Planning JDK 8, and beyond

mark.reinhold at mark.reinhold at
Mon Mar 21 17:22:12 UTC 2011

It's time to start thinking about planning JDK 8.

We already know what some of the big-ticket items are likely to be.
There'll be room for other features too, however, both large and small.
It's therefore time to define a simple process for collecting, sorting,
reviewing, and prioritizing proposals and plans for new features, for
JDK 8 and for later releases.

Some essential requirements (not in priority order):

  - As lightweight as possible.

  - Simple mechanics.

  - Version-controlled, so that changes can be tracked.

  - Open to all committers, with transparent decision-making.

  - The basic format should not be too different from (a simplified
    form of) the old Sun "one-pager" template [1], with which many
    are already familiar.

  - An approved proposal should be able to serve as the authoritative
    source of the summary and reference information needed for related
    documents such as the release feature list [2] and the Platform
    Umbrella JSR specification [3].

One can imagine all sorts of fancy database-backed systems that would
fulfill these requirements, but we need something sooner rather than
later.  I think a workable solution, at least for now, is to collect
proposals as structured text files in a Mercurial repository.  So that
people don't have to write raw HTML or XML we could use the "Markdown"
lightweight markup language [4] together with an existing convention
for placing common metadata at the top of a file [5].  The Mercurial
repository would be set up so that a push operation would automatically
update the appropriate web pages on

I've adapted an existing draft proposal for JDK 8 into Markdown as an
example [6] (thanks to Maurizio Cimadamore for the draft).  The exact
template format would, of course, be a topic of further discussion.


- Mark

[2] E.g.,
[3] E.g.,

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