Concerning Modularity in Java 7:
- Java 6 Update 10 couldn't add any features, but managed to speed up download and startup times thanks to, amongst others, the Java Kernel and pack200 compression. Still startup time can't compare to other more targeted environments like python for example.
- (*) JSR 277 is on hold (frozen?). I suppose there was too much resistance from the OSGI camp as being competing technologies. I do think that explicit language-support for modules is needed in Java, but this is JSR-294's sweet spot.
- (*) JSR 294 will contain all language modularization efforts for Java 7
- (*) The scope of the 'Jigsaw project', which seems to run outside the JPC, wants to differentiate from OSGI by having different more low-level objectives in applying modularization to the JRE:
- allow the java kernel itself to be modular: e.g. distribute targeted Java 'Profiles': Java FX, applets, full SE...
- modularizing the kernel might be a solution to all the deprecated APIs in Java that still have to be provided for backwards compatibility. A possibility could be to provide a basic Java profile without the 'old' classes, and allow a simple module to extend the Java Runtime in order to add the deprecated stuff when needed.
- integrate with OS package systems: cfr. JPackage project creates rpm's from jars. --> how to package / deploy reusable modules / JVMs?
- what about version collisions?
- integrate with the VM, language and native packaging
- allow multi-module packages
- support "friend" packages (for tighter integration)
Java SE 7 update:
- JSR 292: better JVM support of dynamic language (JRuby, Jython ...)
- JSR 203: New NIO: FileSystem, access to symbolic links ...
- small language changes, too be discussed / decided --> Joe Darcy
- safe rethrow
- null dereference: shorthand to do chained tests on null in one line:
- type inference
- JSR 296: Swing application framework
- upgrade Java 6 Update 10 to Java 7
- update supported protocols
- enhance classloaders
- Unicode 5.0 support
- improve HotSpot performance
- new G1 garbage collector
- compressed 64 bit pointers (use less memory)
- support "Multiple VM's" (MVM) --> run light, isolated apps like Java FX applets
- JSR 308: standard annotations eg. @NonNull used for static analysis
- concurrency update: collections, fork/join ...
What will not be included in Java 7:
- Closures: prototypes exist, but too early to dump in java
- beans binding: need more time to see if this dependency injection framework fits well in core java
- operator overloading
(*) modified thanks to comments / further reading...