Oracle has announced the release of Java 10 version on March 20. While this is not an LTS version, there are few changes in this version which are worth noting. In this article we’ll look at 5 of the most important things you’ll need to watch out for, especially if you’re a Java developer.
- Java releases long term support versions in every 3 year. As per this scheduling, their future long term support version, Java 11 will be releasing in Fall 2018. Java 10 is a precursor to that and contains some important changes which will take a clearer shape in the next version.
- Java 10 is trying to emulate some of the popular features of Scala and Kotlin. One of the primary reasons can be the growing popularity of Kotlin in both web and mobile development domain and also the dynamic typing capability in Scala and Kotlin both. The introduction of local variable type is one of them. This feature implies that variables can now be declared as “var” and when you assign a certain integer or a string to it then the compiler will automatically know what type of variable it is. Although this doesn’t make Java a dynamically typed language like Python, still this allows a lot more flexibility for the programmers and lets them avoid boilerplates in their code.
- There are 2 JEPs in JDK 10 that focus on improving the current Garbage Collection (GC) elements. The first one, Garbage-Collector Interface (JEP 304) will introduce a clean garbage collector interface to help improve the source code isolation of different garbage collectors. In current Java versions there are bits and pieces of GC source files scattered all over the HotSpot sources. This becomes an issue when implementing a new garbage collector, since developers have to know where to look for those source files. One of the main goals of this JEP is to introduce better modularity for HotSpot internal GC code, have a cleaner GC interface and make it easier to implement new collectors.
- Java 10 promises to become much faster than its previous version by making the full garbage collector parallel. This is a welcome move and change from the version 9 since this allows the developers scope to better allocate memory and use the GC (Garbage Collector) in parallel. The GC in the previous versions didn’t have the capability to load values in parallel and that made it heavy and difficult to operate for complex applications. The present parallel GC removes that factor and makes it much more lightweight and efficient.
- Java 10 enables programmers to allow heap allocation on alternative memory devices. This feature lets the Java VM decide on the most important tasks and then allocate maximum memory for those priority processes with other processes are allocated to alternative memory. This helps in fastening up the overall process. This change is important for the Java developers because this will help them in better and efficient memory management and hence will increase the performance of their applications.
With these changes, Java 10 has opened up the doors for a more open and flexible language which is looking towards the future. With Kotlin breathing down its neck as a worthy alternative, the stage is set for Java to work towards a more dynamic and easy to use power packed version 11 in 2018 fall. We would be waiting for that along with the Java developers for sure.