The security vulnerabilities that were opened by Java 7, have gained a lot of public attention in the recent times. Apart from affecting the end users, these security issues have also affected Oracle’s development front and their future plans. This has become evident when the chief architect of Oracle’s Java Department, Mark Reinhold, mentioned in his blog that the release of Java 8 will be delayed until the first quarter of 2014. The reason for this delay being the focus of the organization in fixing the security issues with their earlier version of Java.
The release of Java 8 which, originally planned for September 2013, is now expected to be take place in March 2014. Reinhold has decided to push the release date six months further, after carefully analyzing some of the other alternatives. Due to the development teams’ complete focus on fixing the security issues of Java 7, the Java 8 milestones have slipped. It has become impossible to get it completed within the original time-frame. Reinhold has also mentioned that they would be using this additional time to stabilize the code base and perform a thorough testing of the upcoming version 8’s features.
The delay has been justified, since the most expected feature of java 8, Lambda, is yet to be completed by the dev team. Lambda would support programming in a multi-core environment with the inclusion of closures and other related features. A Java 8 release without Lambda will not be of much interest to the developers and end users. If Lambda is skipped in this release, then developers may have to wait another 2 years for the next. Hence Reinhold has decided to delay the release instead of releasing a partially developed code, just to meet the schedule.
This delayed release of Java 8 has created mixed feelings among the end users. The news was a disappointment for many who have been waiting eagerly to play around with new and exciting features of Java. It has been widely accepted by most people, since a stable and quality API, is what the end users expect rather than a partially developed code. Some of the end users though have expressed their concern about the delay by asking why Oracle should pay all their attention in fixing the applet based security vulnerabilities when it is only being used by minimal number of users.
Apart from the news of this delayed release, Reinhold also mentioned that Oracle has revised its development strategies to make sure that the code base is free from creating new security vulnerabilities.
Let us wait till next March to see how Oracle’s new Java release is going to impact the end users and enterprises that use Java.