Java is one of the most popular programming languages in use today, powering billions of devices and applications around the world. Many software developers rely on the language’s features and capabilities to build products, making it essential to understand which version is best suited for them. To make it easier to evaluate the differences between Java 1.8 and 11, here is a comprehensive guide.
Overview of Java and Its Versions
Originally created by Sun Microsystems, Java is an object-oriented programming language designed to create web-based applets, allowing them to run on multiple platforms. While the language has evolved over time, the original version of Java was first released in 1995, soon becoming one of the most popular programming languages in the world. Java has come a long way since then, with various new versions released as the language and platform change. The two most popular versions include Java 1.8 (also known as Java 8) and 11 (also known as Java 11). While there are many other versions available, it is key to understand the differences between these two versions and what makes them unique.
Java 8 was released in 2014 and is the most widely used version of Java. It is the first version to include the lambda expressions, which allow developers to write code more concisely and efficiently. It also includes the Stream API, which allows developers to process data in a more efficient manner. Java 11, released in 2018, is the latest version of Java and includes a number of new features such as the HTTP Client API, which allows developers to make HTTP requests more easily. It also includes the Java Flight Recorder, which allows developers to monitor and analyze the performance of their applications.
Key Features and Differences Between Java 1.8 and 11
The two major differences between Java 1.8 and 11 are the amount of support available – as Java 1.8 has an extended support period – and the set of features included in each version. When it comes to specific features, both versions offer features such as garbage collection and multithreading assistance, but they differ in more complex features such as type inference, garbage collecting algorithms, and scripting building. To make the most out of each version, it is important to understand the differences between them. Meanwhile, those with existing applications built on Java 1.8 have access to extended support until 2023, allowing them time to evaluate potential changes and upgrade at their own pace without having to rush into making changes or facing compatibility issues.
Java 1.8 also offers a number of additional features such as lambda expressions, the Stream API, and the Date and Time API, which are not available in Java 11. Additionally, Java 1.8 has a more comprehensive set of libraries and tools, making it easier to develop applications. Java 11, on the other hand, has a more modern approach to development, with a focus on modularity and scalability. This makes it easier to maintain and update applications, as well as to deploy them in different environments.
Advantages of Upgrading to Version 11
The most important benefit to upgrading from Java 1.8 to 11 is that 11 includes plenty of improvements and new features, enhancing user experience and offering additional security measures. For example, the type inference – a feature that reduces code complexity and improves code readability – was introduced in version 11, making development a lot easier. Moreover, developers who use version 11 are able to take full advantage of the string-based switch expressions for improved performance. Moreover, developers can also take advantage of new concurrency constructs that allow for more efficient resource utilization.
In addition, version 11 also includes a number of new APIs and libraries that make development easier and faster. For example, the new HTTP Client API allows developers to make HTTP requests without having to write complex code. Furthermore, the new Flight Recorder feature allows developers to monitor and analyze application performance in real-time. Finally, the new Z Garbage Collector provides improved garbage collection performance, allowing applications to run faster and more efficiently.
Limitations of Java 1.8
Java 1.8, while still being backed by extended support until 2023, lacks several tools and features that come with newer versions such as improved garbage collecting algorithms, scripting building integration, type inference, and more efficient multithreading capabilities. As such, developers experience more difficulties when building applications with older versions when compared to those using newer versions.
In addition, Java 1.8 does not support the latest language features such as lambda expressions, method references, and the Stream API. This means that developers are unable to take advantage of the latest language features when using Java 1.8, which can lead to slower development times and more complex code. Furthermore, Java 1.8 does not support the latest security features, which can leave applications vulnerable to attack.
Security Enhancements in Version 11
To ensure users’ data remains safe, Java 11 includes a number of important security enhancements. First, developers can use high-level cryptography to ensure data is kept safe when transmitted or stored by applications or users. Additionally, TLS 1.3 support is included for improved security for both HTTP requests and responses. Finally, developers can also take advantage of compiler warnings for previously insecure code paths to ensure their applications offer a high level of security for users.
In addition to the security enhancements, Java 11 also includes a number of other features to improve the user experience. For example, the new version includes support for Unicode 10.0, which allows for improved internationalization of applications. Additionally, the new version also includes support for HTTP/2, which allows for faster loading of webpages and improved performance. Finally, Java 11 also includes a number of bug fixes and performance improvements to ensure applications run smoothly and efficiently.
Impact of Version 11 on Application Performance
Java 11 can help improve performance when building applications by enabling new features such as dynamic class-file constant pool splitting and improved garbage collectors to handle large amounts of data more efficiently. Additionally, the dynamic class-file constant pool splitting allows developers to optimize memory management by splitting class files into multiple pools, allowing them to compile separate sections faster as needed. Furthermore, since many applications are CPU-bound when it comes to performance, developers can take advantage of improved concurrency constructs for better utilization of resources.
Best Practices for Upgrading to Version 11
As with any new technology or software upgrade, there are certain best practices developers should consider when upgrading an application to use Java 11. First, they should analyze both their existing application and their goals before commencing the upgrade process, allowing them to better understand what changes need to be made in order to keep their applications secure and functioning correctly. It is also important to make use of external services such as testing tools and cloud-based infrastructure configurations to thoroughly check the application before it’s in production.
Summary: Is Upgrading to Version 11 Worth It?
Despite being slightly longer than 1.8 in terms of support duration, Java 11 offers a bevy of new features such as type inference and garbage collecting algorithms that make application performance smoother than ever before. On top of this, security is also improved via high-level cryptography, TLS 1.3 support, and compiler warnings for previous insecure code paths. As such, the decision to upgrade depends on whether the new features offered by Java 11 outweighs any development costs or changes needed for current applications.