Thursday, September 30, 2021

Chasing Java's release train: JDK-17, the next big thing

Here we go, JDK-17, the next LTS release, just became generally available. It is an important milestone for the OpenJDK for years to come but sadly, Project Loom, the most anticipated improvement of the JVM platform, was not able to make it, despite the extraordinary progress being made. Well, if you are still on JDK-8, like the majority of us, who cares, right?

Not really, for example Spring Framework had made an announcement quite recently to support JDK-17 as a baseline. It is very likely others will follow, leaving JDK-8 behind. So what is new in JDK-17?

And what is happening on the security side of things? Besides SecurityManager deprecation (JEP-411), it is worth to mention:

JDK-17 is an important release. First of all, it is going to become the de-facto choice for green field projects for the next couple of years. Second, the ones who are still on JDK-8 would migrate straight to JDK-17, skipping JDK-11 entirely (there are hardly any reasons to migrate to JDK-11 first). Consequently, the third, migration from JDK-11 to JDK-17 requires comparatively low efforts (in most cases), it is logical to expect seeing the JDK-17 kicking out JDK-11.

Are we done yet? Luckily, not at all, the JDK release train is accelerating, shifting from three years LTS releases to two years. Hopefully, this strategic decision would speed up the pace of migration, specifically for enterprises, where many are stuck with older JDKs.

And let us not forget, the JDK-18 is already in early access! It comes with the hope that Project Loom is going to be included, in some form or the other.

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