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Java 15 starts to take shape

Java 15 starts to take shape

Next version slated to add text blocks and drop Nashorn JavaScript engine

Credit: Dreamstime

With Java 14 having reached general availability last week, work has begun on the successor, Java 15, due in September 2020.

Thus far two official changes, the addition of text blocks and the removal of the Nashorn JavaScript engine, have been proposed for the release.

While not yet cited on the official OpenJDK page for Java Development Kit 15, the proposal’s own OpenJDK page notes JDK 15 as the target release. The Nashorn removal is cited on the official JDK 15 page.

Of the two OpenJDK 15 proposals, Text blocks, previewed in both JDK 14 and JDK 13, are intended to simplify the task of writing Java programs by making it easy to express strings that span several lines of source code, while avoiding escape sequences in common cases.

A text block is a multi-line string literal that avoids the need for most escape sequences, automatically formats the string in a predictable manner, and offers the developer control over the format when desired.

A goal of the text blocks proposal is enhancing the readability of strings in Java programs that denote code written in non-Java languages.

Another goal is to support migration from string literals by stipulating that any new construct can express the same set of strings as a string literal, interpret the same escape sequences, and be manipulated in the same fashion as a string literal. The OpenJDK developers hope to add escape sequences to manage explicit white space and newline control.

Meanwhile, Nashorn, which debuted in JDK 8 in March 2014, has since been made obsolete by technologies such as GraalVM. The OpenJDK 15 proposal calls for removing Nashorn APIs and the jjs command line tool used to invoke Nashorn.

Early access builds of JDK 15 can be found at java.jdk.net. JDK 15 will be a short-term feature release, supported for six months according to Oracle’s six-month release cadence.

The next long-term support (LTS) release, which will receive several years of support, will be JDK 17, which is due to arrive in September 2021. The current LTS release is JDK 11, which was released in September 2018.


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