back to article Like a version? JDK 9 will point out its own flaws the very first time

Version 9 of the Java JDK will adopt a new numbering scheme that tells you which patches you can ignore and which will demand your attention, stat. Oracle describes the new scheme as a “MAJOR.MINOR.SECURITY” regime. Java 9 will therefore be Java 9. If the next update addresses a security issue, it'll be Java 9.0.1. If the …

  1. David Knapman


    So, their version numbers, unlike everyone else's, are middle-endian? If the rightmost number changes, it's a "must install", but if the middle number changes, you can ignore it?

    Does anyone else do version numbering like this?

    1. JLV

      Re: Why?

      A quick look at Python 2.7.n releases seem to have the relatively the same goal.

      2.5-2.6-2.7 are releases with significant changes. 2.7.1-2.7.8 have been bugfixes, small enhancements & security. Of course, Python 2.7.x is an odd beast, being that the intent is for 2.x to be really superseded by the 3.x series.

    2. TeeCee Gold badge

      Re: Why?

      Actually, when you think about it a bit, it makes perfect sense.

      9.0, 9.1, 9.2, etc are the planned releases with functional changes. The point releases within those are unplanned patches to that release.

      Same way it's always been done, it's just that they've pointed out that it's actually the small points that matter, security-wise. If you think about it this has always been true, as the increments within a release will only exist to patch something that was deemed serious enough that it couldn't wait for the next planned release.

    3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Why?

      Does anyone else do version numbering like this?

      Yes, it's also known as semantic versioning. You also see it with lots of open source stuff including Firefox and Chrome

      With y as the variable:

      x.x.y updates should be drop in for existing systems

      x.y.x may include new features but shouldn't break compatibility

      y.x.x can be expected to include API changes

      In reality you'll often find overlap between the latter two as "minor" changes develop feature creep. Switching to time-based releases is the best antidote there.

      You also occasionally see suffixes to the patch version: _1 on MacPorts for the change to a port where nothing upstream has changed. You will also see x.x.x.a stuff à la openssl but that is generally frowned about as semantically vague.

      1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

        Re: Why?

        Doesn't semver reset z in x.y.z every time x or y increases. Java isn't going to do that; it's not going to reset z every time y increases (and possibly x). So give it a couple of years and it'll be 10.0.10392919

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why?

      Thank god we chose .Net

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  2. JLV

    Quickly heading towards Java 9.0.999 then?

    Need an only half-joking icon!

    Seriously, it's a bit of an odd idea to grasp at first, but seems logical enough. Give the Flash guys @ Adobe a call about it too.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Now I need instructions to decode the version number :-)

    With this separation of minor and security numbers will they start to issue security updates for minor releases? For example could you get: 9.0.0 --> 9.0.1 --> 9.1.1 and then later both 9.0.2 and 9.1.2? Presumably whatever security issue was found in 9.0.1 wouldn't affect the new code being added in the .1 minor additions.

    I hope they don't do this but at the same time if they don't then I can't see any real step forward over what they are doing now. Without security releases for minor updates what they are saying is once in a while the middle number will change and you can skip that release but only for a few days until the end number changes again. Just make the updating process more painless!

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge


  4. FredDagg01

    Java in MSI format, Oracle ... please.

    Please Oracle, publicly release Java an MSI format, not just a spyware laden EXE (without paying mega$$$ - as one does for breathing in the direction of Oracle).

    Save pointless hacking extracting of the MSI from the EXE file you already provide. Or the same MSI file you already provide to purchasers of the Java kits. Overworked admins at medium sized firms everywhere will cry tears of joy in to their stupificant of choice.

    Of course, thinking through the design and build of Java so it didn't require constant updating would be a much better thing again.

    1. Archie Woodnuts

      Re: Java in MSI format, Oracle ... please.


      Run exe, let it extract but don't install it.

      Navigate to c:\users\%whatever%\AppData\LocalLow\Sun\Java\jre%version number%\

      Copy the msi somewhere else.

      Cancel exe.

      You're done. It's annoying, yes, but let's not pretend it's some herculean task.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: Java in MSI format, Oracle ... please.

        Run exe, let it extract but don't install it.

        That doesn't fix the problem, as Stefan Kanthak will happily explain.

        Executable installers are, as he says, evil. As is packaging crapware with your product.

        1. Archie Woodnuts

          Re: Java in MSI format, Oracle ... please.

          Oh I agree, but the example given was a load of histrionic shite. It takes all of 30 seconds to get the msi out of the exe it comes packaged in hence "It's annoying, yes, but let's not pretend it's some herculean task."

  5. Orange Skydiver

    Version number screwup

    This sentence makes no sense at all:

    If the version after that was a non-security update, it would be 9.1.1. The next bug squashed in the 9.1 series would earn itself 9.1.1.

    9.1.1 followed by 9.1.1

  6. sawatts

    So four levels of version?

    Java 7 / 8 / 9 were short-hand for Java 1.7 / 1.8 / 1.9 - as is still the case with the JDK.

    So Java 9.1.1 is really Java

    Wonder what happens when the major version (1) finally has to be changed - suppose it won't be called 'Java' anymore by then...

    1. SharkNose

      Re: So four levels of version?

      And of course Java releases from 1.2 onwards are collectively "Java 2", just to add to the confusion...

  7. FF22

    Wrong release date

    Java 9 GE has been postponed last week from Q3 2016 to Q1 2017.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Number of digits

    Given the number of security patches Java receives, they should probably start with a format like 9.0.0001 for easier sorting...

    1. Boothy Silver badge

      Re: Number of digits

      Your suggestion has a flaw. Using leading zeros gives you a hard upper limit. 9999 in your case.

      A version number is not an arithmetic value. Version numbers don't typically include leading zero's.

      i.e. 1.001 is the same as 1.1, and 1.9 would be followed by 1.10

      Using this method, without leading zeros, means you have no practical upper limit to minor revisions, therefore meaning that Oracle could release as many security fixes as required (and as we all know, they will be required!).

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Incorrect GA date

    It's been pushed out by 6 months to March 2017 :

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