JRockit R27.8.1 and R28.3.1 versioning

As part of today's CPU release, JRockit R27.8.1 and R28.3.1 are now available to our support customers for download from MOS. (If you don't have a support contract, upgrading to Java 7 update 51 is the way to go.)

I just wanted to post a brief comment about our versioning scheme. It seems that many people have noticed that we have increased the "minor" version numbers for both R27 and R28. For example, R28 suddenly went from R28.2.9 to R28.3.1. Please let me assure you: these are just ordinary maintenance releases, not feature releases. There is zero significance to the jump in minor version number.

The reasoning behind the jump is simple: fear of breaking stuff. For as long as we have used the Rxx.y.z versioning scheme for JRockit, y and z have been single digits. For better or worse, version strings are often read and parsed by all sorts of tools, scripts, and sometimes even the Java applications themselves. While R28.2.10 may have been the most intuitive choice for today's release, we didn't want to risk breaking anyone's system that somehow depended on these numbers being single digits. So why R28.3.1 as opposed to R28.3.0? We thought that a dot zero release would sound too much like a feature release, so to help emphasize the fact that this is just another maintenance release, we went to .1 instead of .0. R27 had an even bigger sudden jump, from R27.7.7 to R27.8.1. This was done to synchronize the last version digits between R27 and R28 to make it easier to tell what versions were released at the same time (and hence contain the same security fixes).

We have actually done this once before in the past, when R27 jumped from R27.6.9 to R27.7.1. Because so many JRockit users had already moved on to R28 by then, that bump seems to have gotten a lot less attention than today's release.

So in summary, all recent JRockit releases (R27.6.1 and later for R27. R28.2.1 and later for R28.) are maintenance releases. If you are still using JRockit, please plan to upgrade as soon as possible to get these important fixes. (Or even better, make the move to Java 7!)

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About

I am a member of the Java SE Sustaining Engineering team. I work on both JVMs (HotSpot and JRockit) and the various client technologies (AWT, Swing, Java2D, etc.). I will post mostly about the work I do and any interesting programming, troubleshooting, tuning tips or other random stuff I think somebody out there might want to read about.

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