JDK 7 slips until at least mid-2011, possibly 2012

Oracle’s acquisition of Sun has claimed a major victim – the release of the Java Development Kit version 7 (JDK 7).

JDK 7 was due to have development completed in recent days, but Mark Reinhold of the Oracle (formerly Sun) team that works on OpenJDK (the open source project that develops the JDK) says the most recent JDK 7 schedule is “unrealistic”. Writing on his blog, he attributes the slip to the fact the schedule was created 9 months ago before Sun was acquired, and that the “post-acquisition integration process took longer than any of us anticipated.”

“Our present best estimate is that we could complete, test, and stabilize the planned work in time for a release around the middle of 2012,” Mark continued.

However, it may be sooner than 2 years from now that we finally see JDK 7. By trimming the JDK 7 feature list to what has mostly been completed now, a release could be seen in mid-2011. This would mean the features that aren’t finished – such as the Lambda, Jigsaw, and Coin projects – would become part of JDK 8 which would come out in late 2012 with some additional features too.

But Oracle recognize that the platform risks becoming stale. “The platform has been idle for (more than!) long enough—it’s time to get Java moving again.” To that end, we may see a trimmed JDK 7 release next year just to get it out the door.

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