Proposed implementation of JEP 182 in JDK 11: drop javac support for -source/-target/--release 6

Stephen Colebourne scolebourne at
Thu May 10 22:31:51 UTC 2018

On 10 May 2018 at 18:56, joe darcy <joe.darcy at> wrote:
> Given the age of JDK 6, I think it is reasonable in 2018 for JDK 11 to drop
> support for -source/-target/--release 1.6/6, leaving support for 7, 8, 9,
> 10, and 11. This provides support for four rather than three older versions
> in JDK 11, but better matches the time span of releases discussed in the
> JEP.

This would cause me personally a fair bit of pain, as I have projects
that are based on Java 6 using the release flag that cannot be
upgraded to Java 7 or 8. Currently, the release flag allows me to use
the latest Java compiler to perform a release with module-info, yet
still produce a jar file compatible with Java 6. Without this flag I
would have to use an older compiler (Java 10 I suppose) even when that
version is supposed to be obsolete.

On 10 May 2018 at 23:26, Emmanuel Bourg <ebourg at> wrote:
> The short lived releases don't really matter in this context, most
> developers just skip them and aim for the LTS releases. I think the JEP
> 182 policy should be translated to "one + 3 LTS back", so for Java 11
> that would mean supporting 6, 7, 8, (9, 10), and 11.

This seems like a better approach. For me personally, I could keep
using the LTS Java 11 to build Java 6 files for the next 3 years,
which is better than having to use an unpatched insecure Java 10 JDK.
And I don't think I'd object to support for 6 being dropped in 12


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