Oracle has unveiled the first update to the Java platform in five years, adding support for additional programming languages and multi-core processors.
Java Standard Edition 7 is currently available as a release candidate build, and is slated for general availability later this month.
Oracle describes Java 7 as an "evolutionary update" that provides a preview of the company's plans for Java 8.
The latest release offers support for dynamically-typed languages for the first time, and developers will be able to execute code from other languages at speeds at near those of native Java code, the firm said.
Additionally, the update will bring the introduction of the fork/join component, and the framework will look to add support for multi-core processors. Java 7 also includes new sound and 2D rendering engines, and a new file system API.
Java platform group chief architect Mark Reinhold explained that the update does not rewrite the Java platform.
"This is not a revolutionary release the way some of our past releases have been," he said. "There is nothing earth-shattering with groundbreaking features."
Al Hilwa, application development and software programme manager for analyst firm IDC, said that, in Oracle's case, a revolutionary update could do more harm than good for a platform as widely used as Java.
"I think by design the entire process is about evolving Java, not creating revolutions," he told V3.co.uk.
"When you have a language with as many developers as Java, you have to be very careful about how you evolve. It has to be evolutionary."
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