Full speed ahead: Oracle to ship Java 8 in March, even with bugs

javaCompany to focus on ‘showstopper’ bugs between now and then in JDK 8, and wait to fix lesser bugs later.

By Paul Krill | InfoWorld

Oracle plans to ship JDK (Java Development Kit) 8 on March 18, even if it means the release might have some minor bugs.

In a posting to a Java mailing list Monday, Mathias Axelsson, Oracle JDK 8 release manager, emphasized intentions to ship the upgrade, which is based on Java Platform, Standard Edition 8, in March. But at this stage of the release process, only “showstopper bugs” are being considered for fixing in the initial JDK 8 release. “Non-showstopper bugs will be deferred to a later release in order to ensure we keep to the JDK 8 schedule and can ship on March 18.”

Axelsson said builders of JDK 8 have been working hard on bug-fixing in order to build a release candidate by next week. “We have a few fixes that are pending integration, but overall things are looking very good and we’re on track to have the release candidate built before the January 23 deadline.”

Java has been released with bugs before. Java SE 7 was released in 2011 with compiler problems. There also have been ongoing issues with Java client security, although Oracle has been acknowledging the issues and working to fix them, and on Tuesday, the company plans to release 36 fixes for Java SE. Oracle took over stewardship of Java when it acquired Java founder Sun Microsystems in early-2010.

An analyst gave Oracle the benefit of the doubt. “The fact that Oracle is communicating about the status of JDK 8 is a good thing,” said John Rymer, of Forrester Research. “Surprises are bad.”
Oracle on Monday morning declined to comment on Axelsson’s memo, though the company already has delayed the release of JDK 8 due to an increased focus on security.

Based on Java Platform, Standard Edition 8, JDK 8 is set to have such features as Project Lambda, to boost multicore programming capabilities, but another planned feature, Project Jigsaw, providing for modularity, was pushed back to the subsequent Java SE 9 release.

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