Developers Embrace Java 8 Features While Looking Forward to Java 9

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2015-06-23 Print this article Print
Java 20 years

Mark Reinhold, chief architect of Oracle's Java Platform Group, noted that the Streams API also makes it "easier to leverage multicore processors for bulk data operations, so you can express something as a stream and convert it into a parallel computation very easily."

Shortly after the release of Java SE 8 last year, Oracle announced the release of Java Platform, Micro Edition 8 (Java ME 8) and the related releases of Oracle's Java Embedded products. This provided a consistent Java 8 platform across embedded devices, desktops, data centers and the cloud. Oracle Java SE Embedded 8 provides a development platform for embedded devices and the Internet of things (IoT).

Nandini Ramani, Oracle's vice president of development for the Java Platform, said the convergence of Java SE 8 and Java ME 8 enables users to "right-size" Java to support a variety of use cases.

Java 8 Adoption

Adoption of Java 8 has been rapid, Oracle said. At its JavaOne conference in September 2014, Oracle said Java 8 adoption was up more than 20 percent from the same post-launch time period for Java SE 7.

"From all that we can tell, Java 8 is probably one of most rapidly adopted, if not the most rapidly adopted, major releases of Java," Saab told eWEEK. "There's a combination of things there. One thing is it hasn't been that long since Java 7 came out so people were used to updating to a major release. The team put a lot of focus on compatibility and making sure the update from Java 6 to Java 7 was easy."

Two-thirds of the respondents to a Typesafe survey from September 2014 said they were running Java 8 or had committed to switching within a year.

"It's truly remarkable how quickly the Java developer community has rallied around Java 8," said Jonas Boner, CTO and co-founder of Typesafe. "Innovation around Java and the JVM is transforming the modern data center infrastructure."

Fully 80 percent of survey respondents cited Lambda expressions and virtual extension models as the most important new Java 8 feature. Another 47 percent called out enhanced core libraries with Lambda as the second most important new feature. Other popular Java 8 features included the date and time API (37 percent), bulk data operations for collections (37 percent) and concurrency updates (27 percent).

 "Java 8 has already become the de facto development platform for Tasktop and many of our partners," Mik Kersten, CEO and co-founder of Tasktop Technologies, told eWEEK. "Its adoption was faster than we expected due to the large number of small but important API additions and improvements," he said.

"On the innovation side, it looks like Oracle succeeded at leveling the playing field with a graceful introduction of Lambdas and functional interfaces. This gives functionally-minded developers what they're after, reducing some of the previous desire to move off Java to other languages," Kersten said.

Lambdas truly bring functional programming to the day-to-day Java developer for the first time, said Martin Verburg, founder and CEO of jClarity and co-leader of the 4,000-strong London Java Community user group. He added that a lot of Java developers who wanted to do functional programming had moved to other languages, such as Scala, Groovy and Clojure, but with Java 8, many are coming back to the Java fold.


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