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From sebb <seb...@gmail.com>
Subject Re: Compiler level - change ?!
Date Thu, 31 Jul 2014 10:43:44 GMT
On 31 July 2014 09:03, P. Ottlinger <pottlinger@aiki-it.de> wrote:
> On 2014-07-31 09:55, Jochen Wiedmann wrote:
>>
>> The usual discussion: AFAICT, noone actually cares for the compiler level,
>> as the current compilers are quite happy to process older levels. Are
>> there
>> any hard reasons fpr changing?
>
>
> I've integrated commons-lang3 and tried to unify the versions in all of
> creadur's poms and stumbled upon many problems.
> Another hard reason is that there are no security fixes available for these
> older version and we should encourage users to stay up2date.

This is not a valid reason for changing the Java requirement for any code.
Users can upgrade to Java 8 or 9 and still run RAT even if it is built
to support a minimum of Java 5.

> If you need to stay with an ancient version you have to use rat in an ol
> version as well.

Not necessarily; we should only upgrade the minimum Java requirement
if it is worthwhile, e.g. because of essential new features.

> The other problem is that it prevents us from updating dependencies
> internally.

Depends on which dependencies are involved.
For example, the latest release of Commons Logging dropped support for
Java 1.1, and now requires a minimum of Java 1.2.
The code is relatively simple and does not need later features, so
there was no point in increasing the minimum requirement further.

Commons Lang took the view that 1.6 was warranted.
I disagreed as it does not require any of the new features of 1.6, but
lost the argument, which is why RAT now has a problem.

> Is there an overview of our users and their environment? Maybe there are no
> users that run on jdk1.5 anymore.

In the case of RAT, I think the minimum JVM version is not
particularly important, because it is basically an independent
application. It is not needed at run-time, so end-users can always
install a later version of Java, even if they cannot upgrade their
production system version.

> To my mind we should move forward once we're moving forward with newer
> versions of our own projects :-)

Yes, but that does not necessarily mean that we should increase the
minimum Java level.

In the case of RAT, it does not particularly matter what the minimum
version is, so long as we use a version that is available on most
systems. So we should not be using Java 9 as it does not seem to be
available on MacOS. It's possible that Java 8 is not available on as
many OSes as Java 7.

> Cheers,
> Phil

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