jaseperreports does not work well with java 1.8. The engine works with both 1.7 and 1.8. There is a single script to choose which java to use, used by both the engine and reports, and it accepts both. The reports package required java 1.7 but did not conflict with 1.8.
If a machine had both java 1.7 and 1.8 installed, and 1.8 was the default, jasperreports would fail during engine-setup.
The code was changed to allow different java versions for engine and reports - 1.7 or 1.8 for the engine and only 1.7 for reports.
jasperreports does not fail. A workaround for previous versions is to change the default back to 1.7 using 'update-alternatives --config java'.