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Poll Result: Developers Agree with Java 7 / Java 8 "Plan B" Decision

Posted by editor on May 27, 2012 at 3:05 PM PDT

A majority of developers who voted in the just completed poll consider the "Plan B" decision to release Java 7 with a smaller feature set, saving the other features for Java 8, to have been a good one. A total of 531 votes were cast. The exact question and results were:

Was the decision to release Java 7 earlier by pushing some enhancements into Java 8 a good one?

  • 60% (318 votes) - Yes
  • 11% (56 votes) - Maybe
  • 11% (59 votes) - No
  • 12% (64 votes) - I don't know
  • 6% (34 votes) - Other

It's unusual for a majority of voters in a poll to select one of the options. Also rare is for the other options to claim approximately the same number of votes. The result is that the "Yes" option received about about five times as many votes as any of the other options.

While this is not a scientific poll (my usual disclaimer), the voting suggests that developers are indeed pleased to have had Java 7 starting a year ago, rather than having had to wait for a more fully-featured Java 7 that was originally planned.

In Mark Reinhold's blog It's time for ... Plan B, written in September, 2010, he posited the choices as being:

  • Plan A: put out Java 7 as it was originally planned, with a mid-2012 release date;
  • Plan B: put out a Java 7 with reduced features in mid-2011, and a Java 8 with the remaining features in late 2012.

Mark had previously asked for feedback on the decision, saying that Oracle was "leaning heavily" toward Plan B. After receiving many responses, Mark said:

The vo­lu­mi­nous feed­back was strongly - though not uni­ver­sally - in favor of Plan B. As of today that is the plan of record for JDK 7 and JDK 8.

Henrik Stahl recently reported that Java 7 adoption is currently at 23%. Does this mean that for 77% of Java developers, Plan A would have been just as good as Plan B? I don't think so. Even developers who are not yet working with Java 7 still benefit from having it available, being able to learn about its features, etc. And the fact that we have this smaller Java 7 enables developers to better anticipate what's coming up in Java 8, since Java 8 really is in part a completion of much that was delivered in Java 7.

New poll: Lambda Expressions

Our new poll asks Is adding Lambda Expressions (closures) to Java a good idea?. Voting will be open until Friday, June 8. Weblogs

Since my last blog post, there have been a couple new blogs published:

Java News

Here are the stories we've recently featured in our Java news section:


Our latest Spotlight is NetBeans IDE 7.2 Beta Release Information:

NetBeans IDE 7.2 Beta provides a significantly improved performance and coding experience, with new static code analysis capabilities in the Java Editor and smarter project scanning. The release also includes notable features such as integration with Scene Builder for visually creating JavaFX forms; support for multiple PHP frameworks; updated Groovy support; and many other enhancements...

Prior to that we featured Henrik Stahl's Java 7 adoption at 23%:

Quotes from a recent study by ZeroTurnaround: "Java 6 is the overwhelming version of Java, used by 88% of respondents. But more interesting and exciting is the fact that 23% of respondents are already using Java SE 7. This is amazing penetration, considering it came out less than half a year before the time of this survey"...

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-- Kevin Farnham

Twitter: @kevin_farnham

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