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Ashutosh Sharma
Ashutosh Sharma

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Java Through the Ages: Unraveling the Top Features of Each Major Version

Since its beginnings, Java, a flexible and popular programming language, has undergone a remarkable growth and change. Java has added new features and improvements with each major version release, changing the way programmers write code and create applications. In this article, we'll trip through the several Java iterations and examine their key characteristics, highlighting key turning points in the development of the language.

Version Release Date Top Features
Java 1 Jan 23, 1996 Platform independence, basic object-oriented programming
Java 2 Dec 8, 1998 Improved libraries and APIs, Java Development Kit (JDK)
Java 5 Sep 30, 2004 Generics, enhanced for loop, annotations
Java 6 Dec 11, 2006 Scripting language support, enhanced JDBC
Java 7 Jul 28, 2011 Switch statement enhancements, try-with-resources
Java 8 Mar 18, 2014 Lambda expressions, Stream API, Default methods
Java 9 Sep 21, 2017 Module system, JShell, HTTP/2 support
Java 10 Mar 20, 2018 Local variable type inference
Java 11 Sep 25, 2018 HTTP Client API, Local variable syntax for lambda parameters
Java 12 Mar 19, 2019 Switch expressions, compact number formatting
Java 13 Sep 17, 2019 Text blocks, dynamic CDS, ZGC
Java 14 Mar 17, 2020 Pattern matching for instanceof, records
Java 15 Sep 15, 2020 Sealed classes, hidden classes, text blocks
Java 16 Mar 16, 2021 Records, pattern matching for instanceof
Java 17 Sep 14, 2021 Sealed classes, pattern matching for switch
Java 18 Mar 22, 2022 Vector API incubation, preview of pattern matching for switch expr.
Java 19 Sep 20, 2022 Structured concurrency, record patterns, preview of foreign API
Java 20 Mar 21, 2023 Virtual threads, vector API proposal, structured concurrency, more

Over time, Java has seen tremendous change as it adapted to the shifting demands of developers and the market. Every significant Java update has added useful features and enhancements that allow programmers to create cleaner, more effective, more contemporary code. Keeping up with the most recent Java release ensures access to these developments, enabling developers to produce creative and reliable apps. We eagerly anticipate further releases of Java and the fascinating features they will bring.

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