What are Value Types from Project Valhalla?

Your final assertion is correct. The ValueType variables are entirely copied when passing them as a parameter to a function, rather than typically just getting a copy of the reference to an object. This allows you to treat a small object as if it were a value type like int or boolean.

1) Under Project Valhalla, two ValueTypes would be compared by fields directly, even for == checks, much like primitive types. With Google's AutoValue types, you would never use == directly, because that would still be an identity check.

2) Small Objects means that this should be used for objects that only have a few fields, as the whole content of the object is going to be copied repeatedly. Large objects would be better served with passes by reference.

Without Inheritance means that you won't be able to use polymorphism for Value Type objects. Because Value Types are meant to be stored directly, like primitive values, they don't include any class information, so the JVM must always be able to infer what the object is from the program itself, instead of from any information on the object. For example, an Integer field could be a Value Type member, while a Number field would have to still be by reference.

3) They are used to avoid the dereference penalty normally required for accessing an object's members. For example, with a List of Points, each Point is actually a reference to the x and y values in memory, so iterating over the list will involve many dereferences. If the Points were stored directly in the list, this would be avoided.

4) Object Without an Identity means that all that matters about the object is its value. Just as an int valued 1 should be the same as all other ints valued 1, and all Strings "hello world" are equal to all other Strings "hello world", whether or not they are actually the same object. By contrast, two ArrayLists that are both empty, while at the time equal, have identity, because they are mutable, and adding an element to one list must be distinct from adding an element to the other list.

5) Under Project Valhalla, the AutoValue, if it is a Value Object, would be immutable, so there would be no setName method to call. It would be similar to how you can never mutate 1 into 2, you instead modify where a 1 is located so that a 2 is there instead.

Source: http://cr.openjdk.java.net/~jrose/values/values-0.html