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From Murray Altheim <>
Subject Re: [jira] Commented: (JSPWIKI-121) Drop support for JDK 1.4.
Date Sat, 12 Jan 2008 13:04:02 GMT
Janne Jalkanen wrote:
> should help, if JDK 1.4 is an 
> absolute necessity.
> By the way, in a recent (non-JSPWiki -related) developer meeting I was 
> participating in, a poll among all attendees showed that they are 
> primarily developing on JDK 6 (over 50%), then the rest were using JDK 5 
> (which is 3.5 years old now).  JDK 1.4 was only about one percent of the 
> participants, and nobody was using JDK 1.3 anymore.  I'd say that 
> requiring JDK 5 is the conservative option in Java world right now.  
> E.g. Tomcat 6 requires JDK 5 already.

 From the admin or developer community I certainly expect this opinion. In
a group of developers 1% is probably expected. But try a bunch of small
town libraries: probably more like 80%. We're using Tomcat 5.5 because
we *can't* upgrade to JDK 6, and we're at the national level. As I said,
we just got XP installed in our offices before Christmas (thank god I
myself use linux...).

> The way using JDK 5 is showing to the users is that the developers are 
> happier, and are able to produce better and more maintainable code. 
> Stripes will show up as vastly simplified templating and clearer code 
> base for any developer.  Yes, and developers will be happier, and since 
> they are volunteers, it is very important to keep developers happy.

It's important to keep the developers happy, yes. I guess you're willing
to lose users in order to keep developers.

> (And, frankly, if the users don't care about JDK version, they should 
> not care if you upgrade to Java 5 either.  Your argument makes no 
> sense.  If software Y requires JDK X, then, if software Y is valuable 
> enough, they will install JDK X.  If it is not, they will likely not 
> upgrade anyway, since the old version is already working.  That's the 
> way it's always been.  Installing a new JDK takes about five minutes if 
> you are an admin worth paying money for.

It's not about an admin being *capable* of doing it, it's the impact
that an upgrade has on the existing hardware and software system(s).

> Besides, 3.0 is going to break compatibility, so any old stuff is going 
> to break anyway (templates, plugins, filters).  So they're not likely to 
> upgrade to 3.x, in which case we don't have to care about them.)

I suppose that depends on how we define "users", i.e., installers of
JSPWiki; computer users/individuals are not what I meant as they aren't
installing JSPWiki. My argument makes perfect sense to me, if that needs
be stated. I was perhaps not clear.

Users don't care about or generally even know which JDK they're using,
nor do they generally know how to upgrade their own computers' versions.
In government, educational, and academic environments (particularly in
K-12 schools and city libraries) there are often systems that are many
years old. JSPWiki "Users" (admins for those systems) often don't have
options to upgrade many of the systems since they must maintain compati-
bility with existing software, that if upgraded, would require other
upgrades, which either in many cases doesn't even exist or costs money
(which small organizations or cash-strapped municipalities don't
generally budget for). Libraries are a case in point.

I can appreciate that perhaps in your environment there may be very few
organizations that aren't capable of upgrading to the latest and greatest
hardware and software at will. In mine that's not the case, generally,
as this is done as budgets, time, expertise, and compatibility with
existing systems permits.


Murray Altheim <murray07 at>                           ===  = =                                     = =  ===
SGML Grease Monkey, Banjo Player, Wantanabe Zen Monk               = =  = =

       Boundless wind and moon - the eye within eyes,
       Inexhaustible heaven and earth - the light beyond light,
       The willow dark, the flower bright - ten thousand houses,
       Knock at any door - there's one who will respond.
                                       -- The Blue Cliff Record

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