Oracle is putting the finishing touches to its first major update of Java since the acquisition of Sun in 2009. Java 7 is touted for release at the end of July.
The new Java 7 language features, collectively known as "Project Coin", provide features such as improved exception handling (multi-catch), strings in switch statements; try-with-resources; easier Generics instantiation ("diamond"), and simplified invocation of varargs method.
Devotees of dynamicly-typed languages such as Scala, Ruby and Python will be glad to note that support and performance from the JVM and Java SE API will be almost on par with Java code.
A lot of the features originally touted to appear in Java 7 will apparently now be shipping with Java 8 - Oracle insiders are hinting at some major changes to look forward to in the next 18-24 months, but for the time being there is plenty of new stuff for Java developers to get their teeth into.
If you want to get your hands dirty with some of the key new features in Java 7, have a look at our Expert Java Programming course.
Scribbled by Tom