SOFTWARE VENDOR Oracle has released its Java Platform Standard Edition 8, Java SE 8, as well as the latest Java SE Development Kit, JDK 8.
The release of the updated Java software has been anticipated for some time, but was delayed by Oracle as it worked on making the software more secure and some additional features.
Oracle said that Java SE 8 delivers "enhanced developer productivity and significant application performance increases" through reduced boilerplate code, improved collections and annotations, simpler parallel programming models and better use of multi-core processors in more efficient ways.
One of Java SE 8's biggest new features is support for Lambda expressions, a new language feature in Java borrowed from LISP that lets developers treat functions as method arguments or code as data. Lambda expressions also allow users to express instances of single-method interfaces, referred to as functional interfaces, more efficiently.
IDC analyst Al Hilwa said that Lambda support in Java SE 8 makes it an important milestone for the language and platform because it will make it easier for developers to write code for multicore processors, but he also noted other Java 8 features that mark significant language improvements.
"These are significant changes to the language that will have a long-term impact as we shift into a highly parallel world populated with multi-core devices and big data. To see the team do this while simultaneously investing heavily in securing the platform in the face of escalating malware attacks everywhere is a huge achievement."
Among the list of new features are a new Date/Time API, Type Annotations, and a set of Compact Profiles, which allow Java SE 8 implementations to be scaled down more easily.
Oracle will launch Java SE 8 at an event on 25 March. µ
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