Despite significant delays, Oracle is once again moving forward with Project Jigsaw, a major undertaking that aims to allow Java developers to break their programs down into independent, interoperable modules. Jigsaw was first intended to be a major features of Java 8. By 2012 Big O decided that waiting for Jigsaw to be ready …
Calling Java 8 another 'evolutionary' release is a tad unfair.
Default methods on interfaces are another huge (and rather unappreciated) change in Java 8 and the Streams API is a pretty different way of doing things. Compared to the new features in 6 & 7, they're much more significant.
an alternative to java is scala
I took a long look at java and carefully stepped over the steaming pile. It's much better now but still poor IMO; poor typing, clumsy & verbose syntax, many corner cases etc.
I recommend scala. Downside is performance is not great (compiler is notoriously slow), but it's far nicer to use and is mostly interoperable with java as it compiles to the JVM.
I hear good things about clojure too but I believe it has dynamic lispy typing, whereas scala's is static which I prefer (and before anyone kicks off about how 'restrictive' static typing is, just don't. Learn scala (or haskell) and you'll see what static typing done properly is like).
Spaghetti party and everyone is invited
This is all great except that most Java developers can't resist using a few Apache library methods that download half the Internet via automatic dependency management software. Oracle is going to fight an epic battle to create finer grained JVM loading to satisfy efficiency conscious developers who may find it easier to use another language instead. A better fight would be helping developers get rid of old and badly tangled libraries (mostly Sun's and Apache's) that are outside of the core runtime.
And everyone will carry on using OSGi
In the mean time everyone that cares about modularity in Java will carry on using OSGi and probably won't care when Jigsaw does see the light of day. OSGi is already so wide spread that unless there is a high level of compatibility (unlikely) it will take a lot of work from Oracle to get people to change.
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