Oracle Sets Date for Java 9 Release

Oracle has set Sept. 22, 2016, as the official General Availability (GA) release date for Java 9. Mark Reinhold, chief architect of Oracle's Java Platform Group, announced the date in a blog post, which includes a proposed release schedule beginning with the Feature Complete release in mid-December of this year.

"The dates here are meant to leave sufficient time for broad review and testing of the significant features of the release," Reinhold wrote, "in particular the introduction of a module system and the modularization of the platform, while maintaining the cadence of shipping a major release about every two years."

Oracle is proposing the following release schedule:

  • 2015-12-10: Feature Complete
  • 2016-02-04: All Tests Run
  • 2016-02-25: Rampdown Start
  • 2016-04-21: Zero Bug Bounce
  • 2016-06-16: Rampdown Phase 2
  • 2016-07-21: Final Release Candidate
  • 2016-09-22: General Availability

In his post, Reinhold emphasized that this is a proposed schedule, and welcomed comments from JDK 9 committers, as well as "reasoned objections" from others.

"If no such objections are raised by 23:00 UTC next Tuesday, 12 May," Reinhold advised, "or if they're raised and then satisfactorily answered, then per the JEP 2.0 process proposal this will be adopted as the schedule for JDK 9."

JEPs (Java Enhancement Proposals) are similar to JSRs (Java Specification Requests), which are submitted to the Java Community Process (JCP). JEPs allow Oracle to develop small, targeted features for the Java language and virtual machine outside the JCP, which requires full JSRs. The main goal of the JEP Process, according to the OpenJDK Web site, is "to produce a regularly-updated list of proposals to serve as the long-term Roadmap for JDK Release Projects and related efforts."

The most significant change coming in Java 9 is the long awaited modularization of the Java SE Platform as laid out in Project Jigsaw. A Jigsaw module is a collection of Java classes, native libraries, and other resources, along with metadata. Modularization will make it possible for Java developers to create apps that load or install only the pieces needed for an application or task.

"It has taken Oracle a good five years to implement [Project Jigsaw] because it had to break down Java and rebuild all of it," Reinhold observed. He also pointed to other significant enhancement coming in Java 9, including the REPL (read-eval-print-loop) language shell, which allows Java developers to evaluate statements and expressions interactively; and a lightweight API for consuming and generating JSON documents and data streams.

Oracle released a list of JEPs aimed at JDK 9 last year.

About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at [email protected].