Java8 vs Java17 vs Java21

Ah, Java. The ever-reliable, some might say slightly stubborn, workhorse of the programming world. From its beginnings in the mid-90s to the present day, Java has seen numerous updates and enhancements. But like a loyal donkey, Java keeps chugging along, getting better with each update. Today, we’re going to discuss Java8 vs Java17 vs Java21.

Java8 vs Java17 vs Java21

Java8: The Timeless Classic (But Maybe a Little Dusty)

Released in 2014, Java 8 is a bit like those old blue jeans in your closet comfortable, dependable, but maybe not the height of fashion. It brought some exciting features like lambda expressions, streams, and the Optional class those cool little things that let you write code that looks more like magic spells than anything else (think “poof! There goes my for loop”). Java 8 is still widely used, but it’s past its prime in terms of support. Imagine your trusty jeans being great for running errands, but maybe not for a night out.

Java17: The Hipster Update (Finally Caught Up)

Java 17, released in 2021, is the trendy upgrade. It’s got all the features of Java 8, plus some new tricks like sealed classes, pattern matching for instanceof, and foreign function and memory APIs. Most importantly, it’s the new Long-Term Support (LTS) version, which means it’ll get official updates for years to come. This is like finally finding a pair of jeans that’s both stylish and comfy a developer’s dream!

Java21: The New Kid on the Block (Still Finding Its Footing)

Java 21, fresh out of the oven in 2023, is the new kid on the playground. It’s got some exciting features under the hood, like improvements to garbage collection (imagine your computer cleaning up after itself more efficiently, less like a teenager’s room, more like a zen garden), record classes, and switch expressions. But it’s still early days for Java 21. While it holds promise, it might not have the battle scars (or, in this case, bug fixes) that Java 17 has accumulated. Think of it as those cool new shoes; they look great, but you might get some blisters before they’re perfectly broken in.

Which Java should you use?

The answer, like most things in life, is “it depends.” If you’re rocking a stable project built on Java 8, there’s no need to rush into an upgrade. But if you’re starting fresh, Java17 is the sweet spot. It’s secure, feature-rich, and here to stay for a while. Java 21 might be tempting for the early adopter, but give it some time to mature before you make the switch. Remember, programmers, upgrading your Java is like getting a wardrobe refresh. It might not be the most exciting task, but it keeps you looking sharp (and your code running smoothly). Now, go forth and write some awesome Java code, no matter the version!

Java8 vs Java17 vs Java21 : tabular comparison

FeatureJava 8Java 17Java 21
Lambda ExpressionsYesYesYes
Optional ClassYesYesYes
Sealed ClassesNoYesYes
Pattern MatchingNoYesYes
Foreign Function APINoYesYes
Record ClassesNoNoYes
Switch ExpressionsNoNoYes
Primitive ClassesNoNoYes
Java8 vs Java17 vs Java21

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