There will be bugs

Java 8 update 11 is breaking dev tools

It’s been a bumpy old ride for Java 8. Release delays, an applet security scare and now an update that’s causing trouble for developer tools. The Java platform’s most recent releases have been reported to cause several third-party tools to break. The bug has been spotted both in Java 8 (update 11) as well as Java 7 (update 65).

ZeroTurnaround is advising users of its deployment-avoiding tool JRebel that are experiencing the problem to resort to using Java 8u5 until a fix comes. Alternatively, the -noverify switch can be used as a temporary workaround. Several users of the Groovy programming language have also encountered the problem, while other tools such as Javassist, Google’s Guice and Jacoco code coverage are also partially affected.

Bad <init> method call

According to InfoQ, the bug can be traced to a modification to the JVM’s bytecode verification subsystem. Prior to 8u11, the platform did not require a call to a superclass constructor to be the first action undertaken by a constructor. By changing this requirement, the most recent update may have created this new problem for third-party Java tools.

Although news of the Java 8 bug, which has been documented on OpenJDK, has quickly spread, the release date for the bugfix has not yet been announced by Oracle.

Oracle has previously enforced a strict hierarchy of bug swotting in order to keep its Java development on schedule. In the run up to the initial Java 8 release, only on “showstopper bugs” were prioritised, while fixes of “non-showstopper bugs” were regularly postponed to later releases after the global JDK 8 release in March.


Feature image: Bug and insect icons via Shutterstock / copyright: Ginta Gasjune

Coman Hamilton

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