Home Business IT Business Software Java 8 is 'largest upgrade since 1996'

Java 8 is 'largest upgrade since 1996'

Oracle has announced Java 8, which company officials describe as the largest upgrade to the programming model since Java was introduced in 1996.

Java is broadly used on a wide range of systems from devices (eg smartcards and Blu-ray players) to data centres. Despite the "write once, run anywhere" mantra, there have been significant differences in Java for mobile devices (Java ME) and for other environments.

But that is set to change. As foreshadowed last September at the Java One conference, Java 8 represents a major step to unifying Java ME with Java Standard Edition (Java SE).

What's more, Oracle has released the first parts of Java 8 on the schedule it promised last year.

Oracle JDK 8 (Java Development Kit 8), JRE 8 (Java Runtime Environment 8 - the software you need to run Java applications on Windows, OS X, Solaris or Linux computers), Server JRE 8, and Java SE Embedded 8 (for mid to high end embedded systems, including the popular Raspberry Pi) are all available for download.

The release version of Java ME 8 will be available shortly.

Java 8 also brings performance improvements. "Oracle JDK 8 has already achieved world record performance for 4 socket systems on NEC Intel-based servers and for 2 socket systems on Oracle SPARC T5 servers," Oracle officials stated.

More technically-inclined readers can refer to the the Java SE 8, Java SE Embedded 8 and Java ME 8 documentation for information about the changes.

"Java is the global standard for developing and delivering applications everywhere - from small devices to the Cloud. The convergence of Java SE 8 and Java ME 8 is intended to provide a consistent development environment that improves developer productivity and application performance, along with the ability to 'right-size' the platform for deployment across an even wider range of use cases," said Oracle's Java Platform vice president of development Nandini Ramani.

"The Java 8 launch will showcase the innovative features of Java SE 8 and Java ME 8 and demonstrate how the latest Java platform releases can revolutionise application development, harmonise enterprise IT and empower the Internet of Things."


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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.