Module System in JDK 9

March 28, 2016 | 2 minute read
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From original blog post by Mark Reinhold
The module system (JSR 376 and JEP 261), was integrated into JDK 9 last week and is now available for testing in early-access build 111.
Project Jigsaw is an enormous effort, encompassing six JEPs implemented by dozens of engineers over many years. So far we’ve defined a modular structure for the JDK (JEP 200), reorganized the source code according to that structure (JEP 201), and restructured the JDK and JRE run-time images to support modules (JEP 220).
Like the previous major change, the introduction of modular run-time images, the introduction of the module system might impact you even if you don’t make direct use of it. That’s because the module system is now fully operative at both compile time and run time, at least for the modules comprising the JDK itself. Most of the JDK’s internal APIs are, as a consequence, fully encapsulated and hence, by default, inaccessible to code outside of the JDK.
An existing application that uses only standard Java SE APIs and runs on JDK 8 should just work, as they say, on JDK 9. If, however, your application uses a JDK-internal API, or uses a library or framework that does so, then it’s likely to fail. In many cases you can work around this via the -XaddExports option of the javac and java commands. If, e.g., your application uses the internal class then you can enable access to it via the option


This causes all members of the package in the java.base module to be exported to the special unnamed module in which classes from the class path are defined.

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Yolande Poirier

Yolande Poirier manages the online experience for the world's biggest IT community. She empowers developers to successfully grow their projects, businesses, and careers. Telling the story of how people use technology, she curates technical content, interviews IT professionals around the world, and write blogs about Java technologies and projects. She is a speaker at international conferences and JavaOne Rock Star, this year's track lead of the developer community day and a long time member of @jduchess, a network of women in Java. She manages @Java, a network of over 350,000 developer enthusiasts.

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