+1 to being cautious about dropping support for Java 1.4 without
consulting the user base first, i.e. +1 for another user poll, though I
wouldn't do it before October.
+1 to putting the users' desires above the developers' desires.
+1 to moving to Java 1.5 when the time is right.
-0.5 (no veto) to moving to Java 1.5 before Oct 2008.
+1 to making experiments with Retroweaver (but please not in Trunk).

On 05.06.2008 17:46:07 Vincent Hennebert wrote:
> Hi Guys,
> I would like to raise this topic again: what about switching to Java 1.5
> as a minimum requirement?
> The End of Life transition period for Java 1.4 will end on the 30th of
> October 2008 [1]. The next version of FOP (after 0.95) will probably not
> have been released by this time, so we could start using 1.5 features in
> the Trunk.
> [1] http://java.sun.com/j2se/1.4.2/download.html
> I don’t particularly expect any disagreement from a developer point of
> vue (who doesn’t want to use 1.5 features?), so in the end this will
> probably depend on the users’ reactions, but I thought I’d ask for
> opinions here first.
> According to the poll Jeremias made in October 2007 [2], only 14.3% of
> the users would think it’s a bad idea to switch to 1.5. A year later the
> percentage will probably have further decreased.
> [2] http://wiki.apache.org/xmlgraphics/UserPollOct2007
> I guess a new poll will still be necessary. Or we could base it on lazy
> consensus: “If you still want Java 1.4 compatibility, speak up now!”.
> Anyway, even if 1.4 compatibility is still considered to be required,
> there are tools to convert 1.5 code into 1.4 compatible one. I’m mainly
> thinking of Retroweaver:
> http://retroweaver.sourceforge.net/
> It’s BSD licensed, so IIC there wouldn’t be any problem to distribute it
> with FOP. Obviously it would be an (optional) compile-time dependency
> only. I haven’t personally tested it, but I’m told it’s working pretty
> well and it seems to be well maintained. Of course I’d volunteer to
> introduce it into the build system and see how it works. FWIW, it’s
> based on the ASM library, that I’ve had the opportunity to play with
> a few years ago, and what I can say is that it’s a really nice, strong,
> lightweight, easy to use library for manipulating class files.
> http://asm.objectweb.org/
> Obviously we wouldn’t switch everything to 1.5 immediately. We would do
> it progressively, when fixing bugs or implementing new features. So it
> should be easy to check that the conversion is working properly by
> running the testsuite on a 1.4 jvm, before every commit. Also, we could
> restrain ourselves to features that are directly translatable to 1.4:
> generics, enhanced for loop, autoboxing/unboxing. Most of all we could
> stick to using methods from the Java standard library that are also
> available in the 1.4 version (and, for instance, not use the new
> concurrency package for now).
> Just having the possibility to use generics would give us tremendous
> benefits: simpler, cleaner, safer code, more easily understandable, more
> easily maintainable, etc. I can’t wait anymore to use those features.
> So, WDYT?
> Thanks,
> Vincent
> -- 
> Vincent Hennebert                            Anyware Technologies
> http://people.apache.org/~vhennebert         http://www.anyware-tech.com
> Apache FOP Committer                         FOP Development/Consulting

Jeremias Maerki

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