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

Fridrich Strba fridrich.strba at
Fri May 11 04:02:27 UTC 2018

Not like I have anything to add to Stephen's opinion. Just give you a
context about what we do in SUSE. For the while, our SUSE Linux
Enterprise 15 will be released before OpenJDK 11 and we will have to
make the OpenJDK 11 the default Java as a maintenance update. All our
packages that don't use any 7+ features are built using source 6 and
target 6. Changing that at this point of the release cycle would be
quite error prone, not considering that we speak about hundreds of
packages. So, I would be thankful to the Java luminaries not to do this
change in 11.

Just my 2 cents


On 11/05/18 00:31, Stephen Colebourne wrote:
> 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
> either.
> Stephen

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