelist. "The important part is we want you to write less boilerplate code," via dependency injection, he said. Another key to Java EE 7 is support for HTML5-based Web communications via WebSocket. Also supported is Java API for RESTful Web Services 2.0, which features a client API for invoking RESTful Web services in a standard way.

With Java SE 8, Oracle will not have Project Jigsaw's modularity capabilities, which will be postponed until Java SE 9. Java Development Kit 8, though, which would be based on Java SE 8, will feature Project Nashorn capabilities for JavaScript programming. "This is a modern implementation of JavaScript that runs on the JVM," said Georges Saab, Oracle vice president of development. "The attempt here is to bring a fresh architectural approach that takes advantage of InvokeDynamic in order to have high performance." InvokeDynamic technology helps Java better accommodate other languages besides Java.  Java SE 8 also offers Project Lambda capabilities, to accommodate multicore processors. 

Oracle officials also talked about Project Easel, which is intended to bring advanced tooling for HTML5 to the NetBeans IDE. The project leverages Java EE and supports Oracle's Project Avatar,  which has featured a hybrid programming model for dynamic rich clients.

Also in Java news Sunday, AMD announced it is collaborating with Oracle on Project  "Sumatra." This project will enable GPUs (graphics processing units) to be leveraged within the JVM for use in processing data and has been accepted as an OpenJDK project.  Sumatra will let developers access GPUs for compute and data processing capabilities rather than just for visual effects. AMD anticipates Sumatra capabilities being be implemented in the Java SE 9 timeframe.


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