Java 17 / OpenJDK 17 Hits GA With Maturing Vector API, Removal Planned For Applet API

Written by Michael Larabel in Oracle on 14 September 2021 at 01:48 PM EDT. 34 Comments
Java 17 has made it to general availability status today with a number of improvements.

Among the changes with OpenJDK 17 are a new macOS rendering pipeline, macOS AArch64 port for Apple Silicon, enhanced pseudo-random number generators, deprecating the Java Applet API ahead of its complete removal, sealed classes support, removing the experimental ahead-of-time (AOT) and just-in-time (JIT) compilers, the Java Vector API is up to its second incubator phase, and context-specific deserialization filters.

The new macOS rendering pipeline is making use of Apple's Metal API given the OpenGL deprecation on the platform. Java's sealed classes and interfaces implementation allows for restricting the other classes and interfaces that may extend or implement them.

The experimental AOT and JIT compilers are being removed due to little progress on them while the Java-level JVM compiler interface (JVMCI) interface will still be maintained for externally-built versions of the compiler. Meanwhile the Java Applet API is being further deprecated for removal given that most web browsers have already cleared out their Java applet support.

Java's Vector API is quite exciting and building off the initial code in Java 16. The Java Vector API aims to make it easy to allow run-time handling and optimal vector instruction generation across CPU architectures for SSE, AVX, Arm NEON, and other instruction set extensions.

Java 17 is quite notable in that it will be a Long-Term Support (LTS) release, including from Oracle.

More details on the Java 17 release via the release announcement and the JDK17 project page.
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