Author: Simon Ritter

Simon Ritter

Deputy CTO at Azul Systems

  • Are Java Security Updates Important?

    Recently, I was in discussion with a Java user at a bank about the possibilities of using Azul Platform Core to run a range of applications. 

    Security is a very serious concern when sensitive data is in use, and potentially huge sums of money could be stolen.

    I was, therefore, somewhat taken aback when the user said, “We’re not worried about installing Java updates as our core banking services are behind a firewall.”

    Simon Ritter
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  • Much Ado About Nothing in Java

    Occasionally something in Java pops up that I thought I knew about, but it turns out I didn’t appreciate all the subtle details.

    This was recently the case for “nul”. Before I started using Java, the main programming language I used was C.  This was great for things like operating systems and device drivers because it uses explicit pointers. References to data are through a numerical address that can be manipulated if required.

    Although null might seem like a simple, straightforward concept, there are some edge cases that make its use require a little more thought. I hope this provides you with a better understanding of nothing (null).

    Simon Ritter
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  • JDK 15 Hidden Classes

    Unlike sealed classes, hidden classes (JEP 371) are a JVM rather than a language-level feature. One of the specific goals of this feature is not to make any changes to the Java language.

    A hidden class is not discoverable by the JVM during bytecode linkage, nor by programs making explicit use of class loaders. Hidden classes can be unloaded independently of the class that uses them. This allows them to be garbage collected in the usual way since there is no longer any references to them.

    Simon Ritter
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  • JDK 15 Sealed Classes

    The most significant new preview feature in JDK 15 (with its second preview in JDK 16), and the only change to the language, is the introduction of sealed classes as a preview feature.

    Sealed classes (explained in detail in JEP 360) provide a fine-grained mechanism that allows a developer to restrict which other classes or interfaces may extend them. You can think of final classes as the ultimate sealed class since no other classes can extend them.

    Simon Ritter
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  • Highlights of Changes to the Core Java Platform

    February 12th, 1996. This is a significant date for me personally since it was the day I started work at Sun Microsystems as a Solaris Systems Engineer. It was also two weeks and six days after the release of the Java Development Kit (JDK 1.0).

    Of course, the origins of Java go further back than this; James Gosling and others started work on a new programming language in 1991, and it was the May 23rd 1995 when Java was officially announced to the world.

    As a language, Java has evolved over the last 25 years in a way that has, with few exceptions, provided excellent backwards compatibility.

    Simon Ritter
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  • JDK14: New Features and Enhancements

    Well, another six months have passed, and we have another release of Java, this one pretty packed with exciting new features. It is, therefore, time for another blog post trying to list everything new in JDK 14.

    In total, there are a very impressive 16 JDK Enhancement Proposals (JEPs) and 69 new API elements.

    Let’s start with the more significant items that introduce changes to the Java language syntax.

    Simon Ritter
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