At Oracle's JavaOne conference in Las Vegas today, Java 19's official distribution received its debut. The new version includes several key improvements that improve developers' lives while speeding up some of the complex server-side tools so they can utilize modern hardware, particularly the most parallel ones.
Java's version number is appearing to be increasing more rapidly than it has been in the past. Oracle is committed to releasing new official versions twice a year, allowing for new improvements to penetrate the environment and be deployed.
“We’re really pleased with this release,” said Oracle's senior vice president of Java development for the past five years. “Every release has gone smoothly, on schedule, and on the schedule that they were meant to. We’re very pleased with the process that has allowed us to get new features into the hands of Java developers more swiftly.”
The programming language conflict
Java is in competition with several other major programming languages for developers and the C-level executives who write the checks. The language has a reputation for being a bit wordy while still delivering a rock-solid and fast performance across a wide variety of chips and architectures.
An open community and a closed enterprise version
Official version rollouts are becoming less formal. The improvements have been widely circulated for some time as experimental versions. Oracle wants to involve developers in what it calls the Java Community Process, so that the language co-evolves with the needs of the developer community. Some of the most significant enhancements are tagged with words like "Preview" or "Incubator," suggesting that they may change more rapidly than other, more stable sections of the codebase.
"This is due to our dedication to strengthening trust in the Java ecosystem," said Saab. "Things that are done in the open JDK community led by Oracle engineers and developers can see all of this work happening as it's happening. They can read the mailing lists, understand, listen to the design discussions, and see each change in the code as it's coming in."
Oracle is continuing to emphasize and nurture the Java open-source community of developers who have grown around the software, as well as enabling paying customers to receive superior performance and care. The Java SE Subscription option allows paying customers to receive the GraalVM Enterprise version of the software as well as access to the Java Management Service, a monitoring platform that deploys code.
More improvements and virtual threads
Teams working on server-side stacks will want to evaluate the new virtual threads and structured concurrency tools that are emerging from Oracle's Project Loom. These virtual threads can be simpler to start up and shut down. In the past, Java's standard model allowed all of the requests to be processed independently, but the number of requests a server can handle is effectively limited.
Several simpler technologies, like Node.js, have gotten converts by avoiding the threading convention, thus enabling them to deal with much larger loads of simple requests with often significantly less RAM. The new virtual threads make it possible for Java developers to match this performance.
Oracle will release a version of the Java VM for the RISC-V, a chip architecture that is increasingly used in many new, highly parallel chip designs. This framework is expected to attract interest from artificial intelligence (AI) researchers who often use highly parallel chips to train AI models.
Gleichzeitig, the new version of the language includes a vector API, making it simpler for programmers to write code that will process large amounts of data in chunks. The Java VM will be able to assign these to the appropriate cores on compatible hardware, making it possible for the code to run much faster when the appropriate hardware is available.
Some of the other new features include changes to the Java language itself that simplify some of the syntax but also provide additional structure that can help prevent bugs. Java 19 is the last release of several new concepts that were previously included in Oracle's Project Amber. These include new record patterns that can simplify the creation and handling of data structures that are juggled by software.
Oracle is also improving the tools for connecting Java code with code written for other languages. They're improving the foreign function interface, making it simpler for programmers to create hybrid software packages that exploit the best features of several languages.
Both a stable and evolving Java platform
Oracle wants to underscore their continuing dedication to establishing an open community around the language, considering that programmers desire a platform that is both stable and continually evolving to meet their changing needs. Oracle is equally committed to establishing this community as well as the software improvements that follow.
"We've reached our 1,000,000th certified Java developer, and this is an exciting milestone," says Oracle's vice president of Java development relations. "We believe that part of our technology and innovation strategy around trust, innovation, and predictability — you know, important core values — also applies to the community. "Trust that there's going to be a community around you, innovation and ensuring that we're continuing to improve the channels that we use to reach those developers," said the organization.