Software tool vendors are complaining that recent updates to Java are breaking their environments.
The problem seems to be in JVM's bytecode verification, in Java 8, Update 11 and Java 7, Update 65. According to InfoQ, developers running into the bug include JRebel (from ZeroTurnaround), the Groovy programming language, the Javassist bytecode manipulation library, the JaCoCo code coverage tool, and Google's Guice.
The bug is described in detail here. InfoQ says the issue is that previous versions weren't strictly enforcing the rule that a superclass constructor call has to be “the first action undertaken by a constructor” – in other words, closing a bug is what's making life difficult for the third-party tools.
Oracle has announced a fix in the form of Java Update 67, but setting the -noverify switch allows the tools to still work.
ZeroTurnaround, which reported the bug here, says the latest version of its test-as-you-code Jrebel, 5.6.1, has a workaround for the bug. Other tools are still awaiting action from Oracle. ®