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[jgit-dev] Java NIO Options

On Wednesday, 28 May 2014, Shawn Pearce <spearce@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Right, we are (still!) targeting Java 5 and Java 6 platforms. So we
> can't go crazy and use Java 7 NIO features throughout the core part of
> the JGit library. But we can do it through some minimal sections that
> are important and easily isolated, like symbolic link support.
> There has been talk about dropping Java 5, but not 6 compatibility.
> Unfortunately there is no plan of action to actually do that.

For those curious (like me) about what might have a bearing on the decision to drop Java 5 compatibility, here's are the factors that I know of (being a bit of an outsider to the process):

EGit (which apparently aims to support at least the latest two Eclipse releases) still targets Java 1.5:


...and Java 1.6 requirements are only just starting to percolate into Eclipse itself. Eclipse Luna (not yet released) has some Java 1.6 reqs, but core components (org.eclipse.core.filesystem, etc) still have a minimum execution environment of 1.5 - so not much pressure/invitation to upgrade there:


Platforms where Java 6 is not available: For example, on OpenVMS at one point, JGit was the only working Git client - there was no port of the C client available, and OpenVMS only had Java 5 available. Not sure if this is still the case, and I see some indication that Java 6 is available for at least some versions of OpenVMS.

Android: There's never been an exact correlation between Android's class library and a specific Java version, but the closest approximation is Java 6 (some Java 6 classes likeÂjava.util.DequeÂweren't added until Android API version 9). Personally, as the author of Agit, I'd now be happy to develop to Ice Cream Sandwich (Android API version 15) as a minimum. Unfortunately many Java 7 classes (like the whole of java.nio.file.*, including 'Path') aren't available even in the latest version of Android.

End-of-Life: Obviously, Java 5 was EOL'd by Sun/Oracle in 2009, Java 6 was EOL'd in March 2013.

Developer Effort: Continuing to support Java 5 definitely does extract some toll, see for instance this recent commit reverting an accidental use of Java 6's IOException(Throwable) constructor:Âhttps://github.com/eclipse/jgit/commit/1f1e9321

Would love to hear more reasons for and against, personally I love shiny things, me.