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Project Jigsaw Being Pushed to Java 9

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Project Jigsaw Being Pushed to Java 9

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A blog today by Mark Reinhold, the OpenJDK project lead at Oracle, might have come as a shock to many in the Java community: It looks like Project Jigsaw (a standard module system for Java SE) is lagging behind in development and probably won't make it into the Java 8 release next summer.

Steady progress is being made, but some sig­nif­i­cant tech­ni­cal chal­lenges re­main. There is, more im­por­tantly, not enough time left for the broad eval­u­a­tion, re­view, and feed­back which such a pro­found change to the Plat­form de­mands. I there­fore pro­pose to defer Pro­ject Jig­saw to the next re­lease, Java 9. In order to in­crease the pre­dictabil­ity of all fu­ture Java SE re­leases, I fur­ther pro­pose to aim ex­plic­itly for a reg­u­lar two-year re­lease cycle going for­ward.

-- Mark Reinhold

For a while OpenJDK has had a prototype ( download and evaluate here). Reinhold says that maintaining compatibility with existing code has been a "delicate task".  They also have not started to plan how they will support various containers for IDEs, app servers, etc. 

The comments on Reinhold's blog were split pretty evenly between supporters and 'the annoyed'.

From Guillaume Laforge (major Groovy contributor)

We didn't go too far with modularity in Groovy 2... because we didn't want to duplicate what was supposed to be coming in Java 8. 

But now, it means it won't be in the hands of developers before 2 years, and in production before 3 years :-(

It means that Jigsaw, if it ever ships, will have been 5+ years in the making. That sounds a lot, even for such a big feature and task.

Johannes Brodwall
however, was fully in agreement that Jigsaw should not be allowed to hold up Java 8:

DON'T HOLD THE TRAIN. The five years from Java 6 (which itself was disappointing) to Java 7 nearly killed the language.

But understandably, some were disappointed that Jigsaw, which was first proposed for Java 7, is probably not coming till Java 9 now.  Markus Karg suggested they give up on the idea and just tell people to use Maven.

So... How does this news sit with you?  Are you with the "Just use Maven" crowd?  Do you think it's important that Java 8 not be delayed?

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