Java 18 Expectations

Although Java 18 is still a few months away, it is already coming to fruition, with four feature proposals already in the works, the most recent being a third development of the vector API.

JDK 17, released on September 14, was long-term support (LTS) version supported for at least eight years by Oracle, but JDK 18, which will be released in March 2022, will be a brief feature edition that will be supported for six months.

JDK 18 early-access binaries are available for Windows, Linux, and macOS at java.net. The following are the details of the three JDK 18 proposals and what to expect when hiring Java software development services:

  • In JDK 18, the vector API will be incubated for the third time after being incubated in JDK 17 and JDK 16. This proposal would define vector computations as optimal vector instructions that compile at run time on compatible CPU architectures, outperforming identical scalar computations.

Vector operations are a type of parallelization that allows more progress in a single CPU cycle, resulting in considerable speed gains. The platform-independent vector API seeks to make it easier to create sophisticated algorithms in Java by combining the current HotSpot auto-vectorizer with a user model that improves vectorization predictability.

JDK 18 will also support the ARM Scalar Vector Extension platform, which will boost vector operations’ speed that allows masks on architectures that allow hardware masking.

  • A sneak peek at array patterns, and record patterns would enrich the Java language by allowing users to deconstruct record values and array values using array patterns and record patterns, respectively.

Patterns such as array patterns, type patterns, and record patterns, introduced in JDK 16, can be nested to increase the utility and expressiveness of pattern matching. The proposal’s goals encompass extending pattern matching to enable more complex, composable data searches while keeping type patterns’ syntax and semantics unchanged.

  • Specifying UTF-8 as the standard Java APIs’ default charset. The web’s standard charset is UTF-8, a variable-wide character system for electronic communication. The charset is a character encoding that can encode any character seen on the internet.

APIs that rely on the standard charset will now act similarly across all locales, operating systems, implementations, and configurations as a result of this change. The proposal does not propose any new Java APIs or JDK-specific APIs.

Many settings, like macOS, several Linux distributions, and several server programs, are expected to be unaffected by Java’s adoption of UTF-8, according to proponents of the plan. However, there is a danger in plenty of other environments.

The most apparent is that applications that rely on the default charset will process data erroneously if the default charset is not defined. Data corruption can happen quietly. Users of Windows PCs in Asian countries and some server settings in other locales are expected to be hit the most.

  • Code excerpts in Java Documentation include adding a @snippet tag to JavaDoc’s Standard Doclet to make it easier to provide example source code in API description. One of the plan’s objectives is to make it easier to validate source code fragments by giving them API access.

While the author’s responsibility is to ensure accuracy, improved assistance in JavaDoc and similar tools can help. Other objectives include supporting modern design, such as syntax highlighting and automated name-to-declaration mapping, and improved IDE support for modifying and creating snippets.

The proposal mentions that API documentation authors frequently add source code fragments in comments.

Pattern matching for statements and switch expressions, which was showcased in the JDK 17 release, and a memory API and a foreign function, which is in an incubation stage in JDK 17, are two more prospective JDK 18 features. New enterprises who want to save costs without compromising service quality can consider outsourcing Java software development services with new features on the horizon.

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