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The new version focuses on accelerating and easing software development.

This week Oracle made Java 18 generally available. The new Java provides users with new capabilities to improve software development practices.

Java 18 follows the Java 17 release, which Oracle released in September 2021 as Long Term Support (LTS) update, with support for eight years. However, Java 18 is not an LTS. Rather, it is an incremental update with support for only six months. What it includes are updates for code libraries and tools as well as previews for technologies that are currently in development and not yet production-ready.

Alan Zeichick, Editor in Chief of Java Magazine, announced the new release in a blog post. “Want a simple web server? Java 18 has one,” he writes. “How about a JDK Enhancement Proposal (JEP) that reduces the development and maintenance costs of reflection? Internet address resolution? Java 18 has them. Would you like to see code snippets in Java API documentation? That’s there, starting with Java 18. How about progress on the Vector API, the Foreign Function and Memory API, and pattern matching for switch? Yes, Java 18 evolves all three of those preview and incubator features.”

There is “something for everyone” in Java 18

While many details of Java 18 have been available for months on the JDK 18 page on the OpenJDK site, the platform became generally available on March 22. Developers have been working with the source code and running the binaries, and many contributed comments, bug reports, and suggestions.

Zeichick explains, “there were 186 modified documents between Java 17 (build 35) and Java 18 (build 37), as well as 340 changed contexts. Not all of these are feature enhancements; 2,063 reported issues were marked as fixed for this release.”

“Java 18 offers nine JEPs in four buckets,” Zeichick concludes. “Probably most developers will focus on pattern matching for switch—but there’s something in Java 18 for everyone.”