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From Jesse Glick <>
Subject Future of JDK 5 support in Ant
Date Wed, 17 Jul 2013 22:59:00 GMT
It has now been almost a year and a half since I called a vote to drop JDK 1.4 support for
1.9.0. Is anyone thinking about when to drop JDK 5 support for running Ant 
itself, e.g. in 1.10.0 or whatever? (Keeping the ability to fork older tools for <javac>
etc. of course.) Jenkins has already done so in dev builds, and Maven devs are 
discussing it. Eclipse Kepler and IDEA 12 both seem to require JDK 6+, and NetBeans 7.4 beta
already requires JDK 7+. Potential benefits of a 6+ dependency include:

· fewer combinations to test—do not need to debug test failures only occurring on JDK 5
any more
· easier to test against baseline JDK (cannot download JDK 5 without login, and
IIUC it is not available on Macs at all)
· OpenJDK 6 exists, so we would be based on an OSS platform (no OSS Java 5 impl is widely
· -target 6 bytecode is faster to load due to split verifier, reducing Ant run time a bit
· miscellaneous new APIs useful to us, e.g. File.setWritable which makes /usr/bin/chmod unnecessary
in most cases, or, etc.
· javax.script instead of having to depend on BSH
. so that in-process javac can be run with a supported API (incl. rich diagnostics,
virtual input files, etc.)
· javax.annotation.processing & javax.lang.model for various purposes, e.g. compile-time
verification of task class signatures if defining tasks w/ annotations

Of course Java 7 introduces more things of interest, such as java.nio.file and minor language
improvements, but I expect Java 6 is still widely enough used at this point 
that requiring 7+ would be unpopular.

This message should not be considered a proposal so much as a testing of the waters.

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