Java JDK 7 is on target for a February developer preview and is currently feature complete and working its way towards a beta.
In the world of software even to be a little late hitting your targets probably means you set your sights too low! More seriously we have to report that Java SDK 7 is pretty much on target for the scheduled July release.The news was made public by Henrik Ståhl in his blog.
The latest milestone to be reached, on the 23rd December, sees the JDK declared "feature complete" . On the other hand as the number of features had been trimmed down a little to make it possible to get a new version out this year it would have been annoying if the milestone had slipped too far.
It is possible that some additional features updates to JAXPI, JAXB and JAX-WS i.e. XML processing, Binding and Web Services respectively will be included in the JDK.
Perhaps the most exciting news is that the Developer Preview is scheduled for 17th February and looks on target. The Developer Preview will see a beta available for download from the Oracle website. However this said most of the really exciting stuff that takes Java into new and long awaited territory is in JDK 8 which is scheduled for late next year. As far as language changes go changes in JDK 7 are fairly small -
"Strings in switch statements, automatic resource management, improved type inference for generic instance creation ("diamond"), simplified varargs method invocation, better integral literals, and improved exception handling (multi-catch)"
JDK 8 will bring lambda expressions, annotations, language support for collections, modularisation of the JDK and the Swing application framework - but not until 2012.
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