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Is Project Jigsaw Back On Track?

Modularity fans were happy to learn that Project Jigsaw is back on track, at least partially.

In his blog entitled "Project Jigsaw: Phase Two" earlier this month, Oracle's Chief Java Architect Mark Reinhold informed us that for the "past few years" Project Jigsaw has been in "an exploratory phase in which we’ve designed and prototyped one particular approach to addressing a draft set of requirements."

Initially intended for inclusion in the Java 7 release back in June 2011, the ambitious initiative consisted of two primary modules. The first was a modularization framework roughly competing with OSGi. The second was the actual partitioning of the Java platform itself into pick-and-choose modules.

It was ultimately announced that the project would be delayed until Java 8. But that plan again was not to come to pass, and Reinhold in his blog "Project Jigsaw: Late for the Train" requested that the JSR 337 (Java 8) expert group again delay the release until Java 9, which is now scheduled for early 2016 release, according to Oracle's announced two-year Java cycle and Reinhold's "Secure the Train" blog. That request was ratified shortly after.

Looking at Reinhold's plan, it appears that original scope has undergone some meiosis and we now have four JEPs

  1. Propose a specific modular structure for the JDK,
  2. Reorganize the JDK source code (but not binaries) along those lines,
  3. The third will modularize the binary images.
  4. A fourth JEP will introduce the module system itself, which will be aligned with the module-system JSR.

You can learn more about Project Jigsaw in the latest incarnation of the Project Jigsaw "Goals and Requirements" document. Follow the ongoing discussions by joining the jigsaw-dev mailing list.

Very early release binaries of Java 9 are available for download on The Java 9 JSR has yet to be filed, which leaves some developers wondering if the next train might just skip the station.


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