“The most substantial argument in favor of Java 9 is the modularization of JDK itself”
A seemingly endless number of debates is taking place around Java 9 and project Jigsaw. It started before Java 9 was even released and now that it’s here, we invited Falk Sippach to talk about the release and its key feature, Project Jigsaw, what’s missing in Java 9 and whether it was worth the wait.
JAXenter: Project Jigsaw introduced a modular system to Java. Was it worth the wait?
Falk Sippach: The most substantial reason for Jigsaw is that it modularized the JDK itself. With Jigsaw it is now possible to ship Java applications in smaller, adapted runtimes. That’s most interesting for embedded and mobile devices, while traditional business solutions developed in Java will probably not benefit that much from Jigsaw in the short run. However, modularization can be enforced in these systems in the future too.
SEE ALSO: Java SE 9 and Java EE 8 are here
JAXenter: How are you going to proceed with Java development: Will you be among the first to use modularization in production or are you skeptical about using it?
Falk Sippach: I’m not skeptic, but I also don’t have a use case for Jigsaw right now. Things will proceed as usual: It will take a couple of months at least or even some years until most organizations are going to migrate. A lot of companies will wait for Java 8 support to end, as they usually do before adopting a new version. At the moment, you can still ignore Java 9 impacts by using a switch; this, however, won’t be possible in Java 10. Once Java 10 is released, we have to adjust our applications to Jigsaw and the specifications (module-path, …).
A lot of companies will wait for Java 8 support to end, as they usually do before adopting a new version.
JAXenter: Which feature would you have liked to see in Java 9?
Falk Sippach: There are always things that remain on your wishlist, but any release will reach a maximal feature capacity at one point due to limited resources. But I’m really looking forward to Value Objects in Java 10.
SEE ALSO: New Java 9 features at a glance
JAXenter: Java is said to be released in regular cycles soon. Do you think that is a good idea?
Falk Sippach: As far as I know, that was just a proposal, and no one knows whether it really is going to go this way. On the one hand, I think it is a good idea since small features will be shipped fast this way. On the other hand, the scope of releases will be quite small, feature wise.
Up to now, when saying Java 8, every developer will know which features we are talking about. In contrast, the differences between some versions like 2018.9 and 2019.3 will be rather small, consisting mostly of details. Developers need to adjust their way of thinking about Java. New Java versions won’t be big events anymore, unlike those we were looking forward to up to now.