Oracle Advances Java 17 Programming Language For The Long Term
Oracle’s release of Java 17 this week marked a milestone as it is the first Long Term Support (LTS) release of the widely deployed programming language since 2018.
Java has moved to a rapid release rate for features in recent years, with incremental updates every six months that are only supported until a new version is released. Oracle has released the latest incremental update for Java—Version 16– in March, but with the release of Java 17, this version is no longer supported. However, since this is an LTS version, Java 17 will be supported for the next eight years.
As a long-term support release, Java 17 also serves as a “roll-up” release for features that have been introduced in Java Incremental Updates over the past three years since the last LTS release.
“If the developers only now see everything since the last LTS [JDK 11], there is so much goodness, where do you start? ”said Chad Arimura, vice president of Java developer relations at Oracle. ITPro today.
New Features in Oracle Java 17 LTS Release
Arimura highlighted a number of improvements that will be new to LTS users, including Java Flight Recorder (JFR), which first appeared in the incremental version. Java 14 released in March 2020. JFR provides diagnostic profiling capabilities to help optimize Java applications.
“For those on the operational side or those interested in JVM [Java Virtual Machine] Improvements, Java Flight Recorder and its event streaming functionality push observability even further, pushing an incredible amount of data out of the JVM, ”said Arimura.
Java 17 also has the Z Garbage Collector (ZGC), which first landed in the Java 15 incremental step and has been steadily improved in releases since. Arimura noted that the ZGC is a garbage collector with the goal of sub-millisecond dwell times on heaps of terabytes.
“And let’s not forget that even if none of the above features are used, applications will likely get performance improvements just by upgrading due to the thousands of fixes and improvements not captured in JEPs. [JDK Enhancement Proposals], “he noted.
Beginning of sealed classes in Java 17 LTS
Although Java 17 introduced features of an incremental release in an LTS, it also has some new features.
Among the most notable new features is a capability known as Sealed Classes, which was introduced as a preview feature in Java 15 and is now considered production ready in Java 17.
“Sealed classes allow developers to better model the real world in code by allowing the author of a class or interface to control what code can implement it,” Arimura explained.
New licensing options for Oracle Java 17 LTS
Along with the Java 17 version, Oracle is also introducing a new license known as the Oracle No-Fee Terms and Conditions (NFTC) license.
“Oracle makes the industry-leading Oracle JDK available for free, including all quarterly security updates, including commercial and production use for a full year after the next LTS release, starting with JDK 17,” Arimura said.
There is also an open source version of Java, OpenJDK, which has always been free and will remain free for OpenJDK 17.
“Oracle’s JDK and Oracle’s OpenJDK are functionally equivalent, but we believe most developers will now choose Oracle’s JDK either with our commercial Java SE subscription offer or with the new free NFTC license. in production, ”said Arimura.