Passive mobs only spawn on lit dirt blocks that have green grass on top (flat, not tall grass). Till all green dirt blocks in a 128 block radius around your farm and light it up, now walk at least 24 blocks away for 1-2 minutes. Now when you return you will have mobs inside your farm. As previously stated, if you move outside of the 32 block radius they will have a chance to despawn.
Clearly a desert Island surrounded by water would be the least effort. and if there is no grass you can push dirt there using pistons.
Tilling will just turn back to grass and is not a long term solution
They're converting code that they already have access to. In addition, 1.8 files have been in Minecraft on the Xbox since its release back in May. There was a decent amount of work done on 1.8 before the game was even released.
There is a difference between having a folder with sound files and textures, and actually having working code implemented. Also, by that same logic, 1.7.3 update should have come out faster since they were just "converting code". Yet it took longer. I am sure there was some stuff from 1.7.3 in the files since the game released also. I also recall a post from someone from 4J stating they were just in the preliminary work on 1.8 around the same week that 1.7.3 was released.
Maybe 4j will bring forward breeding/farming with the 1.8 update....... Just wishful thinking on my part I guess. It's already a major update.
I would seriously hope so. If I remember correctly, one of the biggest issues with the PC release of 1.8 was that animals didn't despawn and didn't respawn, meaning that once they got killed for their meat they were gone for good. (with the occasional ultra rare spawn of an animal in an empty chunk). Given the map size limitation of the 360 version, I could see complete extinction of animals if breeding isn't brought forward into the 1.8 update. That could be a serious problem. You can survive on bread but it isn't nearly as effective as meat.