Java 9: Early Access Release

The development of Java 9 is now in progress, just a few months after the general availability release of the much awaited Java 8. The OpenJDK has started the JDK 9 Project wherein they have open its repositories for “bug fixes and small enhancements only”. As stated on their Mission Statement, the goal of the project is to “produce an open-source reference implementation of the Java SE 9 Platform, to be defined by a forthcoming JSR in the Java Community Process”. Same role for JDK 9 Project will be given to the authors, committers or reviewers who contributed at least one changeset to the JDK 8 Project. JDK 9’s latest Early Access Release – build b26 is now available for download and testing.

While Java 8’s main attraction is Project Lambda, Project Jigsaw is believed to be one of the main features of Java 9. “It’s now time to switch gears and focus on creating a production-quality design and implementation suitable for JDK 9 and thence Java SE 9, as previously proposed” Mark Reinhold, Oracle’s chief Java architect stated in his blog post last July. As Reinhold mentioned, Project Jigsaw is originally meant to be included in Java 8, however, in the 3rd quarter of 2012 the Oracle team decided to "defer it from Java 8 to Java 9". Project Jigsaw is now on its Phase Two and aims to achieve the following:

    Create a modular structure wherein Java SE Platform and the JDK APIs’ will be divided into set of modules.
    Boost security and maintainability of Java SE Platform Implementations in general, and the JDK in particular;
    Enhance application performance
    Provide easy construction and maintenance of Java SE and EE Platforms’ libraries and large application.

According to Reinhold, Jigsaw will create a big impact to the JDK and he said that merging to the JDK is advisable to be performed before Jigsaw is complete.

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