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Oracle has announced Java SE 13 and Java Development Kit (JDK) 13. The announcement is accompanied by the promise that future updates will be available every six months.

Improvements to the platform include better performance, stability and security. Previews have also been announced for two new features. These include ‘Switch Expressions’ and ‘Text Blocks’, features designed to improve the productivity of developers. “Oracle JDK 13 increases developer productivity by improving the performance, stability and security of the Java SE platform and the JDK,” says the company.

The Switch Expressions feature extends the functionality of switch statements. With Switch Expressions, these can be used as a statement or as an expression, which in turn can be part of a statement. Text Blocks is intended to simplify the writing of Java applications. The tool is intended to simplify strings that use multiple lines of source code. Because they are previews, according to ZDNet it is possible that these versions of Switch Expressions and Text Blocks will be removed at some point. Java 13 also has features such as dynamic class data sharing archives and memory improvements. There will also be a new implementation of the Java sockets application programming interface.

Faster and effective updates

The new update time frame is a change from the three-year cycle used in the past. New updates are now coming in March and September. “By accessing new improvements in smaller steps and in a faster way, developers can manage the pace of innovation much more easily, as proven by Java 10 with 12 new improvements, Java 11 with 17 new improvements and Java 12 with 8 new improvements,” reports Sharat Chander, director of product management at Java SE.

According to Chander, JDK 13 also receives at least two updates that go hand in hand with Oracle’s critical patch update schedule. This is an update schedule for security problems. These updates take place on the Tuesdays closest to the 17th day of January, April, July and October.

Java SE 13 is available immediately.