31 July 2011

Java SE 7 Now Available

Oracle logo        tmpF479

It took well over a year of development under Oracle, but now the new release of Java SE 7 is finally out.

Oracle Press Release

Oracle today announced the availability of Java Platform, Standard Edition 7 (Java SE 7), the first release of the Java platform under Oracle stewardship.

The Java SE 7 release is the result of industry-wide development involving open review, weekly builds and extensive collaboration between Oracle engineers and members of the worldwide Java ecosystem via the OpenJDK Community and the Java Community Process (JCP).

Java SE 7 delivers:

  • Language changes to help increase developer productivity and simplify common programming tasks by reducing the amount of code needed, clarifying syntax and making code easier to read. (JSR 334: Project Coin)
  • Improved support for dynamic languages (including: Ruby, Python and JavaScript), resulting in substantial performance increases on the JVM. (JSR 292: InvokeDynamic)
  • A new multicore-ready API that enables developers to more easily decompose problems into tasks that can then be executed in parallel across arbitrary numbers of processor cores. (JSR 166: Fork/Join Framework)
  • A comprehensive I/O interface for working with file systems that can access a wider array of file attributes and offer more information when errors occur. (JSR 203: NIO.2)
  • New networking and security features
  • Expanded support for internationalization, including Unicode 6.0 support
  • Updated versions of numerous libraries
  • Strong backward compatibility of Java SE 7 with previous versions of the platform preserves the skill sets of current Java software developers and protects Java technology investments.

Developers interested in getting started immediately with the Java SE 7 release can leverage the NetBeans Integrated Development Environment (IDE) 7.0, Eclipse Indigo with the additional Java SE 7 plug-in or IntelliJ IDEA 10.5, which support the latest features of the Java SE 7 platform. Oracle JDeveloper support for JDK 7 is intended for a release later this year.

Now the questions for this new release would be around if Java SE 7 is any good? And for that, the answers would be mostly yes, but not for everyone.  If you read from the press release above in this post. You can see that what is clear about what Oracle decided to do with Java, was to give it a even more Enterprise focus than it already had.  The reason of course being that Oracle mission is now to sell you Java as platform that goes best with Oracle other offerings.   Java as a strong play for their sales pitch. Not that there is anything wrong with that. Business is business.  But if early reviews are to be believed. It looks like the interest of the Open Source community were not central to the the development and testing of Java SE 7. As it appear to have some serious issues with those using Apache. Issues that some say could had been noted and corrected before the final release if Oracle had paid attention.

Java Facts and Figures
  • 97% of enterprise desktops run Java
  • 1 billion Java downloads each year
  • 9 million developers worldwide
  • #1 programming language (TIOBE Programming Community Index)
  • More than 3 billion devices are powered by Java technology

Oracle has given the  figures in the quote above. Figures that serve as more proof of the why they are driving Java the way they are. But that don’t tell a complete story as it don’t provides information on how recent are this numbers. Personally, for me they look to be projected figures for 2011 based on surveyed figures from 2010.  Until stated otherwise, that is how they look to me.  Why do I say that? Because I remember reading some reports during the last months stating other kind of projected numbers and statements contradicting or changing the context of these:

  • 90% of enterprise desktop run java (down from 95%)
  • 67% of consumers desktops run java (Riastats.com puts Java on 64% right now)
  • 1 billion Java related (as in for everything in general? seems low in that context don’t it??) downloads each year
  • 9 million developers worldwide (but this don’t means exclusively Java developers).
  • #1 in TIOBE is right as that is openly accessible online.
  • More than 3 billion devices are powered by Java tech (want to bet they including Android in this?)

Now the facts and figures sure look a bit different don’t it? The problem with both numbers and statements is that beyond the TIOBE PCI fact; both and neither are 100% correct or wrong.  So, take you pic on which one to believe. Unless of course Oracle can back their Facts and Figures above saying that they stand by them. Which would mean nothing definitive as I also say the same thing for mine.

Java SE 7: First Impressions

While I cannot attest on how improved or not it is for development or for running newly made apps. I can share with you my first impressions running  current and older Java apps I have in my desktop and browser from a general perspective.

I installed and tested Java SE 7 overall performance with some apps and applets in Windows XP and Windows 7. This is what I found in my case:

Windows XP  is where I found the biggest improvements with a overall increased performance of 18%-20%. CPU usage in apps looks to be around30% less and RAM  consume seems to have gone down around 10%. That is quite impressive.

Windows 7 is where I found the less improvement with a overall increased performance of 12%-14%. CPU usage looks to be around 20% less and RAM consume seems to have gone down around 10%.  So, whatever they done, it is a improvement beyond adding features to it.  Just remember than mileage can wildly vary and what I state can only be representative from a consumer desktop perspective. 

Should I install it now?

YES. regardless of if it have been improvements or not. You should always update your JAVA SE 7 installation as soon as it is available to stay on top of the security of your OS.  But for those using several Java based apps or sites, I am happy to inform you that Java SE 7 also bring a bit of a performance boost. And any boost to that is always nice to get.

Linkage

Java SE 7                                                                                           <—Download Page

Java Platform                                                                               <—Download Portal

Java SE 7 Launch Webcast On Demand                 <—Video

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