Oracle has just released version 15 of Java, the language created 25 years ago by James Gosling at Sun Microsystems, which Oracle bought in 2009 for around $ 7.4 billion to get what it claims to be. “The most important software that Oracle has ever acquired”.
Java 15, or Oracle Java Development Kit (JDK) 15, brings the Edwards-Curve digital signature algorithm, hidden classes, and old preview features that have been finalized including text blocks, and the Z Garbage Collector , as Sealed Classes feature arrives and Pattern Matches and Records appear in second preview. As a reminder, Java has been overtaken by Python in terms of popularity, according to developer analyst RedMonk, who assesses languages based on GitHub projects and developer discussions on stack overflow.
Oracle redoubles its efforts
Still, Java is still very popular and widely used in the business, according to Oracle, which notes that it is used by more than 69% of full-time developers worldwide. Java 15 represents “Oracle’s technical investments that advance Java innovation and help cope with the rapidly changing technological landscape,” said Georges Saab, vice president of development for the Java Platform Group at Oracle.
According to Oracle, there are still 51 billion active Java Virtual Machines (JVMs) deployed worldwide, with Java being used for services such as analytics, data management, big data, DevOps, mobile, continuous development tools and chatbots. As versatile as this language is, unlike Python, however, it is not the language of choice for scientists and programmers who build machine learning applications.
Oracle has therefore decided to spend the second to popularize its language, by releasing new versions of Java every six months from Java 10, launched in March 2018. The goal is to bring customers more innovation more quickly , while providing predictability and stability.
Candles blown out with great fanfare
A more regular rhythm which could, according to Oracle management, put language back at the center of the game. “Instead of making available tens of thousands of fixes and a hundred improvement proposals (JDK Enhancement Proposals, JEP) in a large release every two or three years, enhancements are delivered in smaller feature releases on a more manageable and predictable six-month schedule, ”said Sharat Chander, director of Java SE product management at Oracle.
“Of the 2,136 JIRA issues marked as fixed in Java 15, 1,702 were completed by people working for Oracle, while 434 were contributed by individual developers and developers working for other organizations. These include Arm, Amazon, IBM, Intel, NTT Data, Red Hat, SAP and Tencent. Oracle also gave a special mention to Microsoft and the DataDog cloud systems monitoring service for the fixes.
As part of the 25e anniversary of Java, Oracle asked analyst firm Omdia to assess its six-month Java launch strategy, and determine whether it would be enough to keep millions of Java developers away from safe alternatives to memory such as Kotlin, the language that Google approved for Android development, and Rust, a system programming language that was created at Mozilla.