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Poll Result: Java 7 Will Be Integrated into Existing Code Bases under an Orderly Schedule

Posted by editor on August 10, 2011 at 7:14 PM PDT

When poll results look something like a Normal Distribution, or a Poisson Distribution, I feel like I did a good job selecting the poll's response options. This was the case for our recently completed poll on Java 7 integration into existing code bases.

The voting total was 60 votes; and two comments were posted as well. The exact poll question and results were:

When do you expect Java 7 enhancements to become part of your code base?

  • 17% (10 votes) - Within weeks
  • 27% (16 votes) - In a few months
  • 30% (18 votes) - Sometime in 2012
  • 18% (11 votes) - Years from now
  • 0% (0 votes) - Never
  • 8% (5 votes) - I don't know

In a sense, this is exactly what I'd expect. Some projects have been waiting for specific new features that are implemented in Java 7. The delay in the Java 7 release forced them to make difficult choices between: 1) writing, testing, and verifying round-about methods of accomplishing promised enhancements; 2) waiting for Java 7, which provides language enhancements that significantly simplify the work required to develop those promised enhancements. These developers will be bringing Java 7 into their code base almost immediately, to satisfy the customers without creating code that will be more difficult to maintain and adapt in the future.

At the other extreme are projects where high reliability is critical. These developers don't expect to bring Java 7's new features into their code base until years from now. The comment posted by pjmlp describes this situation well:

My current project, which I started last month, is the first where I am allowed to use Java 6 on the job. In many projects we are now moving to Java 1.5! So I expect many moons to go by before we are allowed to come near to Java 7 on our daily projects.

gwvantreese is in a similar situation:

I won't be using Java 7 until my company migrates to a version of Weblogic or JBoss that uses Java 7. We won't upgrade to any new Java 7 version of Weblogic or JBoss until some time after they are generally available and stable and the migration fits in with our own internal update cycles. So it will probably be quite some time until I am actively using Java 7.

So, does that mean that the Java 7 release is useless for pjmlp, gwvantreese, and kindred developers? Not at all! The formal release of Java 7 provides architects with greater ability to assess the level of effort that will ultimately be required for future enhancements on the radar screen. This enables the financial assessors at companies to better evaluate which customer-requested enhancements should receive higher priority. The future, for these companies and developers, is clarified, now that Java 7 has actually been released. That's a good thing!

I was a bit surprised that no one said that "Never" was when they expected Java 7 enhancements to become part of their code base. Not that that's a realistic response for anyone who has a long-term point of view. But I thought that perhaps a few people who consider Java 1.5 to be the pinnacle edition of Java might express their displeasure with what's happened since by selecting that. But, no takers!

New poll: Have you tried out Java 7?

Our current java.net poll asks "Have you tried out Java 7 yet?" Voting will be open until Friday, August 19.


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