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Java 16 is officially out!

remcobuddelmeijer profile image Remco Buddelmeijer ・3 min read

It's official! Java 16 has been released as a GA release. Over the course of 3 months, starting in December 2020 all the way up to March 2021, JDK 16 has been worked on by multiple teams. Covering multiple JEPs, numerous feature improvements and thousands of bug fixes: JDK 16 is most certainly something to look out for.

In a more personal relation to me, JDK 16 has a very interesting new "feature" which will make the life of DevOps a bit easier: the Alpine Linux port (JEP 386). I am only mentioning the Alpine Linux port here and not the Windows/AArch64 port, since the Alpine port is something that I use daily. Having a Alpine Linux port available now which is provided by Oracle will make life easier.

Next to this, another 16 JEPs have been included in this release:

JEP 338: Vector API (Incubator)
JEP 347: Enable C++14 Language Features
JEP 357: Migrate from Mercurial to Git
JEP 369: Migrate to GitHub
JEP 376: ZGC: Concurrent Thread-Stack Processing
JEP 380: Unix-Domain Socket Channels
JEP 387: Elastic Metaspace
JEP 388: Windows/AArch64 Port
JEP 389: Foreign Linker API (Incubator)
JEP 390: Warnings for Value-Based Classes
JEP 392: Packaging Tool
JEP 393: Foreign-Memory Access API (Third Incubator)
JEP 394: Pattern Matching for instanceof
JEP 395: Records
JEP 396: Strongly Encapsulate JDK Internals by Default
JEP 397: Sealed Classes (Second Preview)

Go check out the official announcement over at the mailing list:
https://mail.openjdk.java.net/pipermail/announce/2021-March/000295.html

  • For more information on the release notes, have a look at:
    https://jdk.java.net/16/release-notes

  • A great article has been released by Sharrat Chander explaining the new release in little depth, focusing more on how the release came to be rather than actual JEPs implemented. I would highly recommend giving it a read:
    https://inside.java/2021/03/16/the-arrival-of-java16/

  • And last but not least: a lot of major frameworks and libraries are already supporting JDK 16! To have an overview of some of the implementing libraries/frameworks, take a look at all the tweets in: #AllTestsGreenOnJDK16

In the near future, I will also be releasing some articles on the JEPs covered in this release: more specifically on the JEPs that have been worked on by the Amber Dev team, followed by the remaining JEPs. More about this later on in this article.

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