Delay in Java 9
With less than few more days to the release of JDK 9, it’s being delayed again. The new release date has been updated to July 2017, four months later than the previously postponed date.
PUSHING THE DATE BACK
On September-13, Mark Reinhold, the chief architect of the Java platform group at Oracle, posted his suggestion to postpone the release date for JDK 9 in his e-mail in Oracle’s mailing list.
Mark also noted that the number of open bugs that are new in JDK 9 is larger than it was at this point in JDK 8, and that’s why he proposed a four months’ delay. Mark put his offer up for a vote, asking others on Oracle’s mailing list what they think about it.
Moving the release date of JDK 9 back 4 months affected the entire schedule. It also pushed back the “All tests run”, “Zero bug bounce” and also “Release candidate” milestones.
THE CURSE OF PROJECT JIGSAW
No surprise that JDK 9 has been pushed again, and for the same reason – Project Jigsaw. This project has a long history of pushing Java versions back, moving from Java 7 to Java 8 and now as part of Java 9.
The Jigsaw objective is to make Java modular and break the JRE to interoperable components. This means that the developer will be able to create a scaled down runtime Jar (rt.jar) customised to the components of a project actually needs.
The desire is to make Java scalable to small computing devices, improves security, and performance, and most importantly make it easier for developers to construct and maintain libraries. Considering the JDK 8 rt.jar has about 20,000 classes that are part of the JDK.
THE MAJOR REASONS WHY JDK 9 HAS BEEN POSTPONED
- The new module system breaks all use cases that depend on reflection to access internals of other libraries.
- It does not fix the issue of depending on two conflicting versions of a library.
- It fails to strongly encapsulate access, because classes can still be loaded as resources, and used that way.
MARK HAS ADDRESSED THE REASON FOR THE DELAY ON HIS ORIGINAL EMAIL, EXPLAINING THAT
“We recently received critical feedback that motivated a redesign of the module system’s package-export feature, without which we’d have failed to achieve one of our main goals. There are, beyond that, still many open design issues, which will take time to work through.”
The current pushback tells us loud and clear that Jigsaw needs more time, and our only hope is that it’ll actually be a part of JDK 9, and not be pushed back to JDK 10. Or JDK 11. There’s no doubt it’s a critical and important project, and the community is willing to wait a little longer for it to be just right.