The Most Popular Java Version: A Ranking Analysis

Choose the version you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Apr 13, 2024 07:15
Welcome to StrawPoll, where your opinion matters! Today, we're diving into the world of Java and ranking the most popular Java versions of all time. As one of the most influential programming languages, Java has evolved and adapted to the changing landscape of technology - but which version stole your heart? Was it when Lambdas were introduced in Java 8 or the modularity that came with Java 9? Or perhaps, you're a fan of the classic Java 6? Cast your vote now and make your voice heard in the ultimate showdown of Java supremacy! If you feel we've missed a version that deserves recognition, don't hesitate to suggest it in the comments. So, buckle up, get your coding hat on, and join us in this exciting journey through Java's illustrious history!

What Is the Most Popular Java Version?

  1. 1
    58
    votes
    Java 8
    FMshoot13 · CC BY-SA 3.0

    Java 8

    Oracle Corporation
    This is the most widely used version of Java as it is stable and has been around for a long time. It is also the last version to be released under the old licensing model.
    Java 8, also known as JDK 8 (Java Development Kit 8), is a major release of the Java programming language. It was released by Oracle Corporation on March 18, 2014. Java 8 introduced several new features, enhancements, and performance improvements.
    • Lambdas: Lambda expressions were introduced in Java 8, allowing developers to write more concise and expressive code with functional programming style.
    • Stream API: The Stream API provides a new way to process collections of data in a functional programming style, enabling more flexible and efficient operations on data sets.
    • Date and Time API: Java 8 introduced a new Date and Time API that addressed the shortcomings of the old java.util.Date and java.util.Calendar classes, providing a more intuitive and comprehensive approach to date and time manipulation.
    • Default Methods: Default methods allowed interfaces to have method implementations, reducing the need for abstract classes and improving the backward compatibility of existing APIs.
    • Optional: The Optional class was introduced to provide a more robust and convenient way to deal with nullable values, reducing the likelihood of NullPointerExceptions.
  2. 2
    32
    votes
    Java 11
    FMshoot13 · CC BY-SA 3.0

    Java 11

    Oracle Corporation
    This version is popular because it is the latest long-term support (LTS) release, meaning it will receive security and bug fixes for a longer period of time.
    Java 11, also known as Java SE 11, is a popular version of the Java programming language. It was released on September 25, 2018. This version was created by Oracle Corporation, a multinational computer technology corporation.
    • Improved Performance: Java 11 provides enhanced performance optimization features, resulting in faster execution of Java applications.
    • Local Variable Type Inference: Introduced the 'var' keyword for local variable type inference, making code more concise and readable.
    • HTTP Client API: Java 11 includes a new HTTP Client API that enables developers to send HTTP requests and retrieve responses in a more efficient and modern way.
    • Easier Migration to Modules: Java 11 simplifies the process of migrating applications to Java modules, making it easier to adopt a modular architecture.
    • Improved Security: This version includes various security enhancements, such as stronger algorithms and updated default cryptography algorithms.
  3. 3
    22
    votes

    Java 7

    Oracle Corporation
    This version is still popular because it was the last version to support some older operating systems such as Windows XP.
    Java 7, also known as Java SE 7 (Java Standard Edition 7), is a major release of the Java programming language and platform. It was released on July 28, 2011.
    • Diamond Operator: Allows the use of the diamond operator (<>), which automates type inference in generic class instantiation.
    • Strings in Switch: Adds the ability to use switch statements with strings.
    • Try-with-resources: Introduces a try-with-resources statement for automatic resource management.
    • Improved Type Inference for Generic Instance Creation (JEP 101): Enhances type inference for constructors of generic classes.
    • Concurrent Object-Oriented Programming (JSR 166): Includes concurrency utilities, such as the Fork/Join Framework.
  4. 4
    17
    votes
    Java 14
    FMshoot13 · CC BY-SA 3.0

    Java 14

    Oracle Corporation
    This version introduced new features such as switch expressions and record classes, making it popular among developers looking to use the latest language features.
    Java 14 is a widely used version of the Java programming language, known for its advanced features and enhancements. It was released on March 17, 2020, and offers various improvements in terms of performance, security, and developer productivity.
    • JEP 305: Pattern Matching for instanceof
    • JEP 352: Non-Volatile Mapped Byte Buffers
    • JEP 358: Helpful NullPointerExceptions
    • JEP 361: Switch Expressions (Standard)
    • JEP 363: Remove the Concurrent Mark Sweep (CMS) Garbage Collector
  5. 5
    21
    votes
    Java 13
    NASA · Public domain

    Java 13

    Oracle Corporation
    This version introduced new features such as text blocks and dynamic CDS archives, making it popular among developers looking to use the latest language features.
    Java 13 is a version of the Java programming language that was released on September 2019. It was developed by Oracle Corporation, the primary creator and maintainer of Java. Java 13 introduced several new features, enhancements, and performance improvements, making it an important milestone in the evolution of the Java programming language.
    • JEP 349: JDK Enhancement Proposal (JEP) 349 introduced support for switch expressions, allowing the 'switch' statement to be used as an expression.
    • JEP 351: JEP 351 enhanced the 'ZGC' garbage collector, improving responsiveness by reducing GC pause times.
    • JEP 353: JEP 353 introduced the 'Reimplement the Legacy Socket API' feature, which modernizes the underlying implementation without changing the existing Socket API.
    • JEP 355: JEP 355 introduced 'Text Blocks', a new language feature for representing multi-line string literals in a more readable and maintainable form.
    • JEP 358: JEP 358 introduced the 'Helpful NullPointerExceptions', providing more detailed information to help diagnose and resolve NullPointerExceptions.
  6. 6
    13
    votes
    Java 9
    FMshoot13 · CC BY-SA 3.0

    Java 9

    Oracle Corporation
    This version introduced the module system and JShell, making it popular among developers looking for improved modularity and easier experimentation.
    Java 9 is a major release of the Java programming language and the Java Development Kit (JDK). It was released on September 21, 2017, and introduced several significant features and improvements.
    • Java Platform Module System (JPMS): Improved modularity by introducing a new module system
    • JShell: Interactive tool for evaluating Java statements and expressions
    • HTTP/2 Client: Built-in support for HTTP/2 protocol
    • Improved Javadoc: Enhancements in generating API documentation
    • Multi-Resolution Images: Support for multiple resolutions in a single image file
  7. 7
    11
    votes
    Java 10
    FMshoot13 · CC BY-SA 3.0

    Java 10

    Oracle Corporation
    This version introduced new features such as local variable type inference and the ability to run a single file as a program, making it popular among developers looking to use the latest language features.
    Java 10 is a version of the Java programming language and runtime environment. It follows Java 9 and precedes Java 11. This version was released on March 20, 2018.
    • Local-Variable Type Inference: Allows the type to be inferred for local variables declared with the var keyword.
    • Application Class-Data Sharing: Reduces startup time and memory footprint by sharing common class metadata across multiple Java processes.
    • Parallel Full GC for G1: Improves the performance of the garbage collector by using multiple threads for full garbage collection in the G1 collector.
    • Consolidate the JDK Forest into a Single Repository: Moves the source code of most JDK repositories into a single repository in order to simplify development and improve collaboration.
    • Experimental Java-Based JIT Compiler: Introduces the Graal JIT compiler as an experimental feature to improve the performance of Java applications.
  8. 8
    7
    votes
    This version is still popular because it was widely used by enterprise applications that have not yet migrated to newer versions of Java.
    Java 6, also known as Java SE 6 (Standard Edition 6), was a major release of the Java programming language and its runtime environment. It was released on December 2006 and was the default version for a significant period of time.
    • Improved Performance: Java 6 introduced various performance enhancements compared to its predecessors.
    • Scripting Language Support: It included the introduction of the scripting language support framework, allowing developers to execute scripts in languages like JavaScript and Ruby.
    • JDBC 4.0: Java Database Connectivity (JDBC) 4.0 was included, simplifying database access for Java applications.
    • Java Compiler API: A new Compiler API was introduced, enabling developers to programmatically compile Java source code.
    • Pluggable Annotation Processing API: It provided a standardized way to process annotations at compile time.
  9. 9
    4
    votes

    Java 12

    Oracle Corporation
    This version introduced new features such as switch expressions and preview features for pattern matching and Javadoc, making it popular among developers looking to use the latest language features.
    Java 12, also known as Java SE 12, is a version of the Java programming language developed by Oracle Corporation. It was released on March 19, 2019. Java 12 brings several new features, enhancements, and bug fixes, providing developers with improved performance, security, and productivity.
    • Switch Expressions - Preview: Enables the use of switch expressions that can be used as statements or expressions.
    • JEP 325: Switch Expressions: Introduces a new way of writing switch statements with a concise syntax.
    • JEP 334: JVM Constants API: Introduces an API for describing low-level, intrinsic, JVM constants.
    • JEP 340: One AArch64 Port, Not Two: Removes the second port from the AArch64 platform in order to reduce maintenance costs.
    • JEP 341: Default CDS Archives: Improves class data sharing by making the creation of archive files the default instead of relying on explicit command-line flags.
  10. 10
    9
    votes
    Java 15
    FMshoot13 · CC BY-SA 3.0

    Java 15

    Oracle Corporation
    This version introduced new features such as sealed classes and hidden classes, making it popular among developers looking to use the latest language features.
    Java 15 is a major release of the Java programming language. It was developed by Oracle Corporation in collaboration with the Java community.
    • Text Blocks: Allows easier multiline string handling with improved readability.
    • Sealed Classes: Enables control over subclasses and enhances maintainability.
    • Pattern Matching for instanceof: Simplifies the process of extracting components from objects by adding pattern matching capabilities.
    • Hidden Classes: Provides the ability to create classes that cannot be used outside of their defining scope.
    • ZGC: A Scalable Low-Latency Garbage Collector: Improves the performance of garbage collection, reducing pause times and optimizing memory usage.

Missing your favorite version?

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Ranking factors for popular version

  1. Adoption Rate
    The percentage of users who have adopted or started using the Java version in their projects and applications can be a major indicator for popularity.
  2. Stability and Performance
    Java versions that offer better stability, performance, and fewer bugs are often considered more popular due to their reliability.
  3. Features and Updates
    Newer Java versions often come with improvements, new features, and optimizations. Consider how much impact these features have on the users' programming experience.
  4. Security
    Java versions that provide better security features and support for encryption, authentication, and authorization are generally more popular, as they help organizations protect their applications and data.
  5. Ecosystem and Compatibility
    A Java version's popularity may also be influenced by the availability of supporting libraries, frameworks, and tools, as well as compatibility with existing systems and applications.
  6. Community and Developer Support
    A strong community and ample developer resources can help boost the popularity of a Java version as users have access to more support and assistance.
  7. Official Support and Updates
    Java versions that receive official support and regular updates from the developers at Oracle and the OpenJDK community tend to remain popular.
  8. Industry Trends and Use-Cases
    Analyzing the trends in industries and specific use-cases where a Java version is predominantly used can provide insights into its popularity.
  9. Market Share and Job Opportunities
    Assess the market share and demand for various Java versions in the job market to determine their relative popularity.
  10. Ease of Migration and Learning Curve
    Java versions that are easy to migrate to from previous versions and have a gentle learning curve may be more popular.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular Java version. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or version is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!

Statistics

  • 2830 views
  • 191 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Movers & Shakers

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each version once every 24 hours. The rank of each version is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most popular java version

Java is a popular programming language that has been around since the mid-1990s. It has undergone several updates and revisions over the years, each with their own set of features and improvements. With so many versions available, it can be difficult to determine which one is the most popular. In this article, we will delve into the world of Java and explore which version is currently the most widely used.

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