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InfoQ Homepage News Java News Roundup - Week of March 15th, 2021

Java News Roundup - Week of March 15th, 2021

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The big news this past week was the release of Java 16. InfoQ has reported on all the details including a sneak peek into what developers may expect with Java 17, scheduled for release in mid-September. It was also a busy week for a number of JEPs that have advanced from Draft to Candidate status, and there was news from Hibernate, Red Hat and Spring.

Along with improvements to the thread stack processing with the ZGC garbage collector, Java 16 ships with significant changes to the G1 and Parallel garbage collectors. Changes to G1 GC include: changing the behavior of returning a surplus of memory that could potentially increase GC pause times of up to 100ms; and improving the heap occupancy threshold that triggers concurrent marking. Changes to Parallel GC include parallelizing pre-touch memory and processing internal references.

UTF-8 By Default (JEP 400) proposes that UTF-8 will be the default character set in Java SE to create consistency across all JDK implementations and independently of a user's operating system, locale, and configuration. It should be noted that this affects the user-level APIs, such as java.io.FileWriter, not the internals which remain as Latin-1 or UTF-16.

The first of the Valhalla JEPs, Primitive Objects (Preview) (JEP 401) and Unify the Basic Primitives with Objects (Preview) (JEP 402), propose to: enhance the Java object model with user-declared primitive objects; and unify the basic primitives types (int, double, etc.) with corresponding objects by repurposing the eight primitive wrapper classes (java.lang.Integer, java.lang.Double, etc.). As reported by InfoQ, there is no expectation that these JEPs will be upgraded to Closed/Delivered status without at least one round (most likely several) of incubation.

As one of the primary goals of Project Jigsaw, Strongly Encapsulate JDK Internals (JEP 403) proposes to strongly encapsulate all internal elements of the JDK, except for critical internal APIs, such as sun.misc.Unsafe, to improve the security and maintainability of the JDK. As is possible in Java 9 through Java 16, it will no longer be possible to bypass strong encapsulation via the command-line option, --illegal-access.

Generational Shenandoah (JEP 404) proposes to "enhance the Shenandoah garbage collector with generational collection capabilities to improve sustainable throughput, load-spike resilience, and memory utilization." Compared to other garbage collectors, such as G1, CMS and Parallel, Shenandoah currently requires additional heap headroom and has a more difficult time recovering space occupied by unreachable objects.

Hibernate has released Hibernate ORM 5.4.30, a maintenance release that introduces spatial support for CockroachDB 20.2+. Because CockroachDB has been working towards compatibility with PostgreSQL, the new CockroachDB202SpatialDialect class is based on PostGIS, the spatial database extender for PostgreSQL.

Red Hat has released Weld 3.1.7 as a multi-release JAR providing two different implementations supporting JDK 8 and JDK 11+. Along with the usual bug fixes that eliminate the JDK 11+ illegal reflective access warnings, this new version of Weld, the reference implementation of the Contexts & Dependency Injection for Java specification, features a rework of Weld's default class defining utilities, such as ProxyServices, BeanAttributesConfigurator and ProcessBean.

Red Hat has also released Quarkus 1.12.2, a maintenance release fixing bugs, such as building native images on Windows and deploying applications to OpenShift, and improving the documentation. Red Hat recommends that developers migrate to version 1.12.2 as soon as possible.

Related to Red Hat, Excelero, a low-latency distributed block storage for web-scale applications company, has achieved Red Hat OpenShift Operator Certification for its NVMesh Software-Defined Storage. On achieving this certification, Edo Ganot, CBO at Excelero, stated:

Excelero has been working with key customers on extending NVMesh support to public clouds. We're delighted to become a part of the Red Hat OpenShift Operator ecosystem and help the community of OpenShift data centers to build agile, high-performance, lower cost storage architectures to help accelerate their digital transformation journey.

Over at Spring, point releases of Spring Framework and Spring Boot were made available to the Java community this past week. Spring Framework 5.3.5 includes 39 bug fixes and improvements and supports Java 16. Spring Boot 2.4.4 includes 60 bug fixes, documentation improvements and numerous dependency upgrades.

On the lighter side, and as a follow-up from the February 15, 2021 weekly roundup, the name of the new Grails mascot, "Sir Gideon of Grails," has been revealed resulting from the contest facilitated by Object Computing.

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