2020: Java celebrates 25 years

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There were two new major Java releases this year, Java 14 and 15. Java 14 introduced features such as pattern matching for instanceof, a packaging tool, NUMA-aware memory allocation for G1, and more. Java 15 introduced developer productivity enhancements like the Edwards-Curve Digital Signature Algorithm (EdDSA), hidden classes, and text blocks. 

In May, Java celebrated its 25th anniversary. To celebrate the anniversary, JetBrains compiled data from multiple sources to look at the current state of the language. The survey revealed that over a third of developers use Java as a primary language, and that it is the second primary language of developers following JavaScript. 

A major recent change in the Java ecosystem was the loss of support from Oracle. In 2019, Oracle changed its Java licensing model so that only companies with a paid commercial Java subscription would receive updates to Java SE. This change caused 80% of the Java community to start considering other support options.

A survey conducted by Azul Systems in February revealed that preferred use of Oracle JDK dropped from 70% to 32%.  A majority of users shifted to free or supported OpenJDK-based deployments of Java.

Another change in the Java community this year was the news that OpenJDK contributor BellSoft was teaming up with VMware to improve OpenJDK. At the time this was announced, the main areas for improvement were to enhance support for ARM processors and optimize Java for cloud deployments and microservices architectures. 

In addition, Python finally surpassed Java as the most popular programming language on some developer reports. In JetBrains’ 2020 State of the Developer Ecosystem Report, Python surpassed Java as the most-used language. Java still remained the most widespread primary language. 

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