First bite

A first glimpse at Java 9: early access release of JDK9 on OpenJDK

Coman Hamilton

OpenJDK has released a sneak peek of Java 9 with basic improvements for early adopters

Just when you thought JDK development had entered a summer low after the prolonged hype surrounding Java 8, word of JDK 9 has begun to spread. While some developers are still fathoming the depths of new Java 8 features, other parts of the Java community are already abuzz with Java 9 rumours, requests and excitement.

OpenJDK, Java’s hub of collaboration on an open-source implementation of the Java platform, has made several early access releases available for sampling. The download page for Build 25 of the new release appeared over the weekend.

“We’re just getting started…”

The OpenJDK platform has published list of changes made so far, which include various fixes, as well as some new methods, such as support for running and debugging bootstrap tools in IntelliJ, as well as additional parse methods for Long/Integer.

According to the OpenJDK platform’s mission statement, the initial focus of the project is on “bug fixes and small enhancements only”.

Although there’s no official confirmation of Java 9 features, Georges Saab, VP of Software Development at Oracle’s Java Platform Group previously told JAXenter that project Jigsaw will be a big appearance in the next major release of Java.

Project Jigsaw is exploring and prototyping a simplified approach to achieve that goal, and work progresses towards making it part of Java SE 9. […] Beyond the one obvious candidate with Project Jigsaw, there are a number of ideas being discussed in the OpenJDK community and elsewhere. Many of these ideas are gradually getting formulated and tracked through JDK Enhancement Proposals (JEPs).

Meanwhile, the community’s JEP Index is already tracking dozens of proposals for new features in JDK 9.

SEE ALSO: Why is it so hard to find good Java developers?

But don’t start counting your chickens just yet. Java 8 needed over two and a half years before it was ready to hatch, meaning a major release of JDK 9 in all of its (probable) glory won’t be reaching our desktops anytime soon.

Coman Hamilton
Coman was Editor of at S&S Media Group. He has a master's degree in cultural studies and has written and edited content for numerous news, tech and culture websites and magazines, as well as several ad agencies.

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