Earlier this month, Mark Reinhold, the Chief Architect of the Java Platform Group at Oracle, proposed a delay to the Java 9 general availability release date. In the thread, it was stated that unless objections were raised in reply by a deadline of yesterday, the new proposed schedule would be adopted. All responses were positive and in agreement to introduce the four month extension. The newly proposed schedule will put the general availability of JDK 9 in July 2017.
This extension follows a previous schedule adjustment that delayed JDK 9 from 2016 (tomorrow, 9/22/2016, in fact!) and pushed its expected release to March 23, 2017. The first request was made in December 2015. The main delay is Oracle’s Project Jigsaw, the largest feature of Java 9. It is certainly preferable to ship complete code rather than buggy, security-compromising, feature limited code.
In the current JDK 9 schedule the Feature Complete milestone is set for 10 December, less than two weeks from today, but Jigsaw needs more time. The JSR 376 EG has not yet published an Early Draft Review specification, the volume of interest and the high quality of the feedback received over the last two months suggests that there will be much more to come, and we want to ensure that the maintainers of the essential build tools and IDEs have adequate time to design and implement good support for modular development.
In the nine months since then, progress has been made on Jigsaw but the project is further behind where they were with Java 8 by this milestone.
We’ve made a lot of progress on Project Jigsaw, the key feature of the release, over the last eight months. In March 2016 we published a major update to the proposed design of the module system and merged it into the JDK 9 master forest.
Looking at the release as a whole, the number of open bugs that are new in JDK 9 is quite a bit larger than it was at this point in JDK 8.
The new schedule will be detailed in the upcoming weeks but should look something like the following. Keep an eye on openjdk.java.net/projects/jdk9/ for the official update.
2016/05/26 Feature Complete
2016/08/11 All Tests Run
2016/12? Rampdown Start
2016/01? Zero Bug Bounce
2017/03? Rampdown Phase 2
2017/05? Final Release Candidate
2017/07? General Availability
With the project deadline extended due to already being behind schedule, the team is open to minor requests but discourages new feature requests and instead plans to devote efforts toward reaching stability.