Modular Java Finally Approved
Written by Kay Ewbank   
Wednesday, 05 July 2017

The  long-awaited Java 9 Standard Edition now looks like it will meet its September deadline following yes votes by the members of the JCP Executive Committee.

The vote follows a proposal that Java 9 Standard Edition will be released on September 21. According to Oracle's Mark Reinhold, the delay was needed to accommodate the additional time required for the JCP Executive Committee (EC) to work through their concerns about including the Java Platform Module System.

Last time, 13 members of the 24 strong committee voted no to Project Jigsaw being included in JDK 9 because of concerns regarding 'the last few outstanding issues'. The history of Java 9 and Jigsaw is long and convoluted, and the no vote in May was just the latest in a long line of delays.

This time, the main objectors to the inclusion of the modularity said they were happy things had improved. IBM said in their comments that:

"IBM values the new compatibility and migration enhancements for enterprise applications added to the specification, and the disposition of outstanding issues as agreed amongst the Expert Group.  We see this release of JPMS as the strong foundation for a new Java SE platform architecture, and expect to build upon this with feedback and experience from our customers and the community."

IBM also said credit was due to Oracle as the specification leader and those in the JSR 376 Expert Group who dedicated their time to reaching this milestone.

Red Hat, the other main objector in the previous vote, abstained this time, saying that although the company feels there has been positive progress, there are:

"a number of items within the current proposal which will impact wider community adoption that could have been addressed within the 30 day extension period for this release. However, we do not want to delay the Java 9 release and are happy with the more aggressive schedule proposed by the Specification Lead and EG for subsequent versions of Java because getting real world feedback on the modularity system will be key to understanding whether and where further changes need to occur."

They also commented that they hope that the Project Lead and EG will continue to be as open to input from the wider Java community as they have been in the last 30 days, and that Red Hat looks forward to the evolution of Java being driven by data from users and communities beyond OpenJDK.

Other no-voters in the last round including The Eclipse Foundation, Hazelcast, and Twitter, all voted yes and said it was because of sufficient progress with modularity.

Twitter did add that:

"We are disappointed that the community will not immediately see the benefits that they are expecting JPMS to provide (#AvoidConcealedPackageConflicts, in particular). But we understand that the most requested features will require a lot more discussion and due-diligence than is allowed in the JDK 9 timeframe."

The Final Release Candidate milestone is still scheduled for July 6, according to a message from Oracle's Mark Reinhold to the JDK 9 mailing list, and according to the JDK9 Project Page on the OpenJDK site.

More Information

JDK9 Project Page

Related Articles

Java 9 Slips Again 

No Vote For Java's Project Jigsaw Module System


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