The road to Java 9: Modular Java finally gets OK’d

Modularity, a key but highly controversial feature of the upcoming Java 9 release, looks to be back on track with the Java community’s adoption of a proposal that had failed in an initial vote weeks earlier.

With new round of voting completed this week, the Java Community Process Executive Committee passed by a 24-0 vote the Java Platform Module System public review ballot, the subject of Java Specification Request 376.

In May, the same group, citing concerns over the plan being disruptive and lacking consensus, voted the measure down, 13 to 10. In the aftermath, Java Development Kit 9, where the module system was to be delivered, was postponed from July 27 to September 21.

Afterward, work proceeded to address the concerns. Companies such as IBM, which voted against the measure previously, sang a different tune this time around: “We see this release of JPMS as the strong foundation for a new Java SE platform architecture and expect to build upon this with feedback and experience from our customers and the community,” IBM said.

Red Hat, which voted no on the previous ballot but abstained from the latest one, said there were still several items in the current proposal that it wanted further work on. “However, we do not want to delay the Java 9 release,” Red Hat said. Getting “real world” feedback on the modularity system will be key to determine where further changes need to occur, Red Hat said.

The Eclipse Foundation, Hazelcast, and Twitter, all of which voted no previously and yes this time around, cited sufficient progress with modularity.

Modularity, which is set to bring performance and scalability benefits to Java, has been such a complex project that it was deferred from the March 2014 Java 8 release to Java 9. The technology itself was derived from Project Jigsaw.

The other votes in favor of the proposal this time came from ARM, Azul Systems, Credit Suisse, Fujitsu Limited, Gemalto, Goldman Sachs, Ivar Grimstad, HP Enterprise, Intel, JetBrains, Werner Keil, London Java Community, MicroDoc, NXP Semiconductors, Oracle, SAP, Software AG, SouJava, Tomitribe, and V2Com.


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