Oracle releases Java 9

Oracle has just released Java 9, the new version and latest update to the Java platform, featuring improvements across the board.

The new release includes a long list of improvements and changes like modularization support, better performance, support for new standards and more.

Oracle classifies Java 9 as a major release. The release notes highlight all major changes to the various Java components.

The biggest change, according to Oracle, is the introduction of the Java Platform Module System. It “introduces a new kind of Java programming component”, the module, a named, self-describing collection of data and code.

Java’s JDK has been divided into modules which, among many other things, restructured the JDK and JRE runtime images which in turn improved performance, security and maintainability.

Most changes are important only to Java developers, but there are some that affect home users who run Java applications locally or on the Web.

Here is the list of changes that may be relevant to home users:

  • The JRE 9 installer for Windows includes an option to “disable Java content in the browser” during setup. You need to select custom setup on the first installation screen to get to that option though. This blocks Java from running in the browser during installation (you had to disable this in the Control Panel previously).
  • The Java plug-in is deprecated. While it is still included with the JDK 9 build that was released today, Oracle notes that the plugin and associated applet technologies may be removed in future releases. The applet API is also deprecated.
  • The Java Control Panel applet for Windows has been updated. It features a search now, modal dialog boxes are gone, and information should be easier to locate according to Oracle. The placement of some options has changed however. The following options are provided:
    • Disable automatic update checking.
    • Manage Java desktop settings.
    • Manage web settings (exceptions, deployment rule set, temporary file settings, network, Java cache viewer).
    • Manage security settings (enable Java content in browser, enable enhanced security restrictions, manage certificates).
    • List of advanced options.
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General features of interest include the disabling of SHA-1 certificates, better TLS support, and more.

You can download the Jave SE Development KIT 9 from this page, and the JRE 9 from this page. Downloads are provided for Linux, Mac OS X, Windows and Solaris.

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