JDK 18: The new features in Java 18

Due in March 2022, Java 18 will incubate a vector API, preview pattern matching for switch statements, adopt UTF-8 as the default character set, and include a simple web server.

Java Development Kit (JDK) 18 is set for release on March 22, 2022. The new version of standard Java will have nine new features, with the feature set having been frozen as of December 9.

The release has moved into a second rampdown phase as of January 20, following an initial rampdown phase begun last month. Upgrades to standard Java are released every six months, with the most-recent, JDK 17, arriving in September.

The OpenJDK page lists the following features as officially targeting JDK 18: a service provider interface, a simple web server, a vector API, code snippets, a reimplementation of core reflection, a UTF-8 charset, a second incubator of a foreign function and memory API, a second preview of pattern matching for switch statements, and the deprecation of finalization, which was the last addition.

Release candidates for JDK 18 are due February 10 and February 24. While JDK 17 was a long-term support (LTS) release that will receive at least eight years of support from Oracle, JDK 18 will be a short-term feature release that is supported for six months. Early-access builds of JDK 18 can be found for Linux, Windows, and MacOS at java.net.

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