Re: The meaning, or not, of “LTS”

Brian Goetz brian.goetz at
Sun May 16 14:29:31 UTC 2021

The obvious thing happens.  The spec is versioned, so if the 17 spec calls for preview features, those features in that state are part of the 17 spec forever.  We don’t anticipate running MRs to remove them, though we also expect their use to decline after the first 6-12 months as the bleeding edge users will have moved on to the new hotness.  

In terms of “keeping them alive”, since it is risky to run with preview features in production — which is what attracts most users to LTS — we expect the maintenance load in practice to be low. 

Sent from my iPad

> On May 16, 2021, at 8:37 AM, Cay Horstmann <cay.horstmann at> wrote:
> What happens with experimental, preview, and incubator features that are introduced in an LTS and subsequently modified? Are providers of an LTS obligated to keep the feature in its unmodified form, or may they drop it or replace it with a later version? I am just wondering about the effort of keeping an obsolete feature version alive for many years.
> Thanks,
> Cay
>> On 14/05/2021 00:37, mark.reinhold at wrote:
>> I’ve heard a few contributors report that they’ve received advice along
>> the lines of, “since JDK 17 is an LTS we should focus on stability, and
>> avoid doing major enhancements.”
>> This suggests that the stability of non-LTS releases is not important,
>> but nothing is further from the truth.  We should focus on stability
>> in every JDK release, since every JDK release is meant to be ready for
>> production use.  That a release is designated an LTS release is no
>> reason to hold back on innovation.
>> If you have an enhancement that will preserve stability and is ready to
>> integrate then, by all means, please proceed with the usual high level
>> of care and consideration.  Whether the target release is an LTS or not
>> is, in almost all ways, completely irrelevant.
>> - Mark
> -- 
> Cay S. Horstmann | | mailto:cay at

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