The latest version of Java, Java 18, is now available, with nine new approved enhancements. 

A Simple Web Server is now available in Java 18, and it can be used for prototyping and testing purposes. 

“It’s sort of a representation of our continued efforts to make Java more approachable for students and educators and developers that are just getting started in their careers are just starting to learn to program, we want to continue to make it easy, easily easy to consume and learn Java,” said Chad Arimura, VP of developer relations at Oracle. 

One other new enhancement is that developers will now be able to add code snippets within API documentation.  

In addition, in this version of Java, UTF-8 has been set as the default charset for Java APIs. This means that any APIs dependent on the default charset will behave consistently on all implementations, operating systems, locales, and configurations. 

Another update, JEP 416, makes method handles the underlying mechanism for reflection in Java. This changes will help to reduce the maintenance and development costs of the java.lang.reflect and java.lang.invoke APIs. 

Java 18 also contains a new service-provider interface (SPI) for use in host name and address resolution. This enables developers to use resolvers other than the built-in one.

Other features currently in beta include a vector API, foreign function and memory API, pattern matching for switch expressions, and finalization is being prepared for removal in a future release and is currently deprecated.

“I think our general feeling both in my group at Oracle and others, you know, around the industry who contribute to open JDK is that our pipeline for innovation is stronger than it’s ever been,” said Georges Saab, vice president of software development for the Java Platform Group at Oracle.