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From Bill Burton <>
Subject Re: Dropping JDK 1.1 support
Date Fri, 14 Mar 2003 21:04:30 GMT

I've read through most all the posts and have these thoughts ...

Conor MacNeill wrote:
> We've started discussing on ant-dev at what point we could drop support for 
> JDK 1.1 in Ant. Steve has suggested that we should ask the user community for 
> 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 versions. 
> 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.. 

First, it should be clarified what dropping 1.1 support means.  Here's 
my understanding of that:

Ant will require a 1.2 or 1.3.1 JVM (whatever is decided) to be build 
and run all core functionality and core tasks.  However projects 
requiring to be built under 1.1 can still support 1.1 by using -target 
1.1 or by specifying the appropriate options to <javac> so a 1.1 is used.

It should be recommended that optional tasks also support the same base 
JVM version supported by the core but this would be up to the task's author.

> The options would be
> 1. Mark the Ant 1.5.x releases as the last JDK 1.1 compatible release. IOW, 
> Ant 1.6 would require JDK 1.2

+1.  As it has been pointed out by others, the most benefit would be 
gained supporting 1.2 as the minimum version as some OS's lag behind the 
mainstream 1.3.1 and 1.4.  Maybe 1.3.1 could be required, but the 
additional benefits are few over 1.2.  It's too early to require 1.4 as 
it's still not available on some OS's.

> 2. Mark 1.6 as the last JDK 1.1 release. This would give more notice of the 
> change

-1.  Not really.  When 1.5.3 ships it could be clearly noted that the 
1.5.x series is the last to support 1.1 JVM's at runtime.  Version 1.6 
would require 1.2 or whatever is decided.

Also, with many new features slated for 1.6, such as import and embed, 
etc., requiring 1.1 support for these new features is going to 
complicate the implementation and support of those features.  Relaxing 
the restriction to 1.2+ would simplify many aspects of implementing 
these features and allow 1.6 to ship earlier :) .

The 1.5.x series can be maintained for bugfixes, etc.  However, there 
are some people chomping at the bit to get new optional tasks released. 
  Could there be a 1.5.3a release that just updates the optional tasks 
or better yet, could there be a separate release for optional tasks alone?

> 3. Stick to JDK 1.1 support for now.



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