The Significance of Java 7

Michael Vizard

As thousands of developers this week descend on San Francisco to take part in the JavaOne conference, much of the focus is going to be on the implications of the recently released Java 7 codebase.

JavaOne, which runs concurrently with the Oracle OpenWorld conference, is the first time many of these developers will gain hands-on experience with Java 7, the importance of which some in the Java community say is not fully appreciated just yet.

Java 7 provides support for a new Fork/Join framework that will prove to be critical as developers move to deploy Java applications on multicore processors. In fact, new event-driven approaches to developing Java applications, such as the Scala development platform created by Typesafe, will benefit substantially from the presence of a Fork/Join framework that allows a Java application to harness the power of multiple processors simultaneously.

Typesafe CEO Martin Odersky says the combination of event-driven architectures based on Java and the greater accessibility of multicore processors should lead to a boon in the development of new applications that are more extensible in terms of performance and the sheer volume of data that can be processed.

None of this, by the way, is apparently lost on Java creator James Gosling, who, among other things, is now serving as a strategic Typesafe advisor.

During JavaOne today, Typesafe will be rolling out the latest version of the Scala platform and announcing a partnership with Heroku, which is a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) subsidiary of

Java 7 may only represent the first step towards bringing real parallelization to Java applications in the future. But it does indicate that Java, despite the rise of any number of other languages, is probably going to be with us in many forms for years to come.

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