Late for a very important date

Project Jigsaw deferred until Java 9 by Expert Group

Chris Mayer
alice-in-wonderland

Following July’s proposal, the Expert Group agrees with Mark Reinhold to defer the project until Java 9

Java’s long-awaited module system, Project Jigsaw has
finally been bumped from the Java 8 schedule, and will arrive in
2015 at the earliest.

Chief Architect of the Java Platform Group at Oracle, Mark
Reinhold made the proposal back in July to push back the project
slated for Java 8, and it seems the Java SE 8 Expert Group


agrees with the call
.

Writing on his personal
blog
, Reinhold said
he
was still confident of making progress “toward the
convergence of the higher-end Java ME Platforms with Java SE”
within Java 8.

He then went on to outline the course of action for
modularisation, noting important changes for those watching on to
consider:

I
previously suggested
that we consider
defining a small number of Profiles which would allow compact
configurations of the SE Platform to be built and deployed.

JEP 161
lays out a specific initial proposal for such
Profiles.

There is also much useful work to be done in Java 8 toward
the fully-modular platform in Java 9. Alan Bateman has
submitted
JEP 162,
which proposes some changes in Java 8 to smooth the eventual
transition to modules, to provide new tools to help developers
prepare for modularity, and to deprecate and then, in Java 9,
actually remove certain API elements that are a significant
impediment to modularization.

Out of all upcoming features, Java needs
Project Jigsaw arguably the most
, so it
can flourish in this multicore age. It is encouraging to see
Reinhold disclose the strategy moving forward but perhaps it’s not
enough for some.


IBM’s Steve Poole
added in the Expert Group
discussion that they would like to see “
visible
progress during Java 8 timescales over defining the metadata format
and starting to define module boundaries” and

that there needs to be more clarity Modularity
is a monumental shift for Java and developers need as much guidance
as possible to deal with the disruption.

With two months to reflect since the proposal surfaced, the
deferral was undoubtedly the right call to make given the state of
the project.

The scale of Project Jigsaw cannot be underestimated and it
needs to be given the utmost care and attention before it can
safely make it into a Java version. But with the delay,

will Java developers wait patiently, or simply start using
OSGi?

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