OpenJDK project opens up Java 9 to collaboration, experimentation

Java 9 will get improvements beyond previously listed features, says Oracle insider

Builders of the upcoming Java 9 platform are setting up what they call a "sandbox forest" as a mechanism to improve collaboration in their efforts.

"The sandbox forest will make open collaboration between OpenJDK developers much easier," said a member of the Oracle technical staff. "The crux of the problem is that the current OpenJDK forests are only able to accept finished work. For some features and patches, it can take weeks or months -- or in a few cases, years -- to produce a finished set of work suitable for contribution to the official OpenJDK repositories. The sandbox forest is a place for the work to live and for developers to collaborate before a contribution is finalized."

Developers could work with the sandbox forest for experiments, new features, or prototypes, using public OpenJDK infrastructure in the process.

OpenJDK serves as the base open source version of Java, where development of new features has been taking place. Source code is divided into multiple repositories for the JVM, compiler and tools, libraries, CORBA, Nashorn JavaScript and XML parser, and Web services.

Java 9, to be offered as Java Development Kit 9 by Oracle, will get improvements beyond previously listed features, said Oracle’s staff member, who declined to elaborate and did not want to be identified in this article. Anyone who wants to contribute to Java 9 must follow the OpenJDK contributors process, with rules stipulated on the OpenJDK website. The sandbox forest proposal currently is circulating on an OpenJDK mailing list and is expected to go live in October.

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