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From Adrian Sutton <adr...@intencha.com>
Subject Re: [POLL] Minimal JRE requirement for HttpClient 4.0
Date Fri, 21 Jan 2005 08:13:57 GMT

On 21/01/2005, at 5:40 PM, Tarun Ramakrishna wrote:

> Lovely debate! :-)
> I would vote for 1.5! The java.util.concurrent package is brilliant
> and could be utilized. There's also the Scanner class!. :-) .
> Developers who want to use the old JDK's should use the current or
> older versions. If the new language features and libraries can make
> life easier it makes sense to use 1.5 for the latest and greatest.

This has been mentioned a few times now - people who are using old 
versions of the JVM do so for a huge range of reasons, often because 
changing would require them giving up very big deals as customers 
aren't willing to upgrade and go through the hassle of enterprise wide 
deployments of a new JVM.

Despite this, HttpClient users will still need fixes and would most 
likely appreciate new features and design improvements.  HttpClient 
needs to remember that it is a library and it's useless unless it is 
easy to integrate into an application - if HttpClient forces an 
application to drop support for a JRE that's a serious headache.

I'm a very, very, very strong -1 (non-veto only because I think vetoing 
would be pretty rude in this case) on requiring Java 1.5.  Doing so 
would mean dropping Mac support and most likely permanently dropping 
support for Mac OS X 10.3 and below.

I'm -1 (again non-veto) to requiring Java 1.4 when it is possible to 
avoid it.  NIO may make it worth moving to Java 1.4 but I'm not 
convinced of that.  Moving to Java 1.4 support means dropping support 
for any applets that run in Mozilla (and variants) on OS X and 
permanently dropping support for applets in IE on OS X.  You'd also be 
dropping support for most deployed J2EE servers which tend to be 
running Java 1.3 (though 1.4 is starting to gain momentum server side).

So I'd be keen to support 1.3 if we can because it's about the oldest 
JVM (apart from the MS JVM 1.1s that are everywhere) that applications 
are likely to commonly run into.

I know that new language features are always cool and it can be painful 
to have to work around missing APIs or conditionally implement 
functionality etc, but dropping support for JVMs has a huge knock-on 
effect which is much bigger than most people first realize.  We need to 
keep in mind that HttpClient is a library that has to fit in with other 
applications requirements and demand as little as possible.  As such 
I'd really like to focus on the functionality we want to provide and 
then look at what JVM is required to deliver that functionality.

Also realize that if we leave a lot of users behind on an older version 
we will need to continue to support that version by fixing bugs etc in 
it for a long period - maintaining two code branches may prove more 
time consuming than putting up with the limitations of an earlier JVM.

> Tarun


Adrian "I Still Have To Work With Java 1.3" Sutton
Intencha "tomorrow's technology today"
Ph: 3420 4584 0422236329
35 Prenzler St
Upper Mount Gravatt 4122
Australia QLD

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