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From "Chris Brown" <>
Subject Re: Dropping JDK 1.1 support
Date Fri, 14 Mar 2003 09:32:26 GMT

There seems to be a lot of support for moving straight to 1.3 (or even 1.4).
Might I suggest that as Ant is *mainly* used to build stuff, as opposed to
*running* it, then the JDK compatibility issue is even less important.

For example, I know that a lot of people are stuck with application servers
that don't yet support JDK 1.4 (or platforms upon which a JDK 1.4 isn't even
available yet), and others are in companies that wait a long time before
upgrading technology... but there's little to prevent them building with Ant
on a newer platform, then deploying on the older platform.  Java compilers
are in any case full of backward-compatibility options, and paranoid folks
can compile against older versions of "rt.jar" if need be.

In any case, those that require JDK 1.1 compatibility or whatever, can still
use the existing versions of Ant, which are damned good anyway.  If they
can't update their JDK, it's often safe to assume that they probably won't
be keen on updating Ant or their build scripts to get their hands on the
latest and greatest features of the next version of Ant (that probably would
be of little use anyway on their older environment)...

Quite frankly, I think that JDK 1.3, or even 1.4, offer so many more
features, that it might be worth making an even bigger jump to either 1.3
(or 1.4).  I favour 1.4, because (as I said), people who use Ant already in
an older environment can stick to their existing version if it works well

By moving to a more recent version of the JDK, you can avoid all the
reflection/interface "hacks" you mentioned (in Conor's original mail),
making for cleaner faster code, and as any programmer knows, the simpler the
code, the easier it is to test and make reliable...  Furthermore, given the
number of bundled APIs, the Ant software could be made much more compact.

So, I think the best option, is to offer (either on this mailing list or on
the Ant website), a vote in the following form:

With which versions of the Java platform should future versions of Ant
(1.6+) be compatible ?

 [ ] JDK 1.4
 [ ] JDK 1.3
 [ ] JDK 1.2
 [ ] JDK 1.1 (current compatibility level)

Hope this helps,

----- Original Message -----
From: "Conor MacNeill" <>
To: <>
Sent: Friday, March 14, 2003 5:05 AM
Subject: Dropping JDK 1.1 support

> We've started discussing on ant-dev at what point we could drop support
> JDK 1.1 in Ant. Steve has suggested that we should ask the user community
> opinions. I think that is a good idea so here goes.
> Currently the Ant core and many of the core tasks are required to compile
> under JDK 1.1. Optional tasks are able to require more modern JDK
> We are thinking about moving the core up to requiring JDK 1.2. It has the
> advantage of allowing us to use JDK 1.2 facilities without resorting to
> reflection and artificial interfaces, etc..
> The options would be
> 1. Mark the Ant 1.5.x releases as the last JDK 1.1 compatible release.
> Ant 1.6 would require JDK 1.2
> 2. Mark 1.6 as the last JDK 1.1 release. This would give more notice of
> change
> 3. Stick to JDK 1.1 support for now.
> Please feel free to express your views.
> Thanks
> Conor
> --
> Conor MacNeill
> Blog:
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