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Updates on JDK 9

After four months of Build b26’s release, JDK 9’s latest Early Access Release - Build b43 is now available for download and testing. Bug fixes and small enhancements for JDK 9 repositories are still ongoing.

Meanwhile, the latest JEPs targeted to JDK 9 have been listed in the update made by JDK 9’s project site last December 12, which are as follows:

JSR 367: Java API for JSON Binding (JSON-B)

JSR 367 is one of the newly proposed JSRs posted in the July & August JSR Updates all of which are targeting the Java EE platform.

The JSR 367 or Java API for JSON Binding (JSON-B) specification is led by Oracle's Martin Grebac and started its review in September 2014. The growing popularity of JSON being used by most systems and layers and the release of .JSR 353 or Java API for JSON Processing (JSON-P), are the reasons why JSR 367 was born. While JSR 353 developed a standard Java API for parsing, generating, and transforming JSON data, JSR 367 was proposed to develop "a standard binding layer for converting Java objects to/from JSON messages". It is said that "JSON-B will leverage JSON-P and provide a conversion layer above it".

The proposed package name is: javax.json.bind

This JSR was presented in the recently held JavaOne Conference, an event by Oracle. Grebac posted his approved slides on their blog site. The list of advantages of having Standard API below is an excerpt from his slides:

    Switch providers easily
    Implementation complete on common ground (performance or feature-wise)
    Loss of implementation/participant is no issue for standard
    More people able to help on forums or stackoverflow, even those not using your implementation of choice

The slides also contain the JSR's description, status, goals and non-goals and other plans for the JSR.

Project Valhalla

Valhalla - For those who played Valkyrie Profile (an RPG for PlayStation released in 1999 whose story was based on the Norse Mythology) would know that it is a huge hall or also called “the hall of the slain" in Asgard that houses chosen dead people who will help god Odin in the event of Ragnarok.

However, in the world of Java, Valhalla a.k.a. Project Valhalla is not really a hall but rather a place to “explore and incubate advanced Java VM and Language feature candidates such as Value Types, Generic Specialization and enhanced volatiles" instead of housing dead people. Project Valhalla is a project led by Oracle’s Java Language Architect Brian Goetz and sponsored by the HotSpot Group which has been proposed and announced on the OpenJDK mailing list in July 10, 2014.

The current versions of Java use the “type erasure" approach to generic typing which gained criticism among the features of Java’s type system because it “only allows generic types to contain reference types, and the Java compiler removes the details of the contained type during compilation". Therefore, one of the initial proposed features of Valhalla is the Generic Specialization , an enhancement to the Java Language that will support generics over primitives. You can read additional information about this feature on this draft.

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