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Jeanne Boyarsky
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Oracle announced a 6 month release cycle after Java 9. This is a good summary.

Why do the examples use 18.3? Are we jumping from Java 9 to Java 18?
 
Paul Clapham
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After I looked at that article for several minutes the answer suddenly flashed into my mind: version 18.3 will be released in March 2018, version 18.9 will be released in September 2018, and so on.
 
Jeanne Boyarsky
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Oh! So a jump, but a logical one.
 
Paul Clapham
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It'll be interesting to see how that works. Right now I automatically get updates to Java 8, the security and miscellaneous bug-fix updates that is, downloaded from Oracle. When Java 9 is officially released I won't get that automatically, and that's a good thing because my Eclipse version probably won't work with Java 9. So under the new release regime, I'd have to postpone getting the regular semiannual version until I heard that Eclipse could work with it. This might entail downloading a new Eclipse version first.
 
Tim Moores
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That kind of release numbering scheme seems to gain traction - IntelliJ has been using something like this since 2016 ("2016.1", "2016.2" etc.), and Ubuntu has been using the year.month scheme since the beginning.

Maybe Google and Mozilla started the move away from the classical numbering schemes when they started to inflate browser version numbers rapidly.
 
Pete Letkeman
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Hum, I wonder what affect this will have on certifications?
The article mentioned
Oracle is proposing to produce a long-term support (LTS) release every three years.

If this is the case then I would suspect that the LTS release would be the version use for certifications.
 
Jeanne Boyarsky
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Pete,
Thank you! I didn't have time to read much in the last few days, but was wondering how this was going to work for commercial support. Three years feels long for a LTS release cycle. But it is better than every 6 months. (There's already LTS security patches quarterly but those are more stable).
 
Pete Letkeman
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You are welcome Jeanne and thank you for the slice of pie.
Looks like we are just at the beginning of this whole thing.
Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:Three years feels long for a LTS release cycle. But it is better than every 6 months.

Oracle stated that the previous release cycle was every two years, so maybe three years is a good thing?
I realize that there have been set backs as stated in the article with regards to the release of Java 9 which is why many people are using Java 8.

It's interesting that Java 8 is over three years old and it is still supported. Supported and release cycle could mean two different things, I guess it's up to Oracle to define them.
Oracle via Pearson Vue is still allowing for people to book Java 6 tests (1Z0-851) as of Sept 1, 2017. Even though Java 6 was last updated in 2012.
Does this mean that Java 6 is still supported? I wonder when this testing will be stopped.

Does Java 8 feel old?
For some people who are preparing for the certification exam it does not. Then again, maybe that is just the way I feel.
However I can understand that some people who may have been learning/using Java 8 when it was in beta back in 2013/2014 that Java 8 may seem old.

Concerning certification:
I suspect that it could take at least a couple of months for one to be fully up to speed regarding all the features in a new release.
Even then, in the past, Oracle has taken more than a couple of months before providing any official certification testing.
With this in mind, a new certification every six months would seem impractical.

I do think that six months does seem like a condensed timeline and being at the beginning of this Oracle could still very easily change proposed process.

Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:(There's already LTS security patches quarterly but those are more stable).

I was not aware of this, thanks for letting me know. I wonder if this timeline is changed as well with the six month release model?
 
Jeanne Boyarsky
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Pete Letkeman wrote:
Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:Three years feels long for a LTS release cycle. But it is better than every 6 months.

Oracle stated that the previous release cycle was every two years, so maybe three years is a good thing?

Every two years my foot. That may have been the goal but I don't think Oracle gets to claim a two year release cycle. Oracle acquired Sun in 2009. Sun released Java 6 in 2006. Java 7 came out in 2011. (Five year gap although you can claim only two were Oracle's responsibility). Java 8 came out in 2014 (three year gap). Java 9 is coming out in 2017 (three year gap).

Pete Letkeman wrote:I realize that there have been set backs as stated in the article with regards to the release of Java 9 which is why many people are using Java 8.

And because large companies are slow. Sometimes there are good reasons for the slowness, sometimes not so much.

Pete Letkeman wrote:It's interesting that Java 8 is over three years old and it is still supported. Supported and release cycle could mean two different things, I guess it's up to Oracle to define them.

It is common to have a good long period of time that two versions are supported with public patches. After all, you can't insist that everyone upgrade from Java x to Java x+1 the same month. Oracle stopped providing public patches for Java 7 in 2015.

Pete Letkeman wrote:Oracle via Pearson Vue is still allowing for people to book Java 6 tests (1Z0-851) as of Sept 1, 2017. Even though Java 6 was last updated in 2012.
Does this mean that Java 6 is still supported? I wonder when this testing will be stopped.

And the Java 5 tests just went away this year. The costs of keeping an old test available are pretty small so I imagine that's why they are in no hurry to pull them. Also the cert switched format with Java 7 so some people wanted to take the Java 6 exam to save money and only take one test to get professional certified. Learn less that way though. Oracle hasn't announced the pending retirementof the Java 6 exam so it'll be a while.

Pete Letkeman wrote:Does Java 8 feel old?
For some people who are preparing for the certification exam it does not. Then again, maybe that is just the way I feel.
However I can understand that some people who may have been learning/using Java 8 when it was in beta back in 2013/2014 that Java 8 may seem old.

I live in NYC where there are a lot of banks. Banks are fairly conservative about adopting updates. At the beginning of our big user group, the leader often polls things like what version of Java people were on. It wasn't that long ago (earlier this year) that you could look around and not see many hands for Java 8.

Pete Letkeman wrote:Concerning certification:
I suspect that it could take at least a couple of months for one to be fully up to speed regarding all the features in a new release.
Even then, in the past, Oracle has taken more than a couple of months before providing any official certification testing.
With this in mind, a new certification every six months would seem impractical.

Yeah. The effort of updating the cert every six months is crazy and not worth it. Plus taking an exam without a study guide is hard! And it takes time to get a study guide out after the exam is ready. (As an author, I get to take the beta exam without a study guide. It's a challenge!)

Pete Letkeman wrote:
Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:(There's already LTS security patches quarterly but those are more stable).

I was not aware of this, thanks for letting me know. I wonder if this timeline is changed as well with the six month release model?

No. They mentioned they will still be doing quarterly security patches in the announcements. (You can buy commercial quarterly patches for Java 6 still by the way)

ps - I intend to make some of this thread a blog post.
 
Paul Clapham
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It's more the complexity of the environment than the size of the company which affects how quickly JRE updates can be installed. When I was at work, installing a new JRE required installing a new version of Websphere which used that JRE. Upgrading Websphere is a much more daunting and complex process than upgrading Java, so naturally moving from Java 6 to Java 7 wasn't done in a day.
 
Pete Letkeman
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Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:Plus taking an exam without a study guide is hard!

For some people, like me, even preparing the for exam with a study guide is a big/hard undertaking. Thankfully there are those people like you who blaze that trail for the us.
I know that your study guide has helped many and will probably continue to help many for the next few years.

Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:ps - I intend to make some of this thread a blog post.

I look forward to seeing what you have to say and what you have uncovered by the time you make your post.

Paul Clapham wrote:It's more the complexity of the environment than the size of the company which affects how quickly JRE updates can be installed.

Not everyone is aware that if they want to upgrade software library A that software library B needs to be upgraded as well.
I haven't looked too much past just Java 8 yet, however the complexities of some things can seem overwhelming and I can see why upgrading from Java 6 to Java 7 would take a few days, if not more.
 
Campbell Ritchie
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Pete Letkeman wrote:. . . even preparing the for exam with a study guide is a big/hard undertaking. . . .
These exams are by no means easy; I think everybody has to work hard for them.
I have never had the misfortune to try a cert exam, only having ever had to sit degree exams.
 
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