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Java 10 Released, First in the New Faster Cadence

Oracle announced the general availability of Java SE 10 (JDK 10) this week. This release, which comes barely six months after the release of Java SE 9, is the first in the new rapid release cadence Oracle announced late last year.

The new release schedule, which the company is calling an "innovation cycle," calls for a feature release every six months, update releases every quarter, and a long-term support (LTS) release every three years. Java 10 is a feature release that obsoletes Java 9. The next LTS release will be Java 11, expected in September. The next LTS version after that will be Java 17, scheduled for release in September 2021.

"Oracle is committed to rapidly evolving and delivering new innovations in the Java platform – this being the first in our newly adopted release cycle and licensing model," said Georges Saab, vice president of Software Development in Oracle's Java Platform Group. "We're especially proud of the simplicity of this release, which introduces useful new features, removes unnecessary elements, and is easy for developers to use."

The six-month feature release cadence is meant to reduce the latency between major releases, explained is Sharat Chander, director of Oracle's Java SE Product Management group, said in a blog post.

"This release model takes inspiration from the release models used by other platforms and by various operating-system distributions addressing the modern application development landscape," Chander wrote. "The pace of innovation is happening at an ever-increasing rate and this new release model will allow developers to leverage new features in production as soon as possible. Modern application development expects simple open licensing and a predictable time-based cadence, and the new release model delivers on both."

This release comes with 12 new enhancements defined through the JDK Enhancement Proposals (JEP) process, which is Oracle's version of the Java Specification Request (JSR) process of the JCP, including:
  1. Local-Variable Type Inference: Enhances the Java Language to extend type inference to declarations of local variables with initializers. It introduces var to Java, something that is common in other languages.
  2. Consolidate the JDK Forest into a Single Repository: Combine the numerous repositories of the JDK forest into a single repository to simplify and streamline development.
  3. Garbage Collector Interface: Improves the source code isolation of different garbage collectors by introducing a clean garbage collector (GC) interface.
  4. Parallel Full GC for G1: Improves G1 worst-case latencies by making the full GC parallel.
  5. Application Data-Class Sharing: To improve startup and footprint, this JEP extends the existing Class-Data Sharing ("CDS") feature to allow application classes to be placed in the shared archive.
  6. Thread-Local Handshakes: Introduce a way to execute a callback on threads without performing a global VM safepoint. Makes it both possible and cheap to stop individual threads and not just all threads or none.
  7. Remove the Native-Header Generator Tool: Remove the javah tool from the JDK since it has been superseded by superior functionality in javac.
  8. Additional Unicode Language-Tag Extensions: Enhances java.util.Locale and related APIs to implement additional Unicode extensions of BCP 47 language tags.
  9. Heap Allocation on Alternative Memory Devices: Enables the HotSpot VM to allocate the Java object heap on an alternative memory device, such as an NV-DIMM, specified by the user.
  10. Experimental Java-Based JIT Compiler: Enables the Java-based JIT compiler, Graal, to be used as an experimental JIT compiler on the Linux/x64 platform.
  11. Root Certificates: Provides a default set of root Certification Authority (CA) certificates in the JDK.
  12. Time-Based Release Versioning: Revises the version-string scheme of the Java SE Platform and the JDK, and related versioning information, for present and future time-based release models.

Release notes on the JDK 10 release are available online.

About the Author

John has been covering the high-tech beat from Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area for nearly two decades. He serves as Editor-at-Large for Application Development Trends (www.ADTMag.com) and contributes regularly to Redmond Magazine, The Technology Horizons in Education Journal, and Campus Technology. He is the author of more than a dozen books, including The Everything Guide to Social Media; The Everything Computer Book; Blobitecture: Waveform Architecture and Digital Design; John Chambers and the Cisco Way; and Diablo: The Official Strategy Guide.

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