Mark Reinhold principal engineer at Sun/Oracle, breathes some common sense into the JDK 7 release schedule with a suggestion of a 2011 release, but with a catch.
In his latest blog post, Mark details that the current schedule for JDK7 is somewhat ambitious, and that "The post-acquisition integration process took longer than any of us anticipated, unfortunately, but we’re now ready and able to focus on this release with a larger (and still growing) staff which will continue to work in the open alongside other contributors". So JDK7's still going ahead, phew! In this climate though, what with Oracle vs Google, project after project of Sun's being shutdown one might think Java's not safe. Forgive my paranoia!
Back to the point: Mark states that the current state of JDK 7 is in good shape, with most of the features - bar Lambdas, projects Coin and Jigsaw - either finished or "nearly done". This means then that we could expect JDK7 sooner rather than later; should we wait we'd have JDK 7 with project Coin & Jigsaw as well as Lambdas in mid-2012, which is a way away and would make JDK 6 yonks old (a quick estimate says 6 years!).
So according to the blog post, we could have two schedules, the latter of which Oracle is "heavily leaning towards". To quote Mark again:
|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|
So we'd have JDK 7 with some nice features earlier than expected, but the big ones in 2012. What do you think? Worth the wait or shutting the barn door after the horse has bolted?