Here is a list of all versions of Java and features introduced with each release.
JDK Alpha and Beta
The Java Alpha and Beta version was released in 1995 but they have highly unstable APIs. The supplied Java web browser was named WebRunner.
Java’s first stable version 1.0.2 was released on January 23, 1996. Its code name was Oak and called as java 1.
JDK 1.1 version was released on February 19, 1997. It was having some additional features as :
- The concept of Inner Class
- The AWT event model was totally reshaped.
- Reflection(which supported Introspection only, the modification was not possible at runtime).
- JIT (Just In Time) compiler added on Microsoft Windows platforms to produced for JavaSoft by Symantec
- Internationalization and Unicode support originating from Taligent.
JDK 1.2 version was released on December 8, 1998, called codename Playground. It was a very big release and replaced JDK to recognize the base platform from J2EE and J2ME. It was having so many additional features as
- strictfp keyword
- Java plug-in
- Java IDL, an IDL implementation for CORBA interoperability
- Collections framework
- Core classes added some new Swing graphical API.
- Sun’s JVM was added with a JIT compiler for the first time to enhance performance.
JDK 1.3 version was released on May 8, 2000, called codename Kestrel. It was having so many additional features as
- HotSpot JVM included.
- RMI was updated to support optional compatibility with CORBA.
- JNDI (Java Naming and Directory Interface).
- Java Platform Debugger Architecture (JPDA) included.
- Synthetic proxy classes.
JDK 1.4 version was released on February 6, 2002, called codename Merlin. It was first Java Platform which was released under the Java community process and having so many additional features as
- Improved libraries.
- Perl regular expressions included.
- Provided exception chaining (It allows an exception to encapsulate original lower-level exception).
- IPv6 support (Internet Protocol version 6).
- Logging API (Specified in JSR 47.)
- The image I/O API for reading and writing images in formats like JPEG and PNG.
- XML parser and XSLT processor integrated.
- Security and cryptography extensions (JCE, JSSE, JAAS) integrated.
J2SE 1.5 version was released on September 30, 2004, called as codename Tiger also called as Java 5.0. It was having so many additional features as
- It provided compile-time type safety for collections by using generics and eliminates the need for most typecasts.
- Used Metadata or annotations.
- Enhanced for each loop.
- Improved semantics of execution for multi-threaded Java programs.
- There were also some improvements in standard libraries:
- Automatic stub generation for RMI objects.
- Swing: It provided a skinny look and feel.
- The concurrency utilities in package java.util.concurrent.
- Scanner class added for parsing data from various input streams and buffers.
- Java 5 was the last release of Java which officially supported the older versions Microsoft Windows 9x line i.e (Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME) and window Vista
- Apple Mac OS X 10.5 by default having java version 5 installed.
Java SE 6
Java SE version was released on December 11, 2006, called as codename Mustang also called as Java SE 6. It was having so many additional features as
- Dropped the support for older Win9x versions.
- Scripting Language Support.
- Generic API for tight integration with scripting languages.
- Improved Web Service support.
- JDBC 4.0 support.
- Now invoke Java Compiler by using Java Compiler API programmatically.
Java SE 7
Java SE version was released on July 28, 2011, called codename Dolphin also called as Java SE 7. It was having so many additional features as
- JVM support for dynamic languages.
- Compressed 64-bits pointer.
- Strings added in the switch.
- Automatic resource management in try-statement.
- Underscores allowed in numeric literals.
- Binary integer literals.
- Improved type interface for creating a generic instance. (also called diamond operator )
- Improved caching and throwing. (catch multiple exceptions and rethrow with improved type checking)
- Provided Java Deployment rulesets.
Java SE 8
Java SE version was released on March 18, 2014, called codename Spider. It was having so many additional features as
- Language-level support for Lambda expressions.
- Annotation of Java Types.
- Provided Date and Time API.
- Repeating Annotations.
- Launching of JavaFX applications.
- Removal of permanent generation.
- Java SE 8 was not supported in Windows XP but after JDK 8 update version 25, we can install and run it under Windows XP.
Java SE 9
Java SE version was released on September 21, 2017, developed by Oracle. It was having so many additional features as
- Java 9 would include better support for better native code integration,multi-gigabyte heaps, a different default garbage collector and a self-tuning JVM.
- Modularization of the JDK under Project Jigsaw.
- Provided Money and Currency API.
- Tight integration with JavaFX.
- Java implementation of reactive streams.
- More Concurrency Updates.
- Provided Java Linker.
- Automatic scaling and sizing.
Java SE 10
Java SE version was released on March 20, 2018, developed by Oracle. It was having so many additional features as
- Remove primitive data types and move towards 64-bit addressable arrays to support large data sets.
- Local-Variable Type Inference
- Experimental Java-Based JIT Compiler: This is a Graal dynamic compiler to the integration with the Linux x64 platform.
- Application Class-Data Sharing: This reduces the startup and footprint for java applications by placing application classes in shared archives.
- Time-Based Release Versioning
- Parallel Full GC for G1
- Garbage-Collector Interface
- Additional Unicode Language-Tag Extensions
- Root Certificates
- Thread-Local Handshakes
- Heap Allocation on Alternative Memory Devices
- Remove the Native-Header Generation Tool – javah
- Consolidate the JDK Forest into a Single Repository
Java SE 11
Java SE version was released on September 25, 2018, and the version is open for bug fixes. It was having so many additional features as
- JEP 309: Dynamic class-file constants
- JEP 318: Epsilon: a no-op garbage collector
- JEP 323: Local-variable syntax for lambda parameters
- JEP 331: Low-overhead heap profiling
- JEP 321: HTTP client (standard)
- JEP 332: Transport Layer Security (TLS) 1.3
- JEP 328: Flight recorder
- JEP 333: ZGC: a scalable low-latency garbage collector
- CORBA, JavaFX, and Java EE modules have been removed from JDK
- Unicode 10.0.0 support (while the current version is Unicode 11.0.0, it’s only in Java 12)
- Java web start and applets are no longer available.
Java SE 12
Java SE version was released on March 19, 2019, and the version is open for bug fixes. It was having so many additional features as
- JEP 189: Shenandoah: A Low-Pause-Time Garbage Collector
- JEP 230: Microbenchmark Suite
- JEP 325: Switch Expressions
- JEP 334: JVM Constants API
- JEP 340: One AArch64 Port, Not Two
- JEP 341: Default CDS Archives
- JEP 344: Abortable Mixed Collections for G1
- JEP 346: Return Unused Committed Memory from G1 Promptly