Java 7 delayed -- but maybe not forever

Mark Reinhold, the Chief Architect of the Java Platform Group, has announced the a delay in the anticipated release of the JDK, by at least a year. In fact, the Java community seems to be faced with two different choices: a two year pushback, to mid-2012, for an all-features-as-promised version of the JDK; or a release in the middle of next year that would exclude Projects Lambda (closures), Jigsaw (modularity), and Coin ("small language changes"), which would instead by rolled into a JDK release for late 2012. This is by rights the cause of quite a bit of community hand-wringing, as closures (and to a lesser extent) the module system of Project Jigsaw have been among the most hotly anticipated features of the new JDK. Reinhold says the team is leaning towards the second course, and late 2012 seems like a long, long time away.

On a totally different point, though, Reinhold slips in this rather important parenthetical:

(As always, our intent is that JDK 7 will ship concurrently with a Java SE 7 JSR, and likewise for JDK 8 and Java SE 8, and also that there will be JSRs for Lambda and Coin.)

This may seem fairly straightforward, but it's worth noting that there has been some pessimism as to whether Java 7 (as opposed to JDK 7) would actually come to pass as a Java spec, due to Sun/Oracle's longstanding dispute with Apache and others over the licensing terms of the TCK. Stephen Colebourne lays out the reasoning here; Reinhold implies that Oracle, or at least his group within Oracle, wants a real live JCP-standardized spec.