Java philosophy from very first beginning is “compile once and run everywhere” this seems to be strengthen even more for the next version of java. The key message for java 8 is “write code once and run everywhere” which implies blurring the edge between Java SE and Java ME. The move of Java towards smartphones and tablets etc. is clear. The approach and impact to language constructs will be described briefly as was presented at the conference. As presented nothing is cut in stone at the moment but the main objective is clear.
Huge effort is being spent on a new java modularization system which would reduce an amount of consumed memory by JVM, reduce the size of final archives etc. The solution should be backward compatible with some question to current organization of JDK and potential reorganization. The solution relies on creating of new logical units composed of existing packages, classes etc. Details can be found on project pages – Project Jigsaw.
JavaFx as a client rich platform went through a huge rewrite with version 2.0. Now supports full interoperability with Java Swing library.JavaFx scene builder released for major platforms.
Java 7 made next step towards better parallelization with fork-join framework which helps you take advantage of multiple processors. Java 8 should move the matters even further with embedding functional style programming with lambda expressions – project Lambda.
The last main feature presented for Java 8 was Type Anonotations as @Nullable, @NotNull etc. This feature is highly desirable by community as this allows better static code analysis. More info can be found here.
The afore mentioned list is neither an extensive list of features nor a final list of enhancements in java 8 but rather a plan.