Java.net's current poll question asks, "What's your reaction to the JDK 7 feature list?" The poll is still relatively new, but with nearly 230 responses, the results are already interesting. Currently, eighty percent of the votes come down into three questions that fall into the respective categories of positive, neutral, and negative. The remaining twenty percent of the responses are either "Other" or "I don't care."
Of the responses that fall into one of the three questions that are not "Other" or "I don't care," the current majority has chosen the neutral option of "Some handy buy insignificant features." This is probably what best describes my reaction as well with a little positive and a little negative. Following close behind, the next most popular choice is the outright negative option "Disappointed; when do we get JDK 8?" I definitely feel at least a little this way. The enthusiastically positive response "I love it and can hardly wait" is the third of the three committed responses, but is a little too enthusiastic for me to select.
There are some features I look forward to in Java SE 7 (modularization, Indexing Access Syntax for Lists and Maps [see also my related post], automatic resource management, and improved generics type inference, G1 garbage collector, and VM improvements for better dynamic language support), but some of the features I looked most forward to have been taken out of consideration for Java SE 7 (reified generics, Elvis operator and null safe operators, JMX 2, improved exception handling, BigDecimal operators).
There are several good sources of information on what is coming with Java SE 7. The OpenJDK site hosts a page with JDK 7 Features that categorizes features currently slated for Java SE 7 in categories of Virtual Machine, language, core, client, and Enterprise (the last entails upgrading the JDK's built-in versions of JAXP, JAXB, and JAX-WS to the latest stable releases).
Sun provides the JDK 7 Preview Page with a link to download a preview Java SE 7 SDK and a link to the Java SE 7 API documentation. Alex Miller's Java SE 7 page also provides a useful collection links to blogs and articles related to Java SE 7.
I have not heard of an overarching Java Specification Request (JSR) for Java SE 7 yet, but we already know several of the constituent JSRs that will likely be included:
⇒ JSR 203: More New I/O APIs for the JavaTM Platform ("NIO.2")
⇒ JSR 292: Supporting Dynamically Typed Languages on the JavaTM Platform
⇒ JSR 294: Improved Modularity Support in the JavaTM Programming Language
⇒ JSR 296: Swing Application Framework
⇒ JSR 308: Annotations on Java Types