Java Development Kit (JDK) 9 will come packed with new features, including modularisation, ahead-of-time compilation, a read-eval-print loop and a memory-saving improvement.

Read next: 10 up-and-coming programming languages developers should get to know.

When is the Java 9 release date?

Java 9 should be fully released for general availability on 21 September 2017, after chief architect at the Java Platform Group, Mark Reinhold announced delays to the rollout citing "additional time required to move through the JCP process" being the cause. 

This delay comes after a variety of previous setbacks, mainly due to issues with its modularisation effort that was already left out of Java 8, which was released three years ago, making modular Java a feature in Java 9 instead.

Oracle has offered early availability for those wanting to download and test the new platform. If you're interested, new updates are being published daily for
testing.

Oracle had previously set 27 July as the already pushed back release date, however moving the date on a few months was expected as developers test Java 9 via the early access build to find issues that affected its release.

Related

New features

We've been waiting a long time for Java 9, so as you can imagine, there are a lot of new features, perhaps to make up for the delay in release.

Java 9 should provide a 'feature complete' platform including improvements in:

  • Modularity
  • Developer Convenience
  • Strings
  • Diagnostics
  • JVM options
  • Logging
  • Javadoc
  • JavaScript/HTTP
  • Native Platform
  • JavaFX
  • Images
  • Unicode

The biggest improvement is its modularity, which should make the Java platform more scalable while improving its deployments on smaller devices.

As we've already established modularisation was meant to be in place in Java 8, with it being pushed back to 9. This is probably due to the significant changes that it makes to the way the Java platform has been operating since day one, or Java 1.0.

Java 9 developers will also find the old HttpURLConnection is finally being replaced with a new HTTP client, which should provide greater improvements and support both HTTP/2 protocol and WebSocket handshake.

In addition, Java 9 will introduce 'jShell', a tool that will provide read-eval-print loop functionality, allowing developers to evaluate statements and expressions along with an API, meaning other applications can use these capabilities also. 

In terms of security, Java 9 will see a new version string scheme, which should make distinguishing between security updates and other major or minor updates a lot easier.

For a full list of new features and updates, see here.

We'll keep you updated with any changes to the release date, but as it stands we've got a lot to look forward coming 21 September.

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