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Modularization is slated to be the key feature in Java SE (Standard Edition) 9, due in late July. But Java participants Red Hat and IBM have raised concerns that the base module plan could lead to incompatibilities with applications and enterprise Java.
In a recent bulletin, Scott Stark, vice president of architecture for Red Hat's JBoss group, outlined a litany of issues Red Hat and other Java Executive Committee members have with JSR (Java Specification Request) 376, pertaining to the Java Platform Modular System, a central component of the Project Jigsaw module Java effort.
"The Jigsaw implementation is a new module system which has worked successfully for modularizing Java itself but is largely untried in wider production deployments of any real applications on top of the JVM," Stark said. "Many application deployment use cases which are widely implemented today are not possible under Jigsaw or would require a significant re-architecture."
JSR 376 is expected to provide a basis for Java Enterprise Edition 9, due in late 2018. Stark has his doubts, however. "The limitations in Jigsaw almost certainly prevent the possibility of Java EE 9 from being based on Jigsaw, as to do so would require existing Java EE vendors to completely throw out compatibility, interoperability, and feature parity with past versions of the Java EE specification." Stark said that in some cases, the implementation of Jigsaw contradicts years of modular application deployment best practices already commonly employed by the ecosystem.
Key design points of Jigsaw are predicated on a reductive approach to forward compatibility, Stark said. This works with modularizing Java itself but becomes "restrictive for broader use cases that application deployments have."