Java5 Support in an App Server is news? Shame on IBM.

So IBM has released Websphere 6.1, apparently the first Websphere version to run on Java5, only 20 months after JDK 1.5.0 was released. Pathetic. I had to read the article twice just to make sure I wasn’t misreading it. Meanwhile, we run Tomcat 3.3 on Java5 with no patches from Jakarta (even though 3.3.2 was released prior to the Java5 release). A JBoss version released in January of 2005 had full Java5 support.

It’ll be tough to make many fans in the development community with support like that. I just plain don’t get it. You’re IBM, a huge company and one of the heavyweights in the J2EE App Server space. You have near unlimited resources at your fingertips. And you take over a year and a half to adjust to a JVM upgrade that did little more than syntactical upgrades. We migrated our app, over 2000 classes, and the biggest effort was unwiring all of the spots where someone used enum as a variable name. Did we upgrade every class to use the latest and greatest Java5 features? No, what’s the point of that? IBM should have pushed a compatibility release as quickly as possible, and split that effort off of whatever other features went into this release. Developer support matters.


2 thoughts on “Java5 Support in an App Server is news? Shame on IBM.

  1. True enough. I can say with certainty that an entire dev team at a prior gig of mine fought tooth and nail to dodge using DB2 (something about their dev tools being able to lock production tables without giving ANY notice), but the “IBM Factor” generally won the day there, though we subversively used Postgres at every opportunity.

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