+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 . 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. > >  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 , 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. > >  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