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Sep 26 2018

Oracle Releases Java 11

A mere six months after version 10, Big Red's developers are now churning out the next incarnation of the cross-platform programming language. This time around, it's a long-term support (LTS) release that will receive premier support for at least 5 years and extended support until 2026.

Information about the presumptive lifecycle was probably the most important revelation to be gained from the official release announcement and a live event hosted by Oracle's German branch in collaboration with heise Developer (a segment of IT news service heise online) and dpunkt.verlag, a publisher of computer books. For native German speakers, a video of the event is available on YouTube; others will have to wait for this year's Code One conference in San Francisco (October 22–25) to watch demos and live action.

Next to being an LTS release, Java SE 11/JDK 11 also offers a set of new key features, ranging from productivity enhancements to support for the latest state-of-the-art security and web technologies, such as TLS 1.3 or HTTP/2. Other functions that had taken up space on users' wish lists for quite some time include:

  • Nest-based access controls that eliminate the need for compilers to insert accessibility-broadening bridge methods
  • Dynamic class-file constants can reduce the cost and disruption that go along with creating new forms of class-file constants and enhance expressivity and performance
  • ZGC, a scalable, low-latency garbage collector (experimental)
  • Epsilon, a completely passive GC implementation with a bounded allocation limit and the lowest latency overhead possible, and finally
  • Flight Recorder, a low overhead data collection framework for troubleshooting Java applications and the HotSpot JVM

Another convenient extra is that Java 8 users can now directly migrate to version 11, without having to progress through the in-between releases. The update is highly recommended, as Oracle will cut general support for commercial Java 8 installations this upcoming January (extended support will be available at an extra fee provided you have an Oracle Java SE Subscription or Oracle Java SE Desktop Subscription.)

In accordance with the new rolling release scheme, which was implemented last fall, the next new version (Java 12) is due out in March 2019. A new LTS release is scheduled for September 2021.

For detailed information, please refer to the release notes, product page, and support roadmap. Downloads are available here. Other providers, like Java.com or OpenJDK, are expected to release binaries shortly.

 
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