Java version history

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The Java language has undergone several changes since JDK 1.0 as well as numerous additions of classes and packages to the standard library. Since J2SE 1.4, the evolution of the Java language has been governed by the Java Community Process (JCP), which uses Java Specification Requests (JSRs) to propose and specify additions and changes to the Java platform. The language is specified by the Java Language Specification (JLS); changes to the JLS are managed under JSR 901.

In addition to the language changes, much more dramatic changes have been made to the Java Class Library over the years, which has grown from a few hundred classes in JDK 1.0 to over three thousand in J2SE 5. Entire new APIs, such as Swing and Java2D, have been introduced, and many of the original JDK 1.0 classes and methods have been deprecated. Some programs allow conversion of Java programs from one version of the Java platform to an older one (for example Java 5.0 backported to 1.4) (see Java backporting tools).

After the Java 7 release, Oracle promised to go back to a 2 year release cycle.[1] However, in 2013, Oracle announced that they would delay Java 8 by one year, in order to improve the Java security model.[2]

JDK Alpha and Beta (1995)[edit]

Alpha and Beta Java public releases had highly unstable APIs and ABIs. The supplied Java web browser was named WebRunner.

JDK 1.0 (January 23, 1996)[edit]

Originally called Oak. Initial release[3][4] The first stable version, JDK 1.0.2, is called Java 1.[4]

Note : In versions of Java and the JDK up to 1.0.1, private and protected keywords could be used together to create yet another form of protection that would restrict access to methods or variables solely to subclasses of a given class. As of 1.0.2, this capability has been removed from the language.

JDK 1.1 (February 19, 1997)[edit]

Major additions included:[5]

J2SE 1.2 (December 8, 1998)[edit]

Codename Playground. This and subsequent releases through J2SE 5.0 were rebranded retrospectively Java 2 and the version name "J2SE" (Java 2 Platform, Standard Edition) replaced JDK to distinguish the base platform from J2EE (Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition) and J2ME (Java 2 Platform, Micro Edition). This was a very significant release of Java as it tripled the size of the Java platform to 1520 classes in 59 packages. Major additions included:[6]

J2SE 1.3 (May 8, 2000)[edit]

Codename Kestrel. The most notable changes were:[7][8]

J2SE 1.4 (February 6, 2002)[edit]

Codename Merlin. This was the first release of the Java platform developed under the Java Community Process as JSR 59. Major changes included:[9][10]

Language changes
Library improvements

Support and security updates for Java 1.4 ended in October 2008.[11]

J2SE 5.0 (September 30, 2004)[edit]

Codename Tiger. Originally numbered 1.5, which is still used as the internal version number. The number was changed to "better reflect the level of maturity, stability, scalability and security of the J2SE." [12] This version was developed under JSR 176.

J2SE 5.0 entered its end-of-public-updates period on April 8, 2008; updates are no longer available to the public as of November 3, 2009. Updates were available to Oracle Customers until May 2014.[13]

Tiger added a number of significant new language features:[14][15]

  • Generics: Provides compile-time (static) type safety for collections and eliminates the need for most typecasts (type conversion). (Specified by JSR 14.)
  • Metadata: Also called annotations; allows language constructs such as classes and methods to be tagged with additional data, which can then be processed by metadata-aware utilities. (Specified by JSR 175.)
  • Autoboxing/unboxing: Automatic conversions between primitive types (such as int) and primitive wrapper classes (such as Integer). (Specified by JSR 201.)
  • Enumerations: The enum keyword creates a typesafe, ordered list of values (such as Day.MONDAY, Day.TUESDAY, etc.). Previously this could only be achieved by non-typesafe constant integers or manually constructed classes (typesafe enum pattern). (Specified by JSR 201.)
  • Varargs: The last parameter of a method can now be declared using a type name followed by three dots (e.g. void drawtext(String... lines)). In the calling code any number of parameters of that type can be used and they are then placed in an array to be passed to the method, or alternatively the calling code can pass an array of that type.
  • Enhanced for each loop: The for loop syntax is extended with special syntax for iterating over each member of either an array or any Iterable, such as the standard Collection classes. (Specified by JSR 201.)
  • Fix the previously broken semantics of the Java Memory Model, which defines how threads interact through memory.
  • Static imports

There were also the following improvements to the standard libraries:

Java 5 is the last release of Java to officially support the Microsoft Windows 9x line (Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME),[17] while Windows Vista is the newest version of Windows that J2SE 5 was supported on prior to Java 5 going end of life in October 2009.[11]

Java 5 is the default version of Java installed on Apple Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard). Java 6 can be installed and set as the default to be used on 64-bit (Core 2 Duo and higher) processor machines.[18] Java 6 is also supported by 32-bit machines running Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard).

Java SE 6 (December 11, 2006)[edit]

Codename Mustang. As of this version, Sun replaced the name "J2SE" with Java SE and dropped the ".0" from the version number.[19] Internal numbering for developers remains 1.6.0.[20] This version was developed under JSR 270.

During the development phase, new builds including enhancements and bug fixes were released approximately weekly. Beta versions were released in February and June 2006, leading up to a final release that occurred on December 11, 2006.

Major changes included in this version:[21][22]

  • Support for older Win9x versions dropped; unofficially, Java 6 Update 7 was the last release of Java shown to work on these versions of Windows.[citation needed] This is believed[by whom?] to be due to the major changes in Update 10.
  • Scripting Language Support (JSR 223): Generic API for tight integration with scripting languages, and built-in Mozilla JavaScript Rhino integration
  • Dramatic performance improvements for the core platform,[23][24] and Swing.
  • Improved Web Service support through JAX-WS (JSR 224)
  • JDBC 4.0 support (JSR 221).
  • Java Compiler API (JSR 199): an API allowing a Java program to select and invoke a Java Compiler programmatically.
  • Upgrade of JAXB to version 2.0: Including integration of a StAX parser.
  • Support for pluggable annotations (JSR 269)[25]
  • Many GUI improvements, such as integration of SwingWorker in the API, table sorting and filtering, and true Swing double-buffering (eliminating the gray-area effect).
  • JVM improvements include: synchronization and compiler performance optimizations, new algorithms and upgrades to existing garbage collection algorithms, and application start-up performance.[26]

Java 6 reached the end of its supported life in February 2013, at which time all updates, including security updates, were scheduled to be stopped.[27][28] Oracle released one more update to Java 6 in March 2013, which patched some security vulnerabilities.[29]

Java 6 updates[edit]

After Java 6 release, Sun, and later Oracle, released several updates which, while not changing any public API, enhanced end-user usability or fixed bugs.[30]

Release Release Date Highlights
Java SE 6 Update 1 2007-05-07
Java SE 6 Update 2 2007-07-03
Java SE 6 Update 3 2007-10-03
Java SE 6 Update 4 2008-01-14 HotSpot VM 10
Java SE 6 Update 5 2008-03-05
Java SE 6 Update 6 2008-04-16
Java SE 6 Update 7[31] Unofficially, Java SE 6 Update 7 (1.6.0.7) is the last version of Java that was shown to be working on the Win9x family of operating systems[citation needed]
Java SE 6 Update 10[32] 2008-10-15 HotSpot VM 11. Major changes for this update include:
  • Java Deployment Toolkit, a set of JavaScript functions to ease the deployment of applets and Java Web Start applications.[33]
  • Java Kernel, a small installer including only the most commonly used JRE classes. Other packages are downloaded when needed.
  • Enhanced updater.
  • Enhanced versioning and pack200 support: server-side support is no longer required.[34]
  • Java Quick Starter, to improve cold start-up time.
  • Improved performance of Java2D graphics primitives on Windows, using Direct3D and hardware acceleration.
  • A new Swing look and feel called Nimbus and based on synth.[35]
  • Next-Generation Java Plug-In: applets now run in a separate process and support many features of Web Start applications.[36]
Java SE 6 Update 11[37] 2008-12-03 13 security fixes[38]
Java SE 6 Update 12[39] 2008-12-12 No security fixes; 64-bit Java plug-in (for 64-bit web browsers only); Windows Server 2008 support; performance improvements of graphics and JavaFX applications
Java SE 6 Update 13[40] 2009-03-24 7 security fixes, JNDI store and retrieve Java objects in LDAP slightly modified, JMX Change (createMBeanunregisterMBean), 4 new root certificates added
Java SE 6 Update 14[41] 2009-05-28 HotSpot VM 14. This release includes extensive performance updates to the JIT compiler, compressed pointers for 64-bit machines, as well as support for the G1 (Garbage First) low-pause garbage collector.[42][43]

The -XX:+DoEscapeAnalysis option directs the HotSpot JIT compiler to use escape analysis to determine if local objects can be allocated on the stack instead of the heap.[44]

Some developers have noticed an issue introduced in this release which causes debuggers to miss breakpoints seemingly randomly.[45] Sun has a corresponding bug, which is tracking the issue. The workaround applies to the Client and Server VMs.[46] Using the -XX:+UseParallelGC option will prevent the failure. Another workaround is to roll back to update 13, or to upgrade to update 16.

Java SE 6 Update 15 2009-08-04 Introduced patch-in-place functionality[47]
Java SE 6 Update 16 2009-08-11 Fixed the issue introduced in update 14 which caused debuggers to miss breakpoints[48]
Java SE 6 Update 17[49] 2009-11-04 Security fixes; 2 new root certificates
Java SE 6 Update 18[50] 2010-01-13 No security fixes; Hotspot VM 16; support for Ubuntu 8.04 LTS Desktop Edition, SLES 11, Windows 7, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.3, Firefox 3.6, VisualVM 1.2; updated Java DB; many performance improvements
Java SE 6 Update 19[51] 2010-03-30 Security fixes; root certificate changes: seven new, three removed, five replaced with stronger signature algorithms; interim fix for TLS renegotiation attack
Java SE 6 Update 20[52] 2010-04-15 2 security fixes
Java SE 6 Update 21[53] 2010-07-07 No security fixes; Hotspot VM 17; support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.4 and 5.5, Oracle Enterprise Linux 4.8, 5.4, 5.5; Google Chrome 4 support; support for Customized Loading Progress Indicators; VisualVM 1.2.2
Java SE 6 Update 22[54] 2010-10-12 29 security fixes; RFC 5746 support
Java SE 6 Update 23[55] 2010-12-08 No security fixes; Hotspot VM 19; better support for right-to-left languages
Java SE 6 Update 24[56] 2011-02-15 21 security fixes; updated Java DB
Java SE 6 Update 25 2011-03-21 No security fixes; Hotspot VM 20; support for Internet Explorer 9, Firefox 4 and Chrome 10; improved BigDecimal; includes "tiered" compilation in the Server VM that enables it to start quickly as does the Client VM, while achieving better peak performance (this feature is enabled by specifying -server and -XX:+TieredCompilation command options)[57]
Java SE 6 Update 26[58] 2011-06-07 17 new security fixes;[59] last version compatible with Windows Vista SP1
Java SE 6 Update 27[60] 2011-08-16 No security fixes; certification for Firefox 5
Java SE 6 Update 29[61] 2011-10-18 20 security fixes, various bug fixes[62]
Java SE 6 Update 30[63] 2011-12-12 No security fixes; fix for SSL regression in Update 29; support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6
Java SE 6 Update 31[64] 2012-02-14 14 security fixes and one bug fix
Java SE 6 Update 32[65] 2012-04-26 No security fixes, various bug fixes
Java SE 6 Update 33[66] 2012-06-12 14 security fixes, improved VM configuration file loading
Java SE 6 Update 34[67] 2012-08-14 No security fixes, various bug fixes
Java SE 6 Update 35[68] 2012-08-30 Contains a security-in-depth fix[69]
Java SE 6 Update 37[70] 2012-10-16 30 security fixes
Java SE 6 Update 38[71] 2012-12-11 Various bug fixes[72]
Java SE 6 Update 39[73] 2013-02-01 50 security fixes
Java SE 6 Update 41[74] 2013-02-19 5 security fixes
Java SE 6 Update 43[75] 2013-03-04 2 security fixes
Java SE 6 Update 45[76] 2013-04-16 42 security fixes;[77] other changes;[76] final public update[78]
Java SE 6 Update 51[79] 2013-06-18 Not available publicly, only available through the Java SE Support program and in Apple Update for OS X Snow Leopard, Lion & Mountain Lion; up to 40 security fixes[80]
Java SE 6 Update 65[81] 2013-10-15 Not available publicly, only available through the Java SE Support program and in Apple Update for OS X Snow Leopard, Lion & Mountain Lion; at least 11 critical security fixes[82]
Java SE 6 Update 71[83] 2014-01-14 Not available for public download; 33 fixes[84]
Java SE 6 Update 75[85] 2014-04-15 Not available publicly, only available through the Java SE Support program and in Solaris 10's Recommended Patchset Cluster no. #54; 25 security fixes[86]
Java SE 6 Update 81[87] 2014-07-15 Not available publicly, only available through the Java SE Support program and in Solaris 10's Recommended Patchset Cluster; 11 security fixes[88]

Java SE 7 (July 28, 2011)[edit]

Java 7 (codename Dolphin[89]) is a major update that was launched on July 7, 2011[90] and was made available for developers on July 28, 2011.[91] The development period was organized into thirteen milestones; on June 6, 2011, the last of the thirteen milestones was finished.[92][93] On average, 8 builds (which generally included enhancements and bug fixes) were released per milestone. The feature list at the OpenJDK 7 project lists many of the changes.

Additions in Java 7 include:[94]

  • JVM support for dynamic languages, with the new invokedynamic bytecode under JSR-292,[95] following the prototyping work currently done on the Multi Language Virtual Machine
  • Compressed 64-bit pointers[96] (available in Java 6 with -XX:+UseCompressedOops)[97]
  • These small language changes (grouped under a project named Coin):[98]
  • Strings in switch[99]
  • Automatic resource management in try-statement[100]
  • Improved type inference for generic instance creation, aka the diamond operator <>[101]
  • Simplified varargs method declaration[102]
  • Binary integer literals[103]
  • Allowing underscores in numeric literals[104]
  • Catching multiple exception types and rethrowing exceptions with improved type checking[105]
  • Concurrency utilities under JSR 166[106]
  • New file I/O library to enhance platform independence and add support for metadata and symbolic links. The new packages are java.nio.file and java.nio.file.attribute[107][108]
  • Timsort is used to sort collections and arrays of objects instead of merge sort
  • Library-level support for elliptic curve cryptography algorithms
  • An XRender pipeline for Java 2D, which improves handling of features specific to modern GPUs
  • New platform APIs for the graphics features originally implemented in version 6u10 as unsupported APIs[109]
  • Enhanced library-level support for new network protocols, including SCTP and Sockets Direct Protocol
  • Upstream updates to XML and Unicode

Lambda (Java's implementation of lambda functions), Jigsaw (Java's implementation of modules), and part of Coin were dropped from Java 7. Java 8 will be released with the remaining features (except for Jigsaw, which will be in Java 9).[110][111]

From April 2012, Java 7 has been the default version to download on java.com.[112]

Java 7 updates[edit]

Oracle plans to issue updates to the Java 7 family on a quarterly basis.[113]

Release Release Date Highlights
Java SE 7[114] 2011-07-28 Initial release; HotSpot VM 21
Java SE 7 Update 1[115] 2011-10-18 20 security fixes, other bug fixes
Java SE 7 Update 2[116] 2011-12-12 No security fixes; HotSpot VM 22; reliability and performance improvements; support for Solaris 11 and Firefox 5 and later; JavaFX included with Java SE JDK, improvements for web-deployed applications
Java SE 7 Update 3[117] 2012-02-14 14 security fixes[118]
Java SE 7 Update 4[119] 2012-04-26 No security updates; HotSpot VM 23; JDK Support for Mac OS X
Java SE 7 Update 5[120] 2012-06-12 14 security fixes[121]
Java SE 7 Update 6[122] 2012-08-14 JavaFX and Java Access Bridge included in Java SE JDK and JRE installation, JavaFX support for touch-enabled monitors and touch pads, JavaFX support for Linux, JDK and JRE Support for Mac OS X, JDK for Linux on ARM[123]
Java SE 7 Update 7[124] 2012-08-30 4 security fixes[69]
Java SE 7 Update 9[125] 2012-10-16 30 security vulnerabilities fixes[126]
Java SE 7 Update 10[127] 2012-12-11 New security features, such as the ability to disable any Java application from running in the browser and new dialogs to warn you when the JRE is insecure, and bug fixes
Java SE 7 Update 11[128] 2013-01-13 Olson Data 2012i; bugfix for problems with registration of plugin on systems with Stand-alone version of JavaFX Installed, security fixes for CVE-2013-0422;[129] the default security level for Java applets and web start applications has been increased from "Medium" to "High"
Java SE 7 Update 13[130] 2013-02-01 50 security fixes
Java SE 7 Update 15[131] 2013-02-19 5 security fixes
Java SE 7 Update 17[132] 2013-03-04 2 security fixes
Java SE 7 Update 21[133] 2013-04-16 Multiple changes including 42 security fixes, a new Server JRE that doesn't include the plug-in, and the JDK for Linux on ARM
Java SE 7 Update 25[134] 2013-06-18 Multiple changes including 40 security fixes[80][135]
Java SE 7 Update 40[136] 2013-09-10 New security features, hardfloat ARM, Java Mission Control and Retina Display support[137]
Java SE 7 Update 45[138] 2013-10-15 51 security fixes;[139] protections against unauthorized redistribution of Java applications; restore security prompts; JAXP changes; TimeZone.setDefault change
Java SE 7 Update 51[140] 2014-01-14 36 security fixes; block JAVA applets without manifest (like Remote console – Java Applet – IBM IMM card, HP iLO card) even if warning dialog is with sentence "will be blocked in next version"[141][142]
Java SE 7 Update 55[143] 2014-04-15 37 security fixes[144]
Java SE 7 Update 60[145] 2014-05-28 130 bug fixes[146]
Java SE 7 Update 65[147] 2014-07-15 18 bug fixes[148]
Java SE 7 Update 67[149] 2014-08-04 1 bug fix[150]

Java SE 8 (March 18, 2014)[edit]

Java 8 (codenames have been discontinued, but the codename Spider is common among Java developers[151]) was released on 18 March 2014[152][153] and included some features that were planned for Java 7 but later deferred.[154]

Work on features was organized in terms of JDK Enhancement Proposals (JEPs).[155]

  • JSR 335, JEP 126: Language-level support for lambda expressions (officially, lambda expressions; unofficially, closures) under Project Lambda[156] and default methods (virtual extension methods) [157][158][159] which make multiple inheritance possible in Java. There was an ongoing debate in the Java community on whether to add support for lambda expressions.[160][161] Sun later declared that lambda expressions would be included in Java and asked for community input to refine the feature.[162] Supporting lambda expressions also allows to perform functional-style operations on streams of elements, such as MapReduce transformations on collections. Default methods allow an author of API to add new methods to an interface without breaking the old code using it. It also provides a way to use multiple inheritance, multiple inheritance of implementation more precisely.
  • JSR 223, JEP 174: Project Nashorn, a JavaScript runtime which allows developers to embed JavaScript code within applications
  • JSR 308, JEP 104: Annotation on Java Types[163]
  • Unsigned Integer Arithmetic[164]
  • JSR 337, JEP 120: Repeating annotations[165]
  • JSR 310, JEP 150: Date and Time API[166]
  • JEP 178: Statically-linked JNI libraries[167]
  • JEP 153: Launch JavaFX applications (direct launching of JavaFX application JARs)[168]
  • JEP 122: Remove the permanent generation[169]

Java 8 is not supported on Windows XP.[170] But as of JDK 8 update 11, it still can run under Windows XP after a forced installation by directly unzipping files from the installation executable.

Java 8 updates[edit]

Release Release Date Highlights
Java SE 8 2014-03-18 Initial release
Java SE 8 Update 5[171] 2014-04-15 Using "*" in Caller-Allowable-Codebase attribute; bug fixes
Java SE 8 Update 11[172] 2014-07-15 Java Dependency Analysis Tool (jdeps); Java Control Panel option to disable sponsors; JAR file attribute – Entry-Point; JAXP processing limit property – maxElementDepth; 18 security bug fixes[173]
Java SE 8 Update 20[174] 2014-08-19

Java SE 9[edit]

At JavaOne 2011, Oracle discussed features they hope to have in a 2016[175] release of Java 9, including better support for multi-gigabyte heaps, better native code integration, and a self-tuning JVM.[176]

There are plans to add automatic parallelization using OpenCL.[1][181]

Java SE 10[edit]

There is speculation of removing primitive data types, as well as moving towards 64-bit addressable arrays to support large data sets somewhere around 2018.[1] However, there is some information that indicates that primitive data types will not be removed.[182]

Implementations[edit]

OpenJDK is a free and open source implementation of the Java Platform, Standard Edition (Java SE).

Before OpenJDK, several Free Java implementations were done by various companies and groups such as Apache Harmony. IBM also provides Java implementations,[183] and RedHat provides it through the IcedTea project: a build and integration project for OpenJDK.

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External links[edit]