JVM Ecosystem Survey: Why Devs Aren't Switching to Java 11
The JVM Ecosystem Survey brought up some interesting information regarding the JDK release cycle and Java 8. Let's take a closer look.
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Last week, Oracle's Java Magazine and Synk released the JVM Ecosystem Report. This survey talked to over 10,000 developers across the globe about their choice of JVM languages, platforms, tools, processes, and applications.
This report shows that 88 percent of developers are still using Java 7 or 8 in their main application, with 8 percent using Java 9 and 10. Since Java 11 is the most recent version of the JDK, this brings up the question: why aren’t developers switching to more recent versions?
Java 8 and Why Developers Aren't Making the Switch to Newer Versions
When Java 9 was released back in 2017, many were concerned with how the changes to both the architecture and release cycle, which now introduces a new version every six months, would impact development.
"I think the new cycle is a result of years of a slow, deliberate, and likely overly drawn out release cycles having endured too much criticism for having not released important or relevant new features at an acceptable rate," says Duncan Brown, CTO of Prometheus Software and DZone Zone Leader, "It almost feels as though the new cycle is overcompensating for that time and has gone too far in the other direction."
When asked how they would respond to the new release cycle, 30 percent of respondents said that they would decide on a release-by-release basis, and 34 percent said that they would stay with the long-term support (LTS) releases, which include Java 7, 8, and 11.
Along with comments about the release cycle, Brown went on to say:
In an age of CI/CD and having spent so much time doing releases with substantial scopes and planning, it's almost as though Oracle doesn't really have a sense for what an acceptable, faster release cycle length should be.
In all, the study shows that only 1 in 10 developers wish to remain on the latest version of the JDK.
Additional Survey Findings
Along with questions specifically pertaining to JDK versions, the survey also asked questions about IDEs, build tools, enterprise Java, and more.
According to the survey, IntelliJ IDEA (45 percent) and Eclipse IDE (38 percent) were the top two IDE platforms. This comes to no surprise, as many other surveys have reported IntelliJ passing Eclipse in the past two years. Apache NetBeans was third at 11 percent.
Maven was the top build tool for projects at 60 percent, and Gradle was second at 19 percent. These findings show a slight shift towards Gradle in recent years due to its new support for Kotlin, according to the survey.
Additionally, this report found that 4 out of 10 developers do not use enterprise Java for their main applications. Java EE 7 is still the most widely used version at 27 percent, but Java EE 8 is not far behind at 22 percent.
To learn more about the SDK Java Ecosystem Survey, click here for the full report.
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