It’s been 10 years since Java last offered a revolutionary release. Instead, releases since Java 5 have been more evolutionary in nature than they have been revolutionary. With technology that is always changing, some worry that Java’s evolutions are too slow. However, as IDR Solutions points out on its blog, it looks as though Java 8 is going to be revolutionary.
JavaOne 2013 featured a technical keynote that described some of the features of the next incarnation of Java. Once again, Java is the #1 programming language in the world, and it appears that Oracle wants to keep it that way.
Lambda to Come to Java
Lambda expressions are on their way to Java 8. While some developers aren’t convinced of the usefulness of Lambda expressions, and there are concerns about how these expressions could compromise the imperative (and object-oriented) nature of Java, the reality is that the way things are moving, it makes sense to include Lambda expressions.
Technology, and the applications and developments springing from it, are more fluid, and more complex. As nice as it is to think that everything has to be simple, there is an underlying complexity in modern programming that Java needs to recognize. Including Lambda expressions just makes sense.
On top of the addition of Lambda, Java will be making changes to JVM and libraries, as well as language. The presentation at JavaOne demonstrated some of the ways that Java’s changes can be interesting and versatile (Java teams used different representations of chess games to illustrate their innovations). Programmers should have a wider range of opportunity with the new setup, and it indicates that, whatever Oracle’s intentions toward MySQL, the company is still quite dedicated to Java.
The JavaOne conference was very exciting, thanks in part to the demos throughout the week that highlighted some of the cool things that programmers will be able to do, from being able to embed Swing inside JavaFX to controlling a robotic arm.
Developers can be a part of the process by trying out the weekly build of Java 8 that is available. You can try it out yourself, see what works and what doesn’t, and then Oracle know.
The technical keynote also included mention of Java 9, along with some of the ideas for the future of Java. It looks as though those in charge of Java understand the need for continued innovation, and the need for revolution in addition to evolution.