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JDK 9 Now in Initial Release-Candidate Phase

As JDK 9 enters the Release-Candidate Phase, it's worth noting exactly what that means for this oft-delayed release. In a nutshell, the Initial Release Candidate phase, which started on June 22, is about fixing "showstopper" bugs and building momentum toward the Final Release Candidate milestone, currently scheduled for July 6.

That's how Mark Reinhold put it in a note on Monday on the JDK 9 mailing list. He also proposed tightening the goals previously adopted for Rampdown Phase 2 (RDP 2). These include:

  • Fixing all P1 bugs that are new in JDK 9 and critical to the success of this release
  • Decommitting from fixing any P1 bugs that are not new in JDK 9 and are not critical to this release, but were previously targeted to this release
  • Explicitly deferring any P1 bugs that are new in JDK 9 but are either not critical to this release or cannot, for good reason, be fixed in this release

Reinhold said that all P2-P5 bugs should be left to future releases at this point, regardless of whether they are in product code, tests or documentation.

P1 (priority 1) bugs are the critters that have to be squashed before a product can be released. Bugs that should be fixed if there's time and resources, are the P2s. The latter bugs almost certainly won't be addressed before the JDK 9 release.

Those who are responsible for the P1 bugs in JDK 9 are advised to follow one of three courses of action: Develop a fix for the bug and then request approval to integrate it; remove it from the list if it's not new in JDK 9; if it is new, but isn't critical or can't be fixed in time, request that the bug be deferred. The JDK 9 community page advises issuing a request explicitly from the release through the bug deferral process adopted earlier for RDP 1. But Reinhold wrote, "There is no need to defer unfixed P2-P5 bugs explicitly."

In any event, they won't be fixed before the release.

P3-P5 are of vanishing importance at this point in the process; they are virtually irrelevant to the overall status of the release. In fact, the OpenJDK community page advises committers to take no specific action on these bugs at this time: "You don't need to defer them, either explicitly via the deferral process or even implicitly by adjusting the 'Fix Version' field...."

The latest list of JDK 9 Release Candidate bugs can be found here.

Posted by John K. Waters on June 28, 2017