Summary of differences between Java versions?
What are the major differences in between Java version in terms of software development? Where can one find a summary of the most important changes related to programming?
The Release Notes such as http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javase/releasenotes-136954.html can be hard to read.
For example there is new code structure "for each" in Java 1.5.
This is a summary of the excellent Wikipedia article about the Java version history. It is highly selective (and biased on what I know and use), otherwise it would simply turn out to be a copy of the article.
The bold parts are what really brought the language forward as a whole. As you see, not every release has bold parts.
- JEP 321 Http Client standardized
- Local variable type inference (
- further continuation of Project Coin (small language improvements)
- Java Platform Module System (jigsaw)
- modularization of the platform itself
- makes modules a first-class citizen meant to replace the messy classpath with modules with real dependency information
- People seem to have gotten over the 1.x naming convention, almost no one calls this "Java 1.9".
Java 8 (a.k.a 1.8)
- lambda expressions (JSR 335, includes method handles)
- continuation of Project Coin (small language improvements)
- annotations on Java types
Java 7 (a.k.a 1.7)
- new abstracted file-system API (NIO.2) (with support for virtual filesystems)
- improved concurrency libraries
- elliptic curve encryption
- more incremental upgrades
Java 6 (a.k.a 1.6)
Mostly incremental improvements to existing libraries, no new language features (except for the
Java 5 (a.k.a 1.5)
- concurrency utilities in
Mostly minor improvements, really.
- HotSpot JVM: improvement over the original JIT
- a real JIT, greatly improving speed
- inner classes
- AWT event changes
- JDBC, RMI
Initial release, everything is new ;-)
The explanation for why Java 6 had so little changes seems to be at JSR 270 page: it looks like back then, they were experimenting with idea of _time-driven_ releases instead of _feature-driven_: "goal is to ship feature releases on a regular 18-24 month cycle..."
@gnat: that sounds about right, but the answer is stuffed enough as it is, I'd like to keep additional info like this out of the list.
@JoachimSauer yup, your answer sounds about right without these details "embedded". Though... it probably wouldn't hurt if you add links to respective umbrella JSRs for 1.4 and later releases, that would implicitly cover it, along with maybe more details
Hey Axel, please do not feel bad, at all. Certainly let's blame the web! Why can't we republish the contet from Wikipedia here on PE? Why do we have to resort to copy and paste? Why is there no mechanism to display content from Wikipedia in pE? IMO this should be basic stuff. Imagine java 1.9 comes out what do you think. Which page will be kept uptodate ?this answer is just copy and paste, programmers should avoid it, no?