Breaking Up is Hard to do... or is it?: From Java 6 to 7

by Rodrigo Reis - 11 Apr 2013

With the advent of Java 7, it’s time to move on and say goodbye to Java 6. For an extensive codebase like ours with about 400 modules, that’s a real challenge. But, as Barney Stinson famously said, "Challenge Accepted!" Because we’ve already had a few new projects compiling with Java 7 and using the new language features, we were very motivated to migrate all of our remaining projects.

With the help of some automation - e.g. Python to the rescue! - and since we use Maven to manage our projects, it was a matter of some lines of code to develop a script that tests compilation (and running unit tests, of course) on Java 7.

Our silly walk to Java 7! After our first pass, great news: almost all of our code is ready for Java 7! Code that failed just needed a few minor changes. These minor changes were necessary because of a few incompatible JDK API changes such as introducing a new method in javax.sql.CommonDataSource.

Overall, we managed to develop a tool that automates migration to not only Java 7, but also to the upcoming versions. In the end, this walk is not particularly silly!

You can check out here the source code of our tool.

Java is a product owned by Oracle Corporation. Monty Python is owned by Python (Monty) Pictures Ltd.

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