An unfortunate delay

Java 9 to be postponed for six months

JAX Editorial Team
Number 9 image via Shutterstock

Oracle cannot meet expectations for the planned release of Java 9 in September 2016. In a message broadcast to the community via mailing list, chief architect Mark Reinhold has revealed that the modularisation work in Project Jigsaw needs more time.

Java platform chief architect Mark Reinhold dropped a bomb yesterday on the OpenJDK mailing list: Despite good progress in Project Jigsaw, the modularisation standard for Java 9, it still won’t be ready in time to comply with the scheduled 10 December JDK 9-milestone that doesn’t allow any further feature changes to be possible.

Jigsaw is not “feature complete” and therefore it has been suggested that the release date of Java 9 be postponed by six months.

More time needed for Jigsaw

“Jigsaw needs more time”, writes Mark Reinhold, thanks to their expert group failing to submit an Early Draft Review specification at this stage, together with the feedback from the last couple of months suggesting that the discussions after the Early Draft Review would reveal “much more to come”.

Reinhold wants to therefore ensure that Jigsaw, being the main feature of Java 9, doesn’t have last minute features introduced – this would ensure that the maintainers of essential build tools and IDEs “have adequate time to design and implement good support for modular development”.

For these reasons I hereby propose a six-month extension of the JDK 9 schedule.

Reinhold proposes to move the feature complete milestone for JDK 9 to 25 May 2016. The GA (General Availability) status would be rescheduled to 23 March 2017, meaning the arrival of Java 9 would come six months later than originally planned.

Jigsaw in danger?

Reinhold was clear in stating that this extension shouldn’t invite a flood of new features to be introduced to the project, but rather that the time be used to polish what they already have. Issues at present revolve around the stabilisation and fine-tuning of existing JSRs to Jigsaw. Remember however that this postponement applies for the entire JDK, so there is a possibility that other JEPs (JDK Enhancement Proposals) could be added to the program.

Proposals have been invited for submission. Comments on the proposal to postpone JDK 9 will also be heard until Tuesday, December 8th (18:00 UTC). Experience shows, however, that there isn’t much to do in cases such as these – Reinhold’s offset proposals have always been assumed as final in the past.

So it looks like we’ll just have to accept it: Java 9 will be released six months later in the Spring of 2017 and not as planned on 22 September, 2016. Java releases tend to be slow, anyway!

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