Java 7 also formally introduces support for dynamic languages. Over the past five years, more than 200 non-Java languages such as Scala, JRuby, Jython and Groovy have been developed to run on the (JVM) Java Virtual Machine, noted Oracle engineer John Rose.
"Dynamic languages weren't very important a decade ago, but they have grown in importance," Rose said. Dynamic languages can be used to develop programs quickly, because they don't have the rigid syntax requirements of statically typed languages such as Java.
Java 7 radically expands the amount of functionality it offers for non-Java languages, which should improve performance for programs written in these languages, Rose explained. Non-Java languages can now make method calls with the JVM. A new instruction, called invokedynamic, allows programmers to import the logic of their non-Java compilers.
"Instead of worrying about optimization techniques, [the programmer] can put it off to the JVM," Rose said.
The final release must be approved by the Java Community Process, the governing body overseeing Java.