Preparing for Java 11

Recap: Java influencers weigh in on Java 11 and the state of the JDK

Sarah Schlothauer
© Shutterstock / bestfoto77

Is it September 25th yet? Java 11 is coming and it’s coming soon. Are you upgrading to the upcoming version? As we approach the newest chapter, let’s have a quick recap of what top Java influencers have to say about their language of choice.

Top Java influencers have their calendars marked for September 25, 2018 when Java 11 hits the ground running. On that day, the new Java version becomes available to the general public and is ready for production use.

Since Java 11 will have long-term support, it is a big milestone. For developers who have not migrated from Java 8, the release of JDK 11 is a perfect time to follow the pack to newer pastures and newer features.

Recently, we interviewed top Java influencers with some thought-provoking questions about the new release-cycle, deprecations, what they hope for the future of the language, and more.

Java is loved, but often criticized, and we spoke about it all: the good, the bad, the great, and what’s getting better. As we patiently wait for the big release, let’s take a look and recap what these influencers have to say about the king (or more appropriately, the Duke) of programming languages.

Keeping up with the pace

It’s no secret that the world of coding is FAST. Put on your sneakers, because Java is ready for a marathon. With the new six-month release cycle, Java has stepped up its speed. Do you find this exciting or is it hard to keep up the pace?

Josh Long: Releasing software early and often results in better software. It’s a good way to integrate feedback, to stay agile.

Josh Long (@starbuxman) is the Spring Developer Advocate at Pivotal. He is the author of 5 books and 3 best-selling video trainings. He is also a Java Champion.

Quentin Adam: The developer world is built on a faster cycle than before, and more importantly, the production world is also accelerating.

Quentin Adam (@waxzce) is the CEO of Clever Cloud.

Eberhard Wolff:  Developers are usually eager to try out new features. So I don’t think the new release cadence is going to be a huge problem for developers.

Eberhard Wolff (@ewolff) is a Fellow at INNOQ and a software architect.

Guillaume Laforge: It goes so fast! As a Java developer, I’m really happy to get new features on a more regular basis, without having to wait 2-3 years to get the much talked about new features.

Guillaume Laforge (@glaforge) is Developer Advocate for Google Cloud Platform, Apache Groovy PMC Chair at The Apache Software Foundation and Java Champion.


© Shutterstock / Jacob Lund (modified)

Fortunes told and future wishlists

The future is unknown, but we dusted off the crystal balls and asked Java influencers to speculate. How will Java compete in the world of serverless? What would they like to add to an ideal version of Java SE?

Martin Thompson: To compete in the Serverless space, Java will have to improve its startup time and footprint. Work is being done in the area but it has a long way to go when competing with footprint and startup time of other languages.

Martin Thompson (@mjpt777) is a consultant, trainer, and coach specializing in designing high-performance and low-latency systems. He is also a Java Champion.

Guillaume Laforge: I’d like to see some level of dynamicity added to the language.

Quentin Adam: For Java as a platform, I really hope for more work on the WebAssembly compilation to be able to use JVM/Java codebase on the browser and the blockchain.

Eberhard Wolff: I think GraalVM is a very important new technology. So that is pretty high on my wishlist.

Lukas Eder: I think we can move forward much faster as a community. But we’re not there yet.

Lukas Eder (@lukaseder) is the founder and head of R&D at Data Geekery GmbH, the company behind jOOQ and a Java Champion.


© Shutterstock / Jacob Lund (modified)

Out with the old and in with the new

Java 11’s incoming features have influencers buzzing. Here’s what these experts love about the new version, and what you should look forward to getting your hands on in the new release.

Jessica Kerr:  I’m tickled by Epsilon, the no-op garbage collector. Along with Flight Recorder and heap sampling, the JVM is becoming more introspectable and testable.

Jessica Kerr (@jessitron) is Lead Engineer at Atomist.

Guillaume Laforge: The most visible feature is certainly the new var syntax for declaring local variables.

Josh Long: At some point, you just have to hope people will see value in what you do and upgrade. No single change in any recent release of Java threatens the stability of your production application. Sure, there are some issues that will take a solid ten to fifteen minutes of Googling, but they’re solvable and well-understood problems.

Markus Eisele: First and most important is the inclusion of the Flight Recorder (JEP 328) together with the now open sourced Mission Control; this will bring a lot of power to developers that need performance and troubleshooting help.

Quentin Adam: Speaking of Java 11 as a language, the new syntax in lambda for local variables is really nice, allowing to use implicit types, it makes lambda reading much easier and will drive to use it more in java, which is a great thing.


© Shutterstock / fractal-an (modified)

Goodbye, so long, farewell

Here comes a “lighter” JDK. We say goodbye to Java EE and COBRA modules and Nashhorn. What does a lighter JDK mean for developers and furthermore, what else should be removed?

Markus Eisele: I’d call it a natural progression. We all badly want the core runtime to be small enough to be run on a variety of devices and also have a tremendously fast startup. Distribution sizes have to go down too to make it easier to embed the JDK.

Markus Eisele (@myfear) is the Director of Developer Advocacy at Lightbend and a Java Champion.

Jessica Kerr: The removal of long-deprecated features is a signal that the Java team is serious about the future.

Guillaume Laforge: I’m actually not necessarily super happy to see Nashorn go, as it was a nice way to add built-in scripting in a Java app.

Martin Thompson: What’s left to axe? Interesting question. A better one is, why did we ever have a JavaScript engine bundled into the JDK?


© Shutterstock / Oleksiy Mark (modified)

Meet Java experts

Read our interview series with Java influencers in its entirety. If you’d like to meet the top Java movers and shakers, then join us next month in October for JAX London.


Sarah Schlothauer

Sarah Schlothauer

All Posts by Sarah Schlothauer

Sarah Schlothauer is the editor for She received her Bachelor's degree from Monmouth University, West Long Branch, New Jersey. She currently lives in Frankfurt, Germany with her husband and cat where she enjoys reading, writing, and medieval reenactment. She is also the editor for Conditio Humana, an online magazine about ethics, AI, and technology.

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