With Oracle using this week’s JavaOne conference to reaffirm its commitment to the Java platform, third-party tool maker Azul Systems debuted an early access program for Java 9 support in Zulu, its open-source build of the Open Java Development Kit (OpenJDK).
Pre-release builds of Zulu supporting Java 9 are available now for the Windows, Linux, and Mac OS platforms. Azul, based in Sunnyvale, Calif., plans to introduce additional pre-release builds throughout the next year, keeping in cadence with OpenJDK Java 9 project advances.
Though the target launch date set by Oracle for Java 9 is still nearly a year away (Sept. 22, 2016), many key aspects are already public. A new modular architecture will let developers select only those features needed for a specific deployment, helpful when scaling down to small devices. Java 9 is also slated to provide improved run-time efficiency for stored class and resource files, faster graphics, a new HTTP client API, and improved keystore security.