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From Murray Altheim <>
Subject Re: [jira] Commented: (JSPWIKI-121) Drop support for JDK 1.4.
Date Sat, 12 Jan 2008 21:40:43 GMT
Janne Jalkanen wrote:
>> for this year. Yes, a straw poll of developers (as you've done on jswiki-
>> users) will certainly show that developers are fine with JDK 5 -- I'm
> Please note that jspwiki-user contains users - the people who apply 
> jspwiki in their daily life.  They are exactly the crowd we want to reach.
> jspwiki-dev then contains developers.  They are users, too, but as you 
> say, they are probably fine with JDK 5.

Yes, that was the group of 'users' I was talking about too.

>> to upgrade. There's a lot of old equipment out there, and we're not even
>> talking about the developing ("third") world, where a 386 is hot stuff.
> Yes, we are not.  So why bring it up?

Because there is a lot of old equipment out there, and a lot of the
organizations that my organization is responsible for has a lot of
that old equipment. Probably not 386s, but they don't have a budget
for upgrades as might commercial entities. As I have said, even some
national organizations (such as my main client for JSPWiki) only
upgraded to XP just before Christmas.

>> The impact is that for a very large number of organizations (thousands)
>> that my client organization is parent to, they are limited by (as I've
>> mentioned previously) lack of time, expertise, but particularly, compati-
>> bility with existing systems is the biggest determining factor.
> I would still like to know hard numbers for how many devices, which 
> platforms, and why they cannot run JDK 1.5.

I'm not likely to be able to get hard numbers as I don't believe they
exist. There's to my knowledge never been a national survey done, so
the understanding is of a general condition.

>> knowledge, they (a national institution) have several existing systems
>> that *cannot* be upgraded because (a) the vendor doesn't exist or has
>> stopped production,
> We still exist.  Sun still exists.  Are you saying someone went ahead 
> and installed JSPWiki on those computers and does not exist anymore?  Or 
> what are you saying?

We are hoping to be able to permit hundreds of small libraries and non-
profit organizations (drawing upon many thousands) to install JSPWiki as
part of a hive arrangement rather than being forced to adopt a mother
wiki approach.

> We are only talking about ugprades of JDK 1.5 - not HW upgrades (since I 
> am not at all convinced those are needed.  As I said, a newer version of 
> JSPWiki is likely to be more resource-demanding than a new version of 
> JDK.  The minimum requirement for Java 5 is Windows 98 and 64 megs of 
> RAM.  Running JSPWiki in such a configuration would already be very 
> demanding [not to mention the idea of running Win98 as a server OS... 
> shudder...].  Why exactly would someone need to upgrade their HW or OS 
> which would result from Java 5 rather than JSPWiki 2.6?
> Pretty much the only option that I can think of are people running 
> either Solaris 7, or earlier version of glibc on RH7 or 8 systems, for 
> which JDK 5 is not available.  But it is unlikely that these people will 
> be upgrading until they have to, and retrotranslator should help them 
> out most of the time anyway.

It's not a matter of availability. It's that we can't force these smaller
organizations to upgrade, and to my understanding they are generally using
much older OS's and JDKs. The national organization itself is behind the
times (their website is down this entire weekend so they can do some
software upgrades, and they're a NATIONAL organization!).

>> or (b) we don't have the manpower to make major
>> changes to an existing system (e.g., we have one guy maintaining a really
>> ugly, fragile system with a million customizations done over a long
>> period by multiple contractors). And that's why the IT department won't
>> move from JDK 1.4, nor are they willing to support multiple versions due
>> to path issues.
> Which path issues?  JDK 5 lives very nicely along all other JDKs.  You 
> set the JAVA_HOME, and java will happily run as many JVMs in as many 
> configurations as you would like.  I routinely run JDK 1.4, 5 and 6 
> applications on my Mac, not always even knowing which one I am using.
> If your admin is incapable of figuring this out, they are unable to 
> install and upgrade JSPWiki too.  So no harm done there.

Whether they are capable or not, the decision was made by the management.
As I said, I'll see if I can find out a schedule for 2008.

>> But beyond the parent organization, requiring JDK 5 may
>> very likely mean that the child organizations (typically local libraries
>> and non-profit orgs) will have to use an older version, and will not
>> be able to use the customized version I've been working on as part of a
>> hive plan.
> Retrotranslator should work for you then, since you are deploying a 
> customized, compiled version anyway - not the official branch.   Also, 
> if the environment is homogenous enough, you can even deploy the entire 
> JRE as a part of your system.  Makes it easier for your admins, too.
> After all, you're the vendor and getting paid to develop this custom 
> version, not us ;-)

I can't do that for hundreds or potentially thousands of smaller orgs
whose sites and admins I don't have direct contact with, nor could I
possibly support (I'm one person and I'm not going to get that level
of help).

> I would highly recommend that you check out what the situation is, and 
> get the hard numbers.  If they've replaced HW or reinstalled the OS in 
> the past three years, they are very likely already running JDK 5.

I won't be able to get the numbers for the child organizations as I
don't think they're available. I'll find out the upgrade schedule for
the parent organization during this week.


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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