SOFTWARE DEVELOPER Oracle has released Java 7 Standard Edition (Java 7 SE), three weeks after putting out the release candidate.
Oracle took control of Java, one of the most popular programming languages and frameworks, after buying Sun Microsystems in January 2010. Java 7 SE is the first major release in five years and the first under Oracle's leadership, and the database and applications software company has gone for an evolutionary rather than revolutionary release.
Since Oracle's revealed its Java 7 release candidate earlier this month it hasn't made many headline changes. Jave 7 SE brings out improvements for better file access, support for a growing number of programming languages that use the Java virtual machine and a Fork/Join API that delivers better multi-processor support.
Oracle cites "strong backward compatibility of Java 7 SE" with previous versions of Java, adding that developers won't have to retool their skillsets.
There had been some concern that Oracle's leadership of Java would undermine the huge developer community that surrounds it. Oracle's lawsuit against Google over Android's use of Java has raised questions of what firms can or can't do with Java. However Al Hilwa, programme director for applications development software at IDC told V3, "The Java community should be much more relaxed about Oracle's stewardship [...] Some of the decisions to reverse the Java over-reach and unrealistic schedules from the Sun [Microsystems] days were hard to make, but I would say they are doing the right thing."
Oracle's decision to take small steps is probably wise as Java has such a large enterprise following. Oracle claims 97 per cent of enterprise desktops run Java and says the software framework has nine million developers worldwide, so baby steps are the order of the day.
Java 7 SE is available for download now. µ
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