Xerces doesn't have maintenance releases in the sense that we'll ever have a 2.[x].y release after a 2.[x+1].0. The codebase is constantly moving forward with new development. It just happens that over some periods of time the only changes were bug fixes and minor improvements and if we have a release before something significant hits the trunk it ends up being a point release instead of the next in the series of 2.x. With the limited resources we have on the project (I find myself with less and less time for Xerces each year; the other developers have less than that) I'd say -1 to creating and maintaining branches ahead of time for hypothetical maintenance releases we may never have. I remember someone asking for a branch for JDK 1.1 based releases when we dropped support for that level. The need to have such releases never materialized. If there were to be a compelling reason to have one in the future the tags from the previous Xerces releases will always be there and we could create a branch from them if necessary. If it's just for the benefit of a handful of users (namely the individuals asking for the release) I would expect them to chip in in some way with patches and/or testing. If they really need it they'll help. If they're not willing to lift a finger then they don't need it badly enough yet.

As for moving past Java 1.3, it's not just the features we could be using from later JDKs to improve the code and the user base still on old JDKs which would factor into a decision. I would expect a future version of JAXP [1] is going to start using generics [2] and APIs only available in Java 5 and beyond. So it may get to a point where Xerces just has to jump to Java 5, 6 or ??? in order to keep up with JAXP. This already happened to JAXB. The 2.0 version of that spec is impossible to implement and use without Java 5. As some of you know we're currently working on an implementation of XML Schema 1.1 and one of the significant features introduced in this new version of XML Schema is assertions [3]. For this feature to be of value to users you basically need a full-blown XPath 2.0 evaluator. Most likely we're going to have to rely on another processor for the XPath support and that other library may have a dependency on a later version of Java. So there are other things which could push Xerces past Java 1.3 and those may be coming sooner than some folks can move to later JDKs.

Anyway, in the immediate future I only recommend that we officially drop support for JDK 1.2. So far the folks who've been responding seem to be on board with that.

Thanks.

[1] http://wiki.glassfish.java.net/Wiki.jsp?page=JaxpNextDiscussion
[2] http://bugs.sun.com/bugdatabase/view_bug.do?bug_id=6472193
[3] http://www.w3.org/TR/xmlschema11-1/#cAssertions

Michael Glavassevich
XML Parser Development
IBM Toronto Lab
E-mail: mrglavas@ca.ibm.com

E-mail: mrglavas@apache.org

nbeyer@gmail.com wrote on 11/11/2008 09:46:52 PM:

> I doubt maintenance for the current codebase running on Java 1.3 would
> be completely removed. I interpreted the original question as aimed at
> new and future development. I don't want to speak for Michael, but
> that's the way I read it.
>
> -Nathan
>
> On Tue, Nov 11, 2008 at 9:08 AM, Jacob Kjome <hoju@visi.com> wrote:
> > On Tue, 11 Nov 2008 09:36:26 -0500
> >  "David Ezell" <David_E3@VERIFONE.com> wrote:
> >>
> >> Well, one person's 4 is another person's 3.
> >>
> >> We're stuck on 1.3 for the foreseeable future.
> >>
> >> So -1 to drop 1.3.
> >
> > I partially agree with this.  There's no reason 1.3 needs to be dropped for
> > the current 2.x.x codebase.  Why not maintain 2.x.x at 1.3 and move on to
> > 3.x development which would be 1.5+ (or even 1.6+).  Xerces2 is very
> > stable.  1.3 and 1.4 users can continue to depend on it.  I maintain the
> > XMLC project, which is currently limited to JDK 1.3 anway.  If critical
> > issues are found in Xerces2, they can be fixed on the Xerces2 branch where
> > 1.3 and 1.4 users can benefit.  Of course, we can also expect that 1.3 and
> > 1.4 users are in maintenance mode and won't require fancy new features.  All
> > new feature development can take place on the trunk, which will represent
> > the Xerces3 codebase, and will be able to take advantage of all the latest
> > JDK features.  Who knows, maybe Sun can eventually drop the
> > com.sun.apache.xerces stuff and migrate back to the original, stable, Xerces
> > product once it is not limited by old VM's.
> >
> > Jake
> >
> >>
> >> David Ezell
> >> VeriFone
> >> Chair, XML Schema WG
> >>
> >>> -----Original Message-----
> >>> From: Schmidlin, Franck [mailto:Franck.Schmidlin@northgate-is.com] Sent:
> >>> Tuesday, November 11, 2008 5:35 AM
> >>> To: j-dev@xerces.apache.org; j-users@xerces.apache.org
> >>> Cc: general@xml.apache.org
> >>> Subject: RE: Dropping JDK 1.2 support for Xerces-J (and possibly JDK 1.3?
> >>> 1.4? in the future)
> >>>
> >>>  > a new infusion of activity and interest.
> >>>
> >>> you betcha, most of us would be up in arms!
> >>>
> >>> I personally am stuck on 1.4.2 for the foreseeable future.
> >>>
> >>> So +1 to drop 1.2/3 support, but let's not get too drastic please.
> >>>
> >>>
> >>> ______________________________
> >>> Franck Schmidlin
> >>> Corporate Integration Consultant
> >>> Northgate Public Services
> >>>
> >>> Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail
> >>>
> >>>
> >>> -----Original Message-----
> >>> From: nbeyer@gmail.com [mailto:nbeyer@gmail.com] On Behalf Of Nathan
> >>> Beyer
> >>> Sent: 11 November 2008 02:25
> >>> To: j-users@xerces.apache.org
> >>> Cc: j-dev@xerces.apache.org; general@xml.apache.org
> >>> Subject: Re: Dropping JDK 1.2 support for Xerces-J (and possibly JDK 1.3?
> >>> 1.4? in the future)
> >>>
> >>> +1
> >>>
> >>> I'd suggest just jumping to Java 5 library, source and target
> >>> compilation. I think this would give the project a new infusion
> of activity
> >>> and interest.
> >>>
> >>> -Nathan
> >>>
> >>> On Sun, Nov 9, 2008 at 9:51 PM, Michael Glavassevich
> >>> <mrglavas@ca.ibm.com> wrote:
> >>> > Hi all,
> >>> >
> >>> > (including general@xml.apache.org on the cc list to hopefully reach a >
> >>> > wider
> >>> > audience)
> >>> >
> >>> > I would like to propose that we officially drop support for JDK 1.2 in
> >>>
> >>> > the next release of Xerces-J. Though the documentation [1] states that
> >>>
> >>> > Xerces supports JDK 1.2 it has been years since we have built or >
> >>> > tested binaries with this level. All of the recent releases were built
> >>>
> >>> > and tested with JDK 1.3. It was brought to my attention that the code >
> >>> > [2] since at least 2006 has had a dependency on APIs introduced in JDK
> >>>
> >>> > 1.3. So we inadvertently moved on awhile ago. It seems this has not >
> >>> > been a practical issue for most users since we've received no posts on
> >>>
> >>> > these lists about it and received no other bug reports. It's not clear
> >>>
> >>> > that there would be much benefit in restoring JDK 1.2 compatibility at
> >>>
> >>> > this point. It's been out of service for years and looking around >
> >>> > Apache it seems most projects run on JDK 1.4 or higher with some of
> >>> the stragglers [3][4] below that moving up soon.
> >>> >
> >>> > If you have serious concerns regarding Xerces abandoning JDK 1.2 >
> >>> > support please send an email to the j-dev@xerces.apache.org
> mailing > list,
> >>> > specifying why you can't use a higher level of JDK and what > parser
> >>> > features you are using.
> >>> >
> >>> > While on the subject I wonder what the community would think of us >
> >>> > eventually dropping support for JDK 1.3 and possibly 1.4. There were >
> >>> > features introduced in JDK 1.4 and 5 which Xerces could benefit from
> >>> (e.g.
> >>> > NIO, java.lang.CharSequence, exception chaining, >
> >>> > java.lang.StringBuilder, java.util.concurrent.*, etc...). That's not >
> >>> > something I'm proposing today (or thinking of proposing for
> awhile) > but
> >>> > would like to hear feedback from users (please send to
> >>> > j-dev@xerces.apache.org) who may still need new versions of Xerces >
> >>> > which run on JDK 1.3 and 1.4. It would also be nice hear from
> folks > who've
> >>> > long since moved on to Java 5 and beyond and would like to see
> >>> Xerces take advantage of JDK 1.4 and 5 features.
> >>> >
> >>> > Thanks.
> >>> >
> >>> > [1]
http://xerces.apache.org/xerces2-j/faq-general.html#faq-11
> >>> > [2]
http://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/XERCESJ-1297
> >>> > [3]
http://marc.info/?l=ant-dev&m=122596549809889&w=2
> >>> > [4]
http://marc.info/?l=fop-user&m=119244442600564&w=2
> >>> >
> >>> > Michael Glavassevich
> >>> > XML Parser Development
> >>> > IBM Toronto Lab
> >>> > E-mail: mrglavas@ca.ibm.com
> >>> > E-mail: mrglavas@apache.org
> >>>
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