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From Peter Firmstone <j...@zeus.net.au>
Subject Re: Modular Build, Java 5, (Was: Re: Unexpected Test Results)
Date Tue, 14 Sep 2010 09:55:56 GMT
Tom Hobbs wrote:
> In my mind, it's an attractive proposition to drop support for the older
> JVMs and go straight into 1.5 - however I'm only one user and I wouldn't
> have a problem if River did that.
> I think this question should be asked on the River Users list as well.  If
> there are active users out there who monitor River updates and the lists
> then getting their feedback might make our decision easier.

That's a good point Tom, this project does need more focus on users.

In this case it would be about offering the user less and asking if it's 

The only thing that Java 1.5 offers in Proxy code and Service API are 
some additional classes, not much good for API, but useful for some 
smart proxy's needing concurrency perhaps.  But this is already 
possible.  Once we take the users mind away from supporting Java 1.4 in 
Service API, however, we have to explain the difficulties of using 
Generics in Service API.   For example you can use Specific generics 
List<Apple>, but not bounded wildcards, like List<? extends Fruit>, or 

Personally I can't see any reason or benefit as to why client or 
platform Service API should be compiled with anything later than jsr14.

Separately compiled code needs to have the same type casts at run time.  
Generics suffer from erasure and are replaced by type casts.

It would of course nix any remaining hopes I had for a Java CDC release, 
after my recent failure, I have been considering creating an RMI 
optional package to support it (rather than removing the need for RMI, 
distribute it instead) Oracle and IBM have long since stopped 
distributing the RMI optional package. Investigations are that it may be 
possible to load the optional package upon instantiation, similar to the 
way the jsk-policy.jar is now loaded.   CDC will become a larger Java 
client platform than the PC due to BlueRay and Digital TV, these come 
with network connections. The ServiceUI would be very suited to 
interactive Television.  Server Platforms need clients too.

Long term I think we should still be making the build modular, 
regardless of any decision taken with java 1.4.

By taking the build modular, it makes life easier for a greater 
developer pool, just like our new Merge model.

> Also, it'd be good to start getting into the habit of consulting users when
> significant decisions like this are being discussed.
> Release early and often.  This decision can be delayed to a later release,
> rather than delaying the next release to contain the results of this
> decision.
> On Tue, Sep 14, 2010 at 8:53 AM, Peter Firmstone <jini@zeus.net.au> wrote:
>> Yes it's a little daunting isn't it.  It would make development,
>> maintenance and compatibility easier once we bite the bullet.
>> Any volunteers?
>> I had planned to release before Christmas, perhaps it should be a
>> maintenance release of the last branch, until we get a modular build and
>> Java 1.4 to 5 migration sorted.
>> Or do we let the release slip until March 2011 (1 year release) and aim for
>> a modular build, supporting Java 5, or do we do both?
>> Peter.
>> Patricia Shanahan wrote:
>>> What time frame are you thinking of for all this? I was a bit naive
>>> thinking we could easily switch to 5.
>>> In order to make TaskManager progress, I need to pick a runAfter parameter
>>> type. While things are in flux, I think I'll go with Collection<Task>,
so I
>>> can work with the jsr14 hack.
>>> If we go to 5 for the thread package, I can do a refactoring pass to
>>> change to Iterable<Task>. There are a lot fewer runAfter declarations
>>> because of the switch to an abstract class with a default implementation.
>>> Patricia
>>> On 9/13/2010 6:26 PM, Peter Firmstone wrote:
>>>> Some time back, we voted to include Java 5 language features.
>>>> We didn't vote to drop support for Java 1.4 at the time and I was
>>>> considering different options for ongoing maintenance support of Java
>>>> 1.4.
>>>> The last release 2.1.2, still supports Java 1.4
>>>> What I'd like to consider is that the previous branch be used to
>>>> maintain support for Java 1.4 and our next release only support Java 1.5
>>>> onward. However an additional requirement of a distributed platform
>>>> release, is that it plays nicely with existing Java 1.4 installations,
>>>> which means smart proxy's still need to be compiled in Java 1.4 bytecode
>>>> (and perhaps Service API). Service API will be already installed in the
>>>> clients local classpath for Java 1.4 installations, but the smart proxy
>>>> code depends on Service API and won't compile if they're Java 1.5.
>>>> So while Serialization compatibility is maintained across releases, we
>>>> just need to have compatible bytecode.
>>>> Perhaps with maven provisioning there could be an opportunity for
>>>> clients to select platform compatible bytecode at some time in the
>>>> future.
>>>> I guess we need to figure out how to compile the majority of classes
>>>> using "1.5", while compiling proxy classes using "1.4".
>>>> It is possible I think, to specify different class paths in the client
>>>> jvm's of the test suite, so potentially we could test the current
>>>> distribution with clients using the previous release and Java 1.4, while
>>>> the server uses Java 5 or 6.
>>>> This might require a separate release of the Test Suite, this would be
>>>> useful to test binary compatibility also, very important in a
>>>> distributed environment.
>>>> This allows a migration path away from Java 1.4.
>>>> "jsr14" is a build hack.
>>>> To achieve this, I think we'll need to change the way we currently
>>>> package River, to be more modular along the lines Dan Rollo has
>>>> suggested.
>>>> This might also be an opportunity to break out the Service
>>>> Implementations into separate components or subprojects perhaps, each
>>>> depending on the platform and test kit and each having it's own tests.
>>>> Allowing one to develop on a small component of the platform and run
>>>> only relevant tests, for faster feedback. All components might be
>>>> assembled and run on Hudson.
>>>> Possible Components:
>>>> Service API. (Java 1.4)
>>>> Jini Platform (depends on Service API) (Java 5)
>>>> Jini libraries. (Java 5)
>>>> Jini Security Policy.
>>>> Test Kit
>>>> Jini Compatibility Tests.
>>>> Reggie
>>>> Mahalo
>>>> Outrigger
>>>> Phoenix
>>>> Fiddler
>>>> Norm
>>>> Mercury
>>>> A client developer then only needs the Platform and Service API jar's.
>>>> Then when someone creates their own djinn, they can add the services as
>>>> they require them, reducing complexity for new developers.
>>>> Regards,
>>>> Peter.
>>>> Patricia Shanahan wrote:
>>>>> Found it. common.xml contains a macro definition, javac-cmd, which I
>>>>> believe does the actual compilation. It defaults the -target parameter
>>>>> to "jsr14". Changing it to "1.5" allows my Iterable construct to
>>>>> compile, but should continue generation of java 1.5 compatible code.
>>>>> "jsr14" was an interim mode for experimentation with the 1.5 features
>>>>> on a 1.4 JVM. It does support for-each for a Collection, but not
>>>>> Iterable, which was added in 1.5, which explains my problem.
>>>>> Any class files that work on 1.4 should also work on 1.5, explaining
>>>>> Peter's observation.
>>>>> Should River continue 1.4 support? If yes, we need to test on 1.4, as
>>>>> well as 5, 6, and potentially 7. Note that there may be a performance
>>>>> price, such as less efficient autoboxing code. If no, we should change
>>>>> the target default to "1.5".
>>>>> Patricia
>>>>> On 9/13/2010 3:38 PM, Patricia Shanahan wrote:
>>>>> ....
>>>>>> Here's a theory. There is some parameter (or parameters) we don't
>>>>>> about being passed to javac as part of the ant all.build that affects
>>>>>> the compiler's personality. It is generating 1.5 compatible code,
>>>>>> rejecting a construct that I think should be accepted.
>>>>> ...
>>>>>> On 9/13/2010 1:16 PM, Peter Firmstone wrote:
>>>>>>> [java] -----------------------------------------
>>>>>>> [java]
>>>>>>> [java] # of tests started = 581
>>>>>>> [java] # of tests completed = 581
>>>>>>> [java] # of tests skipped = 21
>>>>>>> [java] # of tests passed = 581
>>>>>>> [java] # of tests failed = 0
>>>>>>> [java]
>>>>>>> [java] -----------------------------------------
>>>>>>> [java]
>>>>>>> [java] Date finished:
>>>>>>> [java] Tue Sep 14 01:08:05 EST 2010
>>>>>>> [java] Time elapsed:
>>>>>>> [java] 19953 seconds
>>>>>>> [java]
>>>>>>> Total time: 332 minutes 40 seconds
>>>>>>> These test results are from qa.run executing on Java 5, so I
>>>>>>> expecting some test failures, knowing that the test suite doesn't
>>>>>>> compile with JDK 1.5.

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