By Sharat Chander, director of Java SE product management
How time flies! During the last several months, Oracle announced changes to evolve the Java platform ensuring it continues forward with a vibrant future for users. Those advances included:
1. Increasing the pace and predictability of delivery.
Since the release of Java 9, the Java platform has shifted to a six-month release cadence allowing developers more rapid access to continued enhancements. Releases now occur in March and September of every year, which means no more trying to consume hundreds of changes every couple years all at once—instead, change is delivered on a more measured and predictable pace.
2. Making Java even more open.
To improve developer productivity, Oracle has taken commercial features previously attainable only with a paid license and open sourced them. Doing so creates greater alignment and interchangeability between the Oracle JDK and Oracle OpenJDK releases. Previous commercial features now available in OpenJDK include Application Class Data Sharing, Project ZGC, Java Flight Recorder (JFR), and Java Mission Control (JMC). And more recently, Oracle announced plans to make JMC technology available as a separate download to serve both OpenJDK and Oracle JDK users.
3. Introducing the Java SE subscription.
Oracle announced the Java SE Subscription during the summer. This is a new model that covers all Java SE licensing and support needs to further support for the millions of worldwide businesses running Java in production. The subscription complements the long-standing free Oracle OpenJDK offering, which enables developers and organizations that do not need commercial support.
With six months now gone by since Java 10 (the first feature release as part of the six-month release cadence) Oracle now offers Java 11.
Oracle provides the JDK not only under the Oracle OpenJDK release using the open source GNU General Public License v2, with the Classpath Exception (GPLv2+CPE), but also under a commercial license for those using the Oracle JDK as part of an Oracle product or service, or who do not wish to use open source software. These replace the historical “BCL” license, which had a combination of free and paid commercial terms.
This means users can get the Java 11 that fits their needs:
- Java 11 is a long-term support (LTS) release. This means users who are conservative with platform adoption and require long-term support can license the Oracle JDK binaries through the Java SE Subscription offering. It allows users to get updates on the Java 11 LTS release for at least eight years. The subscription provides access to tested and certified performance, stability, and security updates for Java SE, directly from Oracle. It also includes access to My Oracle Support (MOS) 24×7, support in 27 languages, Java SE 8 Desktop management, monitoring, and deployment features, among other benefits.
- Users who instead prefer rapid access to new enhancements can continue using the Oracle OpenJDK release. As was the case with Java 9 and Java 10, users of this release get thoroughly tested, open source OpenJDK builds provided by Oracle.
Seventeen enhancements are delivered in Java 11, including, most notably, these five:
- JEP 321 – HTTP Client (Standard): This JEP standardizes the incubated HTTP Client API introduced in JDK 9, via JEP 110, and updated in JDK 10.
- JEP 332 – Transport Layer Security (TLS) 1.3: TLS 1.3 is a major overhaul of the TLS protocol and provides significant security and performance improvements over previous versions.
- JEP 328 – Java Flight Recorder (JFR): JFR provides a high-performance flight recording engine and low-overhead data collection framework for troubleshooting mission-critical Java applications.
- JEP 333 – Project ZGC: ZGC is an experimental but predictable low-latency garbage collector (GC) that can handle heaps ranging from relatively-small (a few hundreds of megabytes) to very large (many terabytes) in size.
- JEP 330 – Launch Single-File Source-Code Programs: This enhancement simplifies the “on-ramp” or new Java users by enhancing the java launcher to run a program supplied as a single file of Java source code, including usage from within a script and/or related techniques.
Now that Java 11 is generally available, development has shifted to the next six-month feature release in the form of Java 12 (scheduled for delivery in March 2019), currently with two targeted enhancements and more to be added as work is completed.
With 12 million developers worldwide running Java, Java continues to be the #1 programming language of choice by software programmers. And as Java 11 demonstrates, through continued thoughtful planning and ecosystem involvement, the Java platform is well-positioned for modern development and growth in the cloud.
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