JDK 16 begins to take shape

Although not due to arrive until March 2021, Java Development Kit (JDK) 16 is beginning to take shape, starting with enabling C++ 14 language features in JDK C++ source code.

JDK 16 will be the reference implementation of the version of standard Java set to follow JDK 15, which is due on September 15. The six-month release cadence for standard Java would have JDK 16 arriving next March.

As of July 29, three proposals were targeted to JDK 16:

  • Enablement of C++ 14 language features, to allow the use of C++ 14 capabilities in JDK C++ source code and give specific guidance about which of these features may be used in HotSpot VM code. Through JDK 15, language features used by C++ code in the JDK have been limited to the C++98/03 language standards. With JDK 11, the source code was updated to support building with newer versions of the C++ standard. This includes being able to build with recent versions of compilers that support C++ 11/14 language features. This proposal does not propose any style or usage changes for C++ code that is used outside of HotSpot. But to take advantage of C++ language features, some build-time changes are required, depending on the platform compiler.
  • Migration of OpenJDK source code repositories from Mercurial to Git. Driving this effort are advantages in version control system metadata size and available tools and hosting.
  • Migration to GitHub, related to the Mercurial-to-Git migration, with JDK 16 source code repositories to be on the popular code-sharing site.
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Early-access builds of JDK 16 for Linux, Windows, and MacOS can be found at jdk.java.net. Like JDK 15, JDK 16 will be a short-term release, supported for six months. JDK 17, due in September 2021, will be a long-term support (LTS) release that will receive several years of support. The current LTS release, JDK 11, was released in September 2018.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

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