Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Jigsaw/JSR 294 on JavaPosse

I listened to most of the JavaPosse interview with Mark Reinhold and Alex Buckley about Project Jigsaw and JSR 294. It's nice to see some technical details emerging and I can start to see why OpenJDK would prefer a different design for modularity to that of Apache Harmony.

I was moderately surprised to find that the design point is to load multiple Jigsaw modules with "local" dependencies into the same class loader. I wonder how many class loaders the JRE will end up having? There was even talk of putting all the bootstrap classes in a single class loader. So maybe the answer is most of the JRE code will be loaded by in the bootstrap class loader and subdivided using JSR 294 constructs. Time will no doubt tell.

For the record, I hope I've never claimed that Apache Harmony has shipped runtime modularity. The Harmony class libraries are divided into bundles with OSGi metadata. A prototype that enforced those class loader boundaries in the JVM was built, but never shipped. It had a rather different design for bootstrap class loading to that being proposed for OpenJDK, but I suppose Harmony had the benefit of having modularity in mind from the start.

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