As we reported last week, it’s going to be an additional six months until Java 9 goes live, with the next big release of the platform now set to go GA in March 2017. Whether you applaud the wisdom in this cautious approach, or are slowly veering to that small rebel faction daydreaming of an ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ scenario where Project Jigsaw never even existed, the reality is that there will be ripples of this decision felt in the ecosystem as the months go on.
In the wake of the news, Pivotal has announced that as a result of Oracle’s decision, thanks to Spring 5.0’s tight enmeshment with JDK 9, the framework now won’t be officially certified for production until spring 2017. Josh Long states that, regardless of this delay, Pivotal will be pursuing their release candidate phase in Q4 next year, but will be holding off from officially going GA. However, with the first Spring Framework 5.0 milestone slated for summer 2016, you will be able to start tapping into these new features around June.
Just because Java 9 is getting an extended baking time, it doesn’t mean any of the heat has been taken off the build process. Following last week’s Early Access release, which contained new feature “Compact Strings,” designed to enable developers to adopt a more space-efficient internal representation for strings – Oracle have just pushed out JDK 9 EA build 95. In this build, there have been further updates to string implementation, with changes to new JDK version string as described in JEP-223.
JEP-223, created in October 2014, aims to improve JDK’s version-string scheme to allow for easy distinction between major, minor, and security-update releases of Java, both for humans to read and for programs to parse. There’s been an effort to align with contemporary industry practices with this JEP – in particular, Semantic Versioning – and going forward, there should be no need to encode two different strands of information in one element of the version string.
If you’d like to take this new feature for a test drive, and experiment with everything else new in Java, download now.