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Re: Impact of the new Java release policy on Debian

On Thu, 30 Nov 2017, Emmanuel Bourg wrote:

> Le 30/11/2017 à 14:31, Thorsten Glaser a écrit :
> > Eek, that would break most of Debian’s stability promises.
> > People would lynch you.
> I know :) That's why I mentioned "near perfect backward compatibility"
> as a prerequisite.

Well, it’s not just that. People often use the interpreters
shipped in Debian to also run software itself not packaged
in Debian.

While mksh (the shell I develop) does not quite have the
amount of programs written in it (although the installed
base is getting closer to Java) we’re somewhat sitting in
the same boat: many Java applications cannot, currently,
realistically be packaged for Debian because too many
dependencies aren’t for people to even try within any
given timeframe, and shell scripts or programs aren’t
often packaged either.

So, I’d never include a breaking change in a stable upload
of mksh, and Java is even more fragile (despite Oracle Java
being “the same as” OpenJDK recently, stuff still occasio‐
nally behaves different, etc.), so I’d expect that the JDK
shipped with stable doesn’t change, only receive security
and critical bugfixes.

Note I’m explicitly *not* distinguishing between JDK and
JRE because my employer deals in Java, and as such, many
people and headless systems (like Jenkins) have the JDK
installed while other systems (most, but not all, servers)
only have JRE-headless, and we’d like to achieve version
equality (which is also why I spoke out against having
version skew between JDK and JRE in buster).

I’m really surprised Oracle’s going to pull a Mozilla and
try to push out new Java major(!) versions every few months
now, when traditionally this has been extremely slow-moving.
This sounds extremely disconnected from the Real Life.

For comparison, we have a hard time getting some customers
to upgrade from Java 7 to 8, and I heard one or two might
still be using Java 6 in 2017. I’ve actually been actively
progressive in basically demanding that our developers fix
stuff for Java 8 *because* of Debian being so progressive
as to ship it ;-)

Just my personal insight, but with several PoVs (I maintain
a comparable-in-a-manner interpreter, I package the occasio‐
nal Java stuff for Debian when necessary, I use Debian’s JDK
and Maven and Jenkins for $dayjob, and the latter has somehow
gotten me into not just trying to operate but also patch Java
code, plus supporting customers in running and debugging it,
and I’ve got a good understanding of how Debian operates, and
stand behind it).

PS: Occasionally, my employer might be hiring; look at the
    .signature if interested, I don’t even know if they do
    at the moment.
tarent solutions GmbH
Rochusstraße 2-4, D-53123 Bonn • http://www.tarent.de/
Tel: +49 228 54881-393 • Fax: +49 228 54881-235
HRB 5168 (AG Bonn) • USt-ID (VAT): DE122264941
Geschäftsführer: Dr. Stefan Barth, Kai Ebenrett, Boris Esser, Alexander Steeg

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