There has been a lot of big news in the Java world as of late. The recent announcements that IBM is backing OpenJDK and Apple is backing OpenJDK were huge in and of themselves. Today there was more big news with the announcement that Java Specification Requests (JSRs) have been released for Java SE 7, Java SE 8, and related new Java features. The release of these JSRs is the realization of the now famous Plan B announced prior to JavaOne 2010 and then further detailed at JavaOne.
The newly released JSRs (referred to as a JSR Quartet in Mark Reinhold's blog) are JSR 334 ("Small Enhancements to the Java Programming Language") [Project Coin], JSR 335 ("Lambda Expressions for the Java Programming Language") ["informally, closures"], JSR 336 ("Java SE 7 Release Contents"), and JSR 337 ("Java SE 8 Release Contents").
Joseph D. Darcy has provided additional details on the release of JSR 334 (Project Coin) in his blog post Project Coin: JSR Filed! and pelegri likens this quartet of JSRs to the famous quartet known as The Beatles (available on iTunes today). Alex Miller, who has maintained perhaps the most exhaustive collection of what is in and out, back in, and then back out, and then back in, for Java 7, has posted his analysis of the Java 7/Java 8 JSRs.
The release of these four new JSRs indicate that the plans announced for Java prior to and at JavaOne 2010 are moving forward. Coupled with the announced IBM and Apple support of OpenJDK, the future of Java seems very promising.