JDK 9 Outreach survey summary

dalibor topic dalibor.topic at oracle.com
Tue Nov 29 11:46:06 UTC 2016


thanks to everyone who participated in the JDK 9 Outreach survey!

There were 37 respondents in total. The respondents were active in a 
broad range of free and open source software projects, from Apache 
Software Foundation projects like Apache Ant, Apache BookKeeper, Apache 
Kafka, Apache Lucene/Solr, Apache Maven and Apache POI via Eclipse 
Foundation projects such as Eclipse and vert.x, and language runtimes 
such as Apache Groovy, Clojure and ruby, over enterprise development 
oriented projects such Hibernate, WildFly, JBoss WS, Spring Security, 
MVC 1.0 and SnoopEE to independent projects such as JUnit 5, 
GraphHopper, Orient DB, Groovy FX, JavaSlang, JITWatch, JMRI, LWJGL3 and 
of course OpenJDK itself, along with Project Jigsaw.

33 respondents (i.e. 89%) have tried building or running their project 
with JDK 9 Early Access builds, while just 4 (i.e. 11%) had not done so 
at the time of the survey.

The majority of respondents (20, i.e. 54%) indicated they planned to 
support JDK 9 in their project within 6 months after JDK 9 GA. The next 
largest group (16%, i.e. 6 respondents) indicated that they planned to 
support JDK 9 immediately from the get go, i.e. the GA date The third 
largest group (14%, i.e. 5 respondents) indicated that they planned to 
support JDK 9 within 12 months of JDK 9 GA. Along with one respondent 
whose response differentiated between immediate support at JDK 9 GA and 
within a few months after the release based on the type of project they 
were working on, that brings the tally of respondents planning to 
support JDK 9 in their projects within the first year of JDK 9's release 
to 32, i.e. 86%.

30 respondents (i.e. 89%) rated their experience migrating or adopting 
JDK 9 so far, with the average rating of of 3.2 falling between Mediocre 
(3.0) and Good (4.0). The majority of respondents (40%, i.e. 12) rated 
it as Good, while 11, i.e. 37% rated it as Mediocre.

The comments provided some insight into the very varied challenges, from 
balancing support for JDK 1.5 - JDK 9 in a code base, to challenges 
surfaced by strong encapsulation of JDK internals, such as 
instrumentation of such classes, edge cases with reflection based hacks 
in popular libraries, and the general pace of the larger ecosystem of 
dependencies catching up and adjusting to JDK 9 changes. On the desktop 
side, one respondent reported insurmountable challenges in getting 
Eclipse to build JavaFX projects using JDK 9, while another one reported 
that they ended up re-implementing desktop support in their project 
using JavaScript to be able to support both JDK 8 and JDK 9 due to 
changes in native platform APIs on OS X in particular. One respondent 
felt that the process was nice, and that everyone from OpenJDK, in 
particular Oracle and Red Hat, were being very helpful.

Three respondents provided URLs to announcements of their projects plans 
to support features from JDK 9:
https://marketplace.eclipse.org/content/java-9-support-beta-neon ,
http://jmri.org/releasenotes/jmri4.5.3.shtml and
https://cwiki.apache.org/confluence/display/MAVEN/Java+9+-+Jigsaw .

Last but not least, 8 respondents provided general feedback. One 
participant pointed out that the available information is incomplete in 
some accounts, and spread across multiple documents, with undocumented 
or not yet implemented compiler options, along with the not yet complete 
specification. The regular changes in the JDK & JRE, in particular 
regarding class loading, had affected their project multiple times. 
Another participant remarked that uncertainty around Project Jigsaw was 
delaying adding support for JDK 9 in their project. One participant 
pointed out that they can begin testing their project efficiently once 
their build tool supports JDK 9. Meanwhile, another participant pointed 
out that their testing was limited to JARs without module information, 
and as such was testing the module system in a limited fashion. Finally, 
one participant commented that their inability to comment directly on 
reported bugs made bug handling cumbersome.

dalibor topic

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