Benched

Expect Stripped Implementations to be dropped from Java 8

Lucy Carey
benched

Leery of potential licensing issues and platform fragmentation, Mark Reinhold recommends dropping feature, but will push for its return in Java 9.

There was always a chance that the addition to of
Stripped Additions to the eighth version of the platform would
trigger fragmentation in Java – and now Java Platform Chief
Architect Mark Reinhold has recommended making a last minute
removal of the feature altogether until  the risk can be
minimised.

In an update last Friday, Reinhold
wrote
, “In order to preserve compatibility and guard against
fragmentation, the Stripped Implementations feature of Java SE 8
[1] requires some

nontrivial changes to the TCK license.”

Although he states that he has been working on making
these changes with the Oracle legal department on these
modifications, with the rush to get Java 8 out on time in March –

perfect or not
– there simply isn’t time to collate reviews and
comments from people such as the JCP Executive Committee, and other
groups.

The loss of Stripped Implementations won’t be hugely
catastrophic to the potency of the release – roll back a year and
imagine if they’d cancelled Project Lambda, arguably the
showstopper feature of Java 8,  and you’d have a much bigger
outcry.

In case you’d like your memory jogged on what they
even do: Stripped Implementations are a feature which enables

specific implementations of Java SE
bundled within the Java
library and the application code that will run on it –
 non-code reliant elements could be left out partially or
entirely.

Furthermore, according to analyst Michael Cote of 451
Research, “it’s the ability to carve down the JRE/JDK (Java Runtime
Environment) to just what’s needed on a device, rather than taking
all of Java…You can imagine in Internet of things scenarios — like
thermostats, lamps, or maybe a coffee pot that tells you when it’s
finished browsing coffee — that you’d want a stripped-down
Java.”

Although it’s looking very likely that an emergency Stripped
Implementation-ectomy will be taking place, Reinhold goes on to
affirm his belief in their importance for the future of the
platform, and states that he will be working on making them a
viable possibility for Java 9.

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