JCP Approves JSRs for Java SE 7, Java SE 8, Project Coin and Lambda

After one week's extension (due to the US Thanksgiving holiday), the JCP Executive Commitee for Java SE and EE has now approved the following four JSRs:

  • JSR 334: Small Enhancements to the Java Programming Language ("Project Coin")
  • JSR 335: Lambda Expressions for the Java Programming Language ("Project Lambda")
  • JSR 336: Java SE 7
  • JSR 337: Java SE 8

The contents of the Java SE 7 and Java SE 8 JSRs reflect the proposed Plan B that split up the "original" JDK 7 in two releases. For more detail see this post. More information to follow.

You can download the source code and the latest build for JDK 7 on the OpenJDK web site. Oracle currently provides builds for Windows, Linux and Solaris. OSX builds will be made available in the future as a result of Apple joining the OpenJDK project.


the approval is bitter sweet. Note all the comments on those who voted yes.

Posted by javajoe on December 07, 2010 at 01:27 AM PST #

Currently not even OpenJDK can be labeled as Java 7, as I don't see how the GPL can be compatible with the Field-of-use restriction. So if oracle what's OpenJDK to be the only open source implementation and wants that implementation to be taken seriously, they should at least hurry to open the TCK for OpenJDK. Then java might have a change against mono/.net.

Posted by Matthias on December 07, 2010 at 05:11 AM PST #

Mathias - OpenJDK is a community, not a project. JDK 7 is a project within the OpenJDK community that aims to provide a fully compatible implementation of Java SE 7. All code in OpenJDK is released under GPLv2 with the same restrictions and grants as any other GPLv2 licensed software. In addition, Oracle provides a free TCK to any OpenJDK-derived implementation without Field-of-Use restrictions. See for details.

Posted by Henrik Stahl on December 07, 2010 at 03:50 PM PST #

Henrik, the wording in the linked license sounds to me, as if only the TCK for Java SE 6 is covered. Maybe this is untrue, but then oracle should make that clear. And to correct my mistake: Not even the build of IcedTea can be labeled Java 7 ...

Posted by Matthias on December 07, 2010 at 07:25 PM PST #

The TCK for Java SE 7 is not available yet, but Oracle will extend the OCTLA to cover it as well when available.

Posted by Henrik on December 07, 2010 at 08:58 PM PST #

@Matthias: hmm, it is funny to hear comments about java not being sufficiently open, compared to .NET.

Posted by Herve on December 09, 2010 at 09:14 AM PST #

Henrik, I have been a Java developer since year 2000, I quiet like my job. In the last few months I have seen James Goslings quitting Oracle with anger, Eduardo Pellegri Jopart leaving, Doug Lea quitting the JCP, Hudson community fleeing away from dissapointed with how Oracle treated the community. Yesterday Tim Peierls and here we go, the ASF quiet the JCP raging against Oracle. So far, Oracle's position seems to be: "it is all good". Oracle's statement at the JCP meeting of 10/4/2010 was that they intend to move forward with the release outlined in the Java SE 7 JSR with or without the approval of the JCP. So why bother organising the voting???? After all, Oracles public message is that Oracle's move is good for the Java Community and...(without needing to explicitly state it)... it's in Oracle's best economical interest. Personally, I have a mortgage to pay and a child to raise. My wife isn't working and my Job is our only income. I empathise with Oracle's money making mentality because I have the same money making mentality. IBM, Google, SAP, Doug Lea, Tim Peiris, Apache, Eclipese, Red Hat, Werner Keil, Credit Suisse and other long time members of the Java Community publicly object about How Oracle is dealing with Java and oracle doesn't show any gesture of compassion whatsoever but asks Apache to change it's mind. Do you really think, it is in Oracle's best economical interest to have half of the mayor players objecting about the way they are dealing with it? To me, this scenario is the perfect soil for all those mayor players starting to pursue another platform for open standard development.... and then I would have to bother learning another platform while I am already productive with Java... More than a win-loose, this looks like a loose-loose to me.

Posted by Pablo on December 09, 2010 at 08:16 PM PST #


I know this is a very long-winded comment, but for the love of Java :-), please have a read when you have a moment.

I'm a big Java fan and have been a staunch supporter of Sun and Sun's Java-related technologies and open source projects for several years. When I heard Oracle is buying Sun I naturally did a lot of reading on Oracle. The now extinct Sun and Oracle are different in many ways, yet there are a number of things I came to respect about Oracle:

  • As everybody knows, Oracle knows how to make money of software. Frankly, and with all due respect, Sun didn't, that's why they went under.
  • Larry Ellison has a lot of insight into the software industry. As one article puts it, many people have lost a lot of money because they disagreed with him. He even understands where open source software fits into the picture and how to make money of it.
  • Oracle is putting a lot of resources behind Java. Take JavaOne 2010 for example, or the fact that Oracle got IBM and Apple (amazing) onto the OpenJDK project.
  • The Java roadmap that was announced at JavaOne 2010 is really impressive.

If one only considers the facts I've listed above (which isn’t an exhaustive list), one can't help but to feel that Java is in good hands and under strong and secure stewardship at Oracle. So it wasn't hard for me to be converted into a staunch supporter of Oracle when it comes to all things Java-related. I’m a bit of a Java evangelist at the company I work for. If there is any positive news to spread about Java/Oracle, I spread it.

Even though a couple of big names (James Gosling, etc.) left Oracle after the takeover, I remained positive about Oracle and Java. In my opinion that was to be expected. Sun and Oracle’s cultures are different. As Murphy puts it: “You can please some of the people some of the time, but you can never please all of the people all of the time.” I more or less felt same when the first one or two big names left the JCP. With some effort I could also turn a blind eye to the fact that Oracle’s handling of the open source projects inherited from Sun hasn’t been great. (Within a couple of months after the takeover, there were hostile forks of several of the major projects: MySQL > MariaDB [this fork was in existence before the takeover, but became more active after the takeover], OpenOffice > LibreOffice, OpenSolaris > OpenIndiana. Is Hudson next on the list?)

I could see Oracle’s point in suing Google over Android (what follows are based on my understanding of affairs, so some of the facts may not be 100% accurate): Oracle has just paid billions for Sun and the Java technology. Included in that package are the revenue streams from licensing the Java SE and ME VMs. The whole reason why Sun originally introduced the field-of-use restrictions on the Java SE VM TCKs is to secure the revenue from licensing Java ME VMs. As I understand Sun and now Oracle is making more money from ME VM licensing than from SE VM licensing. With the Dalvik VM that is built on Harmony, Google is evading the ME licensing, yet they have the luxury of building on Java technology and tapping into the support of millions of Java-literate developers across the globe. In my opinion Google is in the wrong. Yes, Java ME is in dire need of a refresh (although a bit overdue, Oracle seems to have a plan on that front – Java, yet Google could have handled the matter better.

When it comes to the Apache vs. Oracle standoff, I initially also chose Oracle’s side, for the very reason I mentioned above. If Oracle grants a SE VM license to Apache’s Harmony without the FOU restrictions, it will clearly hurt Oracle’s JVM licensing revenue, especially the ME licensing revenue: The Apache VM will abound on mobile and other types of non-PC/laptop/server devices, at the decline of Oracle’s ME VM licensing revenue. I was of the opinion that the Apache Foundation should surely be able to comprehend that Oracle’s first imperative is to maximize shareholder value, and that hurting the ME VM licensing revenue will not be prudent from a business point of view. Resultantly I was really hoping that Apache would not leave the JCP over this issue, even though they must be ticked off with Oracle swinging IBM’s backing from Harmony to OpenJDK. Besides, and ironically, Java isn’t any less “open” today under Oracle than what it was under Sun.

Despite my hopes Apache has now left the JCP. Although not totally unexpected, I think it is raising a lot of concerns in the Java community. No matter how one looks at this and try to reason around it, it does not bode well for Java’s long term future. After a lot of thinking I came to the following conclusions:

  • Even the most optimistic of optimists (i.e. myself) have to admit that it seems that Oracle is beginning to damage Java and Java’s image, not only in the eyes of the international developer community, but also in the eyes of the CIOs and the likes that make decisions about technology spending in businesses. What is such a pity is that it seems that Oracle is oblivious to the fact that almost everyone, except Oracle itself, is unhappy with how Oracle has been handling Java.
  • Even though Oracle is a master at making money from software (including FOSS), they do not know how to manage open source projects or the Java ecosystem. No matter how many resources one throws at Java, no matter how bright and funky the Java roadmap is, if one cannot maintain a healthy relationship with the Java community and role players, Java will start suffering sooner or later.
  • The MOST IMPORANT POINT I want to raise is this: If my analysis has been correct up to now, it is for business reasons that Oracle does not want to lift the FOU restrictions on the TCK, which is the thorn in Apache’s flesh. One thing Oracle shouldn’t lose sight of is that the VM licensing revenue will only remain a viable income stream as long as Java remains popular and in widespread use. The way Oracle is currently handling Java, I cannot see how Java will maintain its popularity in the long run. It is not a good sign that most of the JCP members that voted yes to the latest JSRs, had to qualify their votes, expressing discontent. I can’t help getting the feeling that people are very gradually beginning to stick with Java, not out of loyalty and love for the technology anymore, but because they will lose too much or have invested too much to move to another technology. I fear that Oracle has started the process of turning the Java lovers out there into Java prisoners. The thing about prisoner is, the moment he is offered a viable chance to escape, he’ll take it without thinking twice. The moment an alternative to Java emerges that is more open and offers a relatively easy and painless transition from Java, the Java masses will start migrating sooner or later, along with the applications written in Java. How long before vendors will not see a need anymore for licensing Java VMs? I obviously can’t tell, but let’s assume my predictions are right (I hope they’re wrong!) and will come to pass sooner later: If Oracle will anyway have to kiss a potentially substantial part of the VM licensing revenue goodbye in the long run if they stay their current course, why not lift the FOU restrictions and take less of a financial hit now (considering the big picture) while winning back the hearts of the Java community and role players?

Henrik, I hope you’ve read this far :-). I also hope to read some good news about Oracle and the Apache Foundation in the not so distant future. Maybe I’m naive and maybe Oracle has too much money to care. Whatever may be the case, at least I know I’ve done what I could to save Java.

The last Java samurai :-)

Posted by Klaas Bredenkamp on December 14, 2010 at 07:23 AM PST #

java 7 and 8 approved ??? that's not a thing to be proud of if we consider we are on an update 23 of java 6 !!! we still have to wait two years to work on an usable java 7 release !!! java 7 will bring far less improvements than java 5 and 6 did !! I l've been a happy java developer for last 10 years, but now as things go worse with oracle I will begin to move to opensource java (Apache, classpath) and take a look at client side microsoft tecnologies, such as wpf and silverlight !! wish a happy new year to you all !! :-)

Posted by Aleix on January 08, 2011 at 12:13 AM PST #

New JSR's from Oracle's JCP doesn't allow open source implementation. So Oracle is blocking implementations by community. I feel choice is reduced to OpenJDK 7 & 8, GlassFish for JEE 7, not sure of JBoss though they have voted yes (If Redhat gets license, are they going to provide their JBoss server with JEE 7 spec implementation for free?).

Posted by THANUJ KUMAR on February 16, 2011 at 09:17 PM PST #

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Henrik Stahl is VP of Product Management in the Java Platform Group at Oracle, and is responsible for product strategy for Java ME and SE.


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