We all know Java. Many love it, some dislike it, other actually hate it... and if they knew its weaknesses and flaws as I know some of them, well, they'd pity all the Java developers for choosing such a fragile platform and language...
So basically , before you thought I hate Java, the thruth is just the opposite - check this blog's name :) - but I admit that Java has some veeeery bad treats and design flaws.
But why am I talking about Java flaws in a posting called "Java 7 new features" -- well , because they(the guys behind Java) try to address some of these problems , I'm also going to point some of them to you..
This list is not ordered by me - everywhere I look these features are presented in this order. I'll keep it that way for consistency.
Feature: 64/32 bit pointers support
-- why store 32bit pointers in 64bit space, when you don't need it. The JVM will be more agile and not create empty spaces in the pointers, so less space will be required, which will help the traffic more than a local system with gigabytes of RAM. Performance boost.
Feature: Garbage-first Garbage Collection
- kills the young fast-dying generation first. and preserves objects that have survived the wipe a few times.
Result: more GC options and strategies -- performance boost.
Feature: dynamic languages in JVM
-- All can agree that Dynamic languages have big future ahead of them and that's a good reason that Java should try to adopt them and try to run them natively on a JVM. Thus making the JVM something like a universal VM for different kinds of languages. Imagine the freedom to combine different languages and techniques easily with native support and not some simulators.... no performance problems ... no interoperability problems... I really hope this is going to be implemented very professionally.
Added support for lambda functions, which could revolutionize some known patterns in the Java world - creation of an anonymous class for an interface like MouseListener and so on - now you can create a lambda implementation, pass it as an argument and inside it can be executed. This will make our Java a more interesting place. The anonymous-class design that was being forced because of the lack of such a feature and it's not intuitive at all. Let's see where this will get us.
Feature: Java modularity - Project Jigsaw
This project, in my opinion, will be an improvement, which will improve our Java experience. But what exactly is the problem? What do you mean with "Java modularity" ? Java is already modular, some will say... Well, it isn't.
Just check your local JRE installation and see in the \lib\ directory the rt.jar (rt = runtime). Notice the size - using latest JDK 1.6 Update 21, the rt.jar is around 47 MB.
Yeah, 47 MB and that's a module... yeah right. Nice design, guys! Many classes must be written with lots of lines to fill those 47 MB and believe me - these 47MB in rt.jar are all classes. Who wants to say how many millions of code...
But why when I only use java.net and java.lang should my JVM also load SWING and java.beans and javax.xml ... The sad reason is that all of them are all TIGHTLY coupled...
Somehow, somebody let it all loose control and everybody started pushing shit in this .jar file... well it works, so who cares? It's not modular... again, who cares? You can't easily extract a piece of it and place it elsewhere. You can't manage your JVM RAM requirements because of required modules being all stick together and you can't separate them.
Image that you can modify your JVM depending on your business case !
Well, project JIGSAW is trying to solve exactly this problem - separating all swing, applet etc modules into separate sub-projects and decomponentizing the rt.jar into several (hundred?) jar files.
I imagine something like a ( JVM + OSGi ) ... yeah :)
I wish the developers good luck, because of the issues that could arise, and I think it's not a trivial job.
Remember they also have to maintain the backwards operability somehow...
I see that this post has become very long, so I'm going to continue it later.
Feel free to comment, because my view on a topic could be very wrong, but I'd love if you start a discussion. Especially when the topic is Java :)