Details

    • Author:
      Alan Bateman, Alex Buckley, Jonathan Gibbons, Mark Reinhold
    • JEP Type:
      Feature
    • Exposure:
      Open
    • Scope:
      SE
    • JSR:
      376
    • Discussion:
      jigsaw dash dev at openjdk dot java dot net
    • Effort:
      XL
    • Duration:
      L
    • Alert Status:
       Green
    • Alert Reason:
    • JEP Number:
      261

      Description

      Summary

      Implement the Java Platform Module System, as specified by JSR 376, together with related JDK-specific changes and enhancements.

      Description

      The Java Platform Module System (JSR 376) specifies changes and extensions to the Java programming language, the Java virtual machine, and the standard Java APIs. This JEP implements that specification. As a consequence, the javac compiler, the HotSpot virtual machine, and the run-time libraries implement modules as a fundamental new kind of Java program component and provide for the reliable configuration and strong encapsulation of modules in all phases of development.

      This JEP also changes, extends, and adds JDK-specific tools and APIs, which are outside the scope of the JSR, that are related to compilation, linking, and execution. Related changes to other tools and APIs, e.g., the javadoc tool and the Doclet API, are the subject of separate JEPs.

      This JEP assumes that the reader is familiar with the latest State of the Module System document and also the other Project Jigsaw JEPs:

      Phases

      To the familiar phases of compile time (the javac command) and run time (the java run-time launcher) we add the notion of link time, an optional phase between the two in which a set of modules can be assembled and optimized into a custom run-time image. The linking tool, jlink, is the subject of JEP 282; many of the new command-line options implemented by javac and java are also implemented by jlink.

      Module paths

      The javac, jlink, and java commands, as well as several others, now accept options to specify various module paths. A module path is a sequence, each element of which is either a module definition or a directory containing module definitions. Each module definition is either

      • A module artifact, i.e., a modular JAR file or a JMOD file containing a compiled module definition, or else

      • An exploded-module directory whose name is, by convention, the module's name and whose content is an "exploded" directory tree corresponding to a package hierarchy.

      In the latter case the directory tree can be a compiled module definition, populated with individual class and resource files and a module-info.class file at the root or, at compile time, a source module definition, populated with individual source files and a module-info.java file at the root.

      A module path, like other kinds of paths, is specified by a string of path names separated by the host platform's path-separator character (':' on most platforms, ';' on Windows).

      Module paths are very different from class paths: Class paths are a means to locate definitions of individual types and resources, whereas module paths are a means to locate definitions of whole modules. Each element of a class path is a container of type and resource definitions, i.e., either a JAR file or an exploded, package-hierarchical directory tree. Each element of a module path, by contrast, is a module definition or a directory which each element in the directory is a module definition, i.e., a container of type and resource definitions, i.e., either a modular JAR file, a JMOD file, or an exploded module directory.

      During the resolution process the module system locates a module by searching along several different paths, dependent upon the phase, and also by searching the compiled modules built-in to the environment, in the following order:

      • The compilation module path (specified by the command-line option --module-source-path) contains module definitions in source form (compile time only).

      • The upgrade module path (--upgrade-module-path) contains compiled definitions of modules intended to be used in preference to the compiled definitions of any upgradeable modules present amongst the system modules or on the application module path (compile time and run time).

      • The system modules are the compiled modules built-in to the environment (compile time and run time). These typically include Java SE and JDK modules but, in the case of a custom linked image, can also include library and application modules. At compile time the system modules can be overridden via the --system option, which specifies a JDK image from which to load system modules.

      • The application module path (--module-path, or -p for short) contains compiled definitions of library and application modules (all phases). At link time this path can also contain Java SE and JDK modules.

      The module definitions present on these paths, together with the system modules, define the universe of observable modules.

      When searching a module path for a module of a particular name, the module system takes the first definition of a module of that name. Version strings, if present, are ignored; if an element of a module path contains definitions of multiple modules with the same name then resolution fails and the compiler, linker, or virtual machine will report an error and exit. It is the responsibility of build tools and container applications to configure module paths so as to avoid version conflicts; it is not a goal of the module system to address the version-selection problem.

      Root modules

      The module system constructs a module graph by resolving the transitive closure of the dependences of a set of root modules with respect to the set of observable modules.

      When the compiler compiles code in the unnamed module, or the java launcher is invoked and the main class of the application is loaded from the class path into the unnamed module of the application class loader, then the default set of root modules for the unnamed module is computed as follows:

      • The java.se module is a root, if it exists. If it does not exist then every java.* module on the upgrade module path or among the system modules that exports at least one package, without qualification, is a root.

      • Every non-java.* module on the upgrade module path or among the system modules that exports at least one package, without qualification, is also a root.

      Otherwise, the default set of root modules depends upon the phase:

      • At compile time it is usually the set of modules being compiled (more on this below);

      • At link time it is empty; and

      • At run time it is the application's main module, as specified via the --module (or -m for short) launcher option.

      It is occasionally necessary to add modules to the default root set in order to ensure that specific platform, library, or service-provider modules will be present in the resulting module graph. In any phase the option

      --add-modules <module>(,<module>)*

      where <module> is a module name, adds the indicated modules to the default set of root modules. This option may be used more than once.

      As a special case at run time, if <module> is ALL-DEFAULT then the default set of root modules for the unnamed module, as defined above, is added to the root set. This is useful when the application is a container that hosts other applications which can, in turn, depend upon modules not required by the container itself.

      As a further special case at run time, if <module> is ALL-SYSTEM then all system modules are added to the root set, whether or not they are in the default set. This is sometimes needed by test harnesses. This option will cause many modules to be resolved; in general, ALL-DEFAULT should be preferred.

      As a final special case, at both run time and link time, if <module> is ALL-MODULE-PATH then all observable modules found on the relevant module paths are added to the root set. ALL-MODULE-PATH is valid at both compile time and run time. This is provided for use by build tools such as Maven, which already ensure that all modules on the module path are needed. It is also a convenient means to add automatic modules to the root set.

      Limiting the observable modules

      It is sometimes useful to limit the observable modules for, e.g., debugging, or to reduce the number of modules resolved when the main module is the unnamed module defined by the application class loader for the class path. The --limit-modules option can be used, in any phase, to do this. Its syntax is:

      --limit-modules <module>(,<module>)*

      where <module> is a module name. The effect of this option is to limit the observable modules to those in the transitive closure of the named modules plus the main module, if any, plus any further modules specified via the --add-modules option.

      (The transitive closure computed for the interpretation of the --limit-modules option is a temporary result, used only to compute the limited set of observable modules. The resolver will be invoked again in order to compute the actual module graph.)

      Increasing readability

      When testing and debugging it is sometimes necessary to arrange for one module to read some other module, even though the first module does not depend upon the second via a requires clause in its module declaration. This may be needed to, e.g., enable a module under test to access the test harness itself, or to access libraries related to the harness. The --add-reads option can be used, at both compile time and run time, to do this. Its syntax is:

      --add-reads <source-module>=<target-module>

      where <source-module> and <target-module> are module names.

      The --add-reads option can be used more than once. The effect of each instance is to add a readability edge from the source module to the target module. This is, essentially, a command-line form of a requires clause in a module declaration, or an invocation of an unrestricted form of the Module::addReads method. As a consequence, code in the source module will be able to access types in a package of the target module at both compile time and run time if that package is exported via an exports clause in the source module's declaration, an invocation of the Module::addExports method, or an instance of the --add-exports option (defined below). Such code will, additionally, be able to access types in a package of the target module at run time if that module is declared to be open or if that package is opened via an opens clause in the source module's declaration, an invocation of the Module::addOpens method, or an instance of the --add-opens option (also defined below).

      If, for example, a test harness injects a white-box test class into the java.management module, and that class extends an exported utility class in the (hypothetical) testng module, then the access it requires can be granted via the option

      --add-reads java.management=testng

      As a special case, if the <target-module> is ALL-UNNAMED then readability edges will be added from the source module to all present and future unnamed modules, including that corresponding to the class path. This allows code in modules to be tested by test frameworks that have not, themselves, yet been converted to modular form.

      Breaking encapsulation

      It is sometimes necessary to violate the access-control boundaries defined by the module system, and enforced by the compiler and virtual machine, in order to allow one module to access some of the unexported types of another module. This may be desirable in order to, e.g., enable white-box testing of internal types, or to expose unsupported internal APIs to code that has come to depend upon them. The --add-exports option can be used, at both compile time and run time, to do this. Its syntax is:

      --add-exports <source-module>/<package>=<target-module>(,<target-module>)*

      where <source-module> and <target-module> are module names and <package> is the name of a package.

      The --add-exports option can be used more than once, but at most once for any particular combination of source module and package name. The effect of each instance is to add a qualified export of the named package from the source module to the target module. This is, essentially, a command-line form of an exports clause in a module declaration, or an invocation of an unrestricted form of the Module::addExports method. As a consequence, code in the target module will be able to access public types in the named package of the source module if the target module reads the source module, either via a requires clause in its module declaration, an invocation of the Module::addReads method, or an instance of the --add-reads option.

      If, for example, the module jmx.wbtest contains a white-box test for the unexported com.sun.jmx.remote.internal package of the java.management module, then the access it requires can be granted via the option

      --add-exports java.management/com.sun.jmx.remote.internal=jmx.wbtest

      As a special case, if the <target-module> is ALL-UNNAMED then the source package will be exported to all unnamed modules, whether they exist initially or are created later on. Thus access to the sun.management package of the java.management module can be granted to all code on the class path via the option

      --add-exports java.management/sun.management=ALL-UNNAMED

      The --add-exports option enables access to the public types of a specified package. It is sometimes necessary to go further and enable access to all non-public elements via the setAccessible method of the core reflection API. The --add-opens option can be used, at run time, to do this. It has the same syntax as the --add-exports option:

      --add-opens <source-module>/<package>=<target-module>(,<target-module>)*

      where <source-module> and <target-module> are module names and <package> is the name of a package.

      The --add-opens option can be used more than once, but at most once for any particular combination of source module and package name. The effect of each instance is to add a qualified open of the named package from the source module to the target module. This is, essentially, a command-line form of an opens clause in a module declaration, or an invocation of an unrestricted form of the Module::addOpens method. As a consequence, code in the target module will be able to use the core reflection API to access all types, public and otherwise, in the named package of the source module so long as the target module reads the source module.

      Open packages are indistinguishable from non-exported packages at compile time, so the --add-opens option may not be used in that phase.

      The --add-exports and --add-opens options must be used with great care. You can use them to gain access to an internal API of a library module, or even of the JDK itself, but you do so at your own risk: If that internal API is changed or removed then your library or application will fail.

      Patching module content

      When testing and debugging it is sometimes useful to replace selected class files or resources of specific modules with alternate or experimental versions, or to provide entirely new class files, resources, and even packages. This can be done via the --patch-module option, at both compile time and run time. Its syntax is:

      --patch-module <module>=<file>(<pathsep><file>)*

      where <module> is a module name, <file> is the filesystem path name of a module definition, and <pathsep> is the host platform's path-separator character.

      The --patch-module option can be used more than once, but at most once for any particular module name. The effect of each instance is to change how the module system searches for a type in the specified module. Before it checks the actual module, whether part of the system or defined on a module path, it first checks, in order, each module definition specified to the option. A patch path names a sequence of module definitions but it is not a module path, since it has leaky, class-path-like semantics. This allows a test harness, e.g., to inject multiple tests into the same package without having to copy all of the tests into a single directory.

      The --patch-module option cannot be used to replace module-info.class files. If a module-info.class file is found in a module definition on a patch path then a warning will be issued and the file will be ignored.

      If a package found in a module definition on a patch path is not already exported or opened by that module then it will, still, not be exported or opened. It can be exported or opened explicitly via either the reflection API or the --add-exports or --add-opens options.

      The --patch-module option replaces the -Xbootclasspath:/p option, which has been removed (see below).

      The --patch-module option is intended only for testing and debugging. Its use in production settings is strongly discouraged.

      Compile time

      The javac compiler implements the options described above, as applicable to compile time: --module-source-path, --upgrade-module-path, --system, --module-path, --add-modules, --limit-modules, --add-reads, --add-exports, and --patch-module.

      The compiler operates in one of three modes, each of which implements additional options.

      • Legacy mode is enabled when the compilation environment, as defined by the -source, -target, and --release options, is less than or equal to 8. None of the modular options described above may be used.

      In legacy mode the compiler behaves in essentially the same way as it does in JDK 8.

      • Single-module mode is enabled when the compilation environment is 9 or later and the --module-source-path option is not used. The other modular options described above may be used; the existing options -bootclasspath, -Xbootclasspath, -extdirs, -endorseddirs, and -XXuserPathsFirst may not be used.

      Single-module mode is used to compile code organized in a traditional package-hierarchical directory tree. It is the natural replacement for simple uses of legacy mode of the form

      $ javac -d classes -classpath classes -sourcepath src Foo.java

      If a module descriptor in the form of a module-info.java or module-info.class file is specified on the command line, or is found on the source path or the class path, then source files will be compiled as members of the module named by that descriptor and that module will be the sole root module. Otherwise if the --module <module> option is present then source files will be compiled as members of <module>, which will be the root module. Otherwise source files will be compiled as members of the unnamed module, and the root modules will be computed as described above.

      It is possible to put arbitrary classes and JAR files on the class path in this mode, but that is not recommended since it amounts to treating those classes and JAR files as part of the module being compiled.

      • Multi-module mode is enabled when the compilation environment is 9 or later and the --module-source-path option is used. The existing -d option to name the output directory must also be used; the other modular options described above may be used; the existing options -bootclasspath, -Xbootclasspath, -extdirs, -endorseddirs, and -XXuserPathsFirst may not be used.

      Multi-module mode is used to compile one or more modules, whose source code is laid out in exploded-module directories on the module source path. In this mode the module membership of a type is determined by the position of its source file in the module source path, so each source file specified on the command line must exist within an element of that path. The set of root modules is the set of modules for which at least one source file is specified.

      In contrast to the other modes, in this mode an output directory must be specified via the -d option. The output directory will be structured as an element of a module path, i.e., it will contain exploded-module directories which themselves contain class and resource files. If the compiler finds a module on the module source path but cannot find the source file for some type in that module then it will search the output directory for the corresponding class file.

      In large systems the source code for a particular module may be spread across several different directories. In the JDK itself, e.g., the source files for a module may be found in any one of the directories src/<module>/share/classes, src/<module>/<os>/classes, or build/gensrc/<module>, where <os> is the name of the target operating system. To express this in a module source path while preserving module identities we allow each element of such a path to use braces ({ and }) to enclose commas-separated lists of alternatives and a single asterisk (*) to stand for the module name. The module source path for the JDK can then be written as

      {src/*/{share,<os>}/classes,build/gensrc/*}

      In both of the modular modes the compiler will, by default, generate various warnings related to the module system; these may be disabled via the option -Xlint:-module. More precise control of these warnings is available via the exports, opens, requires-automatic, and requires-transitive-automatic keys for the -Xlint option.

      The new option --module-version <version> may be used to specify the version strings of the modules being compiled.

      Class-file attributes

      A JDK-specific class-file attribute, ModuleTarget, optionally records the target operating system and architecture of the module descriptor that contains it. Its format is:

      ModuleTarget_attribute {
          u2 attribute_name_index;
          u4 attribute_length;
          u2 os_arch_index; // index to a CONSTANT_utf8_info structure
      }

      The UTF-8 string in the constant pool at os_arch_index has the format <os>-<arch>, where <os> is typically one of linux, macos, solaris, or windows, and <arch> is typically one of x86, amd64, sparcv9, arm, or aarch64.

      Packaging: Modular JAR files

      The jar tool can be used without change to create modular JAR files, since a modular JAR file is just a JAR file with a module-info.class file in its root directory.

      The jar tool implements the following new options to allow the insertion of additional information into module descriptors as modules are packaged:

      • --main-class=<class-name>, or -e <class-name> for short, causes <class-name> to be recorded in the module-info.class file as the class containing the module's public static void main entry point. (This is not a new option; it already records the main class in the JAR file's manifest.)

      • --module-version=<version> causes <version> to be recorded in the module-info.class file as the module's version string.

      • --hash-modules=<pattern> causes hashes of the content of the specific modules that depend upon this module, in a particular set of observable modules, to be recorded in the module-info.class file for later use in the validation of dependencies. Hashes are only recorded for modules whose names match the regular expression <pattern>. If this option is used then the ---module-path option, or -p for short, must also be used to specify the set of observable modules for the purpose of computing the modules that depend upon this module.

      • --describe-module, or -d for short, displays the module descriptor, if any, of the specified JAR file.

      The jar tool's --help option can be used to show a complete summary of its command-line options.

      Two new JDK-specific JAR-file manifest attributes are defined to correspond to the --add-exports and --add-opens command-line options:

      • Add-Exports: <module>/<package>( <module>/<package>)*
      • Add-Opens: <module>/<package>( <module>/<package>)*

      The value of each attribute is a space-separated list of slash-separated module-name/package-name pairs. A <module>/<package> pair in the value of an Add-Exports attribute has the same meaning as the command-line option --add-exports <module>/<package>=ALL-UNNAMED. A <module>/<package> pair in the value of an Add-Opens attribute has the same meaning as the command-line option --add-opens <module>/<package>=ALL-UNNAMED.

      Each attribute can occur at most once, in the main section of a MANIFEST.MF file. A particular pair can be listed more than once. If a specified module was not resolved, or if a specified package does not exist, then the corresponding pair is ignored. These attributes are interpreted only in the main executable JAR file of an application, i.e., in the JAR file specified to the -jar option of the Java run-time launcher; they are ignored in all other JAR files.

      Packaging: JMOD files

      The new JMOD format goes beyond JAR files to include native code, configuration files, and other kinds of data that do not fit naturally, if at all, into JAR files. JMOD files are used to package the modules of the JDK itself; they can also be used by developers to package their own modules, if desired.

      JMOD files can be used at compile time and link time, but not at run time. To support them at run time would require, in general, that we be prepared to extract and link native-code libraries on-the-fly. This is feasible on most platforms, though it can be very tricky, and we have not seen many use cases that require this capability, so for simplicity we have chosen to limit the utility of JMOD files in this release.

      A new command-line tool, jmod, can be used to create, manipulate, and examine JMOD files. Its general syntax is:

      $ jmod (create|extract|list|describe|hash) <options> <jmod-file>

      For the create subcommand, <options> can include the --main-class, --module-version, --hash-modules, and ---module-path options described above for the jar tool, and also:

      • --class-path <path> specifies a class path whose content will be copied into the resulting JMOD file.

      • --cmds <path> specifies one or more directories containing native commands to be copied.

      • --config <path> specifies one or more directories containing configuration files to be copied.

      • --exclude <pattern-list> specifies files to be excluded, where <pattern-list> is a comma-separated list of patterns of the form <glob-pattern>, glob:<glob-pattern>, or regex:<regex-pattern>.

      • --header-files <path> specifies one or more directories containing C and C++ header files to be copied.

      • --legal-notices <path> specifies one or more directories containing legal notices to be copied.

      • --libs <path> specifies one or more directories containing native libraries to be copied.

      • --man-pages <path> specifies one or more directories containing manual pages to be copied.

      • --target-platform <os>-<arch> specifies the target operating system and architecture, to be recorded in the ModuleTarget attribute of the module-info.class file.

      The extract subcommand accepts a single option, --dir, to indicate the directory into which the content of the specified JMOD file should be written. The directory will be created if it does not exist. If this option is not present then the content will be extracted into the current directory.

      The list subcommand lists the content of the specified JMOD file; the describe subcommand displays the module descriptor of the specified JMOD file, in the same format as the --describe-module options of the jar and java commands. These subcommands accept no options.

      The hash subcommand can be used to hash an existing set of JMOD files. It requires both the --module-path and --hash-modules options.

      The jmod tool's --help option can be used to show a complete summary of its command-line options.

      Link time

      The details of the command-line linking tool, jlink, are described in JEP 282. At a high level its general syntax is:

      $ jlink <options> ---module-path <modulepath> --output <path>

      where the ---module-path option specifies the set of observable modules to be considered by the linker and the --output option specifies the path of the directory that will contain the resulting run-time image. The other <options> can include the ---limit-modules and ---add-modules options, described above, as well as additional linker-specific options.

      The jlink tool's --help option can be used to show a complete summary of its command-line options.

      Run time

      The HotSpot virtual machine implements the options described above, as applicable to run time: --upgrade-module-path, --module-path, --add-modules, --limit-modules, --add-reads, --add-exports, --add-opens, and --patch-module. These options can be passed to the command-line launcher, java, and also to the JNI invocation API.

      An additional option specific to this phase and supported by the launcher is:

      • --module <module>, or -m <module> for short, specifies the main module of a modular application. This will be the default root module for the purpose of constructing the application's initial module graph. If the main module's descriptor does not indicate a main class then the syntax <module>/<class> can be used, where <class> names the class that contains the application's public static void main entry point.

      Additional diagnostic options supported by the launcher include:

      • --list-modules displays the names and version strings of the observable modules and then exits, in the same manner as java --version.

      • --describe-module <module>, or -d <module> for short, displays the module descriptor of the specified module, in the same format as the jar -d option and the jmod describe subcommand, and then exits.

      • --validate-modules validates all the observable modules, checking for conflicts and other potential errors, and then exits.

      • --dry-run initializes the virtual machine and loads the main class but does not invoke the main method; this is useful for validating the configuration of the module system.

      • --show-module-resolution causes the module system to describe its activities as it constructs the initial module graph.

      • -Dsun.reflect.debugModuleAccessChecks causes a thread dump to be shown whenever an access check in the java.lang.reflect API fails with an IllegalAccessException or an InaccessibleObjectException. This is useful for debugging when the underlying reason for a failure is hidden because the exception is caught and not re-thrown.

      • -Xlog:module+[load|unload][=[debug|trace]] causes the VM to log debug or trace messages as modules are defined and changed in the run-time module graph. These options generate voluminous output during startup.

      • -verbose:module is a shorthand for -Xlog:module+load -Xlog:module+unload.

      • -Xlog:init=debug causes a stack trace to be displayed if the initialization of the module system fails.

      • --version, --show-version, --help, and --help-extra display the same information and work in the same way as the existing -version, -show-version, -help, and -Xhelp options, respectively, except that they write the help text to the standard output stream rather than the standard error stream.

      The stack traces generated for exceptions at run time have been extended to include, when present, the names and version strings of relevant modules. The detail strings of exceptions such as ClassCastException, IllegalAccessException, and IllegalAccessError have also been updated to include module information.

      The existing -jar option has been enhanced so that if the manifest file of the JAR file being launched contains a Launcher-Agent-Class attribute then the JAR file is launched as both an application and as an agent for that application. This allows java -jar foo.jar to be used in place of the more verbose java -javaagent:foo.jar -jar foo.jar.

      Relaxed strong encapsulation

      In this release the strong encapsulation of some of the JDK's packages is relaxed by default, as permitted by the Java SE 9 Platform Specification. This relaxation is controlled at run time by a new launcher option, --illegal-access, which works as follows:

      • --illegal-access=permit opens each package in each module in the run-time image to code in all unnamed modules, i.e., to code on the class path, if that package existed in JDK 8. This enables both static access, i.e., by compiled bytecode, and deep reflective access, via the platform's various reflection APIs.

        The first reflective-access operation to any such package causes a warning to be issued, but no warnings are issued after that point. This single warning describes how to enable further warnings. This warning cannot be suppressed.

        This mode is the default in JDK 9. It will be phased out in a future release and, eventually, removed.

      • --illegal-access=warn is identical to permit except that a warning message is issued for each illegal reflective-access operation.

      • --illegal-access=debug is identical to warn except both a warning message and a stack trace are issued for each illegal reflective-access operation.

      • --illegal-access=deny disables all illegal-access operations except for those enabled by other command-line options, e.g., --add-opens.

        This mode will become the default in a future release.

      When deny becomes the default illegal-access mode then permit will likely remain supported for at least one release, so that developers can continue to migrate their code. The permit, warn, and debug modes will, over time, be removed, as will the --illegal-access option itself. (For launch-script compatibility the unsupported modes will most likely just be ignored, after issuing a warning to that effect.)

      The default mode, --illegal-access=permit, is intended to make you aware when you have code on the class path that reflectively accesses some JDK-internal API at least once. To prepare for the future you can use the warn or debug modes to learn about all such accesses. For each library or framework on the class path that requires illegal access you have two options:

      • If the component's maintainers have already released a new, fixed version that no longer uses JDK-internal APIs then you can consider upgrading to that version.

      • If the component still needs to be fixed then we encourage you to contact its maintainers and ask them to replace their use of JDK-internal APIs with proper exported APIs, if available.

      If you must continue to use a component that requires illegal access then you can eliminate the warning messages by using one or more --add-opens options to open just those internal packages to which access is required.

      To verify that your application is ready for the future, run it with --illegal-access=deny along with any necessary --add-opens options. Any remaining illegal-access errors will most likely be due to static references from compiled code to JDK-internal APIs. You can identify those by running the jdeps tool with the --jdk-internals option. (The run-time system does not issue warnings for illegal static-access operations because that would require deep VM changes and degrade performance.)

      The warning message issued when an illegal reflective-access operation is detected has the following form:

      WARNING: Illegal reflective access by $PERPETRATOR to $VICTIM

      where:

      • $PERPETRATOR is the fully-qualified name of the type containing the code that invoked the reflective operation in question plus the code source (i.e., JAR-file path), if available, and

      • $VICTIM is a string that describes the member being accessed, including the fully-qualified name of the enclosing type

      In the default mode, --illegal-access=permit, at most one of these warning messages will be issued, accompanied by additional instructive text. Here is an example, from running Jython:

      $ java -jar jython-standalone-2.7.0.jar
      WARNING: An illegal reflective access operation has occurred
      WARNING: Illegal reflective access by jnr.posix.JavaLibCHelper (file:/tmp/jython-standalone-2.7.0.jar) to method sun.nio.ch.SelChImpl.getFD()
      WARNING: Please consider reporting this to the maintainers of jnr.posix.JavaLibCHelper
      WARNING: Use --illegal-access=warn to enable warnings of further illegal reflective access operations
      WARNING: All illegal access operations will be denied in a future release
      Jython 2.7.0 (default:9987c746f838, Apr 29 2015, 02:25:11) 
      [OpenJDK 64-Bit Server VM (Oracle Corporation)] on java9
      Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.
      >>> ^D

      The run-time system makes a best-effort attempt to suppress duplicate warnings for the same $PERPETRATOR and $VICTIM.

      An extended example

      Suppose we have an application module, com.foo.bar, which depends upon a library module, com.foo.baz. If we have the source code for both modules in the module-path directory src:

      src/com.foo.bar/module-info.java
      src/com.foo.bar/com/foo/bar/Main.java
      src/com.foo.baz/module-info.java
      src/com.foo.baz/com/foo/baz/BazGenerator.java

      then we can compile them, together:

      $ javac --module-source-path src -d mods $(find src -name '*.java')

      The output directory, mods, is a module-path directory containing exploded, compiled definitions of the two modules:

      mods/com.foo.bar/module-info.class
      mods/com.foo.bar/com/foo/bar/Main.class
      mods/com.foo.baz/module-info.class
      mods/com.foo.baz/com/foo/baz/BazGenerator.class

      Assuming that the com.foo.bar.Main class contains the application's entry point, we can run these modules as-is:

      $ java -p mods -m com.foo.bar/com.foo.bar.Main

      Alternatively, we can package them up into modular JAR files:

      $ jar --create -f mlib/com.foo.bar-1.0.jar \
            --main-class com.foo.bar.Main --module-version 1.0 \
            -C mods/com.foo.bar .
      $ jar --create -f mlib/com.foo.baz-1.0.jar \
            --module-version 1.0 -C mods/com.foo.baz .

      The mlib directory is a module-path directory containing the packaged, compiled definitions of the two modules:

      $ ls -l mlib
      -rw-r--r-- 1501 Sep  6 12:23 com.foo.bar-1.0.jar
      -rw-r--r-- 1376 Sep  6 12:23 com.foo.baz-1.0.jar

      We can now run the packaged modules directly:

      $ java -p mlib -m com.foo.bar

      jtreg enhancements

      The jtreg test harness supports a new declarative tag, @modules, to express a test's dependences upon the modules in the system being tested. It takes a series of space-separated arguments, each of which can be of the form

      • <module>, where <module> is a module name, to indicate that the specified module must be present;

      • <module>/<package>, to indicate that the specified module must be present and the specified package must be exported to the test's module; or

      • <module>/<package>:<flag>, to indicate that the specified module must be present and, if the flag is open then the specified package must be opened to the test's module, or else if the flag is +open then the specified package must be both exported and opened to the test's module.

      A default set of @modules arguments, which will be used for all tests in a directory hierarchy that do not include such a tag, can be specified as the value of the modules property in a TEST.ROOT file or in any TEST.properties file.

      The existing @compile tag accepts a new option, /module=<module>. This has the effect of invoking javac with the --module <module> option, defined above, to compile the specified classes as members of the indicated module.

      Class loaders

      The Java SE Platform API historically specified two class loaders: The bootstrap class loader, which loads classes from the bootstrap class path, and the system class loader, which is the default delegation parent for new class loaders and, typically, the class loader used to load and start the application. The specification does not mandate the concrete types of either of these class loaders, nor their precise delegation relationship.

      The JDK has, since the 1.2 release, implemented a three-level hierarchy of class loaders, where each loader delegates to the next:

      • The application class loader, an instance of java.net.URLClassLoader, loads classes from the class path and is installed as the system class loader unless an alternate system loader is specified via the system property java.system.class.loader.

      • The extension class loader, also an instance of URLClassLoader, loads classes available via the extension mechanism and, also, some resources and service providers built-in to the JDK. (This loader is not mentioned explicitly in the Java SE Platform API Specification.)

      • The bootstrap class loader, which is implemented solely within the virtual machine and is represented by null in the ClassLoader API, loads classes from the bootstrap class path.

      JDK 9 retains this three-level hierarchy, in order to preserve compatibility, while making the following changes to implement the module system:

      • The application class loader is no longer an instance of URLClassLoader but, rather, of an internal class. It is the default loader for named modules that are neither Java SE nor JDK modules.

      • The extension class loader is no longer an instance of URLClassLoader but, rather, of an internal class. It no longer loads classes via the extension mechanism, which was removed by JEP 220. It does, however, define selected Java SE and JDK modules, about which more below. In its new role this loader is known as the platform class loader, it is available via the new ClassLoader::getPlatformClassLoader method, and it will be required by the Java SE Platform API Specification.

      • The bootstrap class loader is implemented in both library code and within the virtual machine, but for compatibility it is still represented by null in the ClassLoader API. It defines the core Java SE and JDK modules.

      The platform class loader is retained not only for compatibility but, also, to improve security. Types loaded by the bootstrap class loader are implicitly granted all security permissions (AllPermission), but many of these types do not actually require all permissions. We have de-privileged modules that do not require all permissions by defining them to the platform loader rather than the bootstrap class loader, and by granting them the permissions they actually need in the default security policy file. The Java SE and JDK modules defined to the platform class loader are:

      java.activation*            jdk.accessibility
      java.compiler*              jdk.charsets
      java.corba*                 jdk.crypto.cryptoki
      java.scripting              jdk.crypto.ec
      java.se                     jdk.dynalink
      java.se.ee                  jdk.incubator.httpclient
      java.security.jgss          jdk.internal.vm.compiler*
      java.smartcardio            jdk.jsobject
      java.sql                    jdk.localedata
      java.sql.rowset             jdk.naming.dns
      java.transaction*           jdk.scripting.nashorn
      java.xml.bind*              jdk.security.auth
      java.xml.crypto             jdk.security.jgss
      java.xml.ws*                jdk.xml.dom
      java.xml.ws.annotation*     jdk.zipfs

      (An asterisk, '*', in these lists indicates an upgradeable module.)

      JDK modules that provide tools or export tool APIs are defined to the application class loader:

      jdk.aot                     jdk.jdeps
      jdk.attach                  jdk.jdi
      jdk.compiler                jdk.jdwp.agent
      jdk.editpad                 jdk.jlink
      jdk.hotspot.agent           jdk.jshell
      jdk.internal.ed             jdk.jstatd
      jdk.internal.jvmstat        jdk.pack
      jdk.internal.le             jdk.policytool
      jdk.internal.opt            jdk.rmic
      jdk.jartool                 jdk.scripting.nashorn.shell
      jdk.javadoc                 jdk.xml.bind*
      jdk.jcmd                    jdk.xml.ws*
      jdk.jconsole

      All other Java SE and JDK modules are defined to the bootstrap class loader:

      java.base                   java.security.sasl
      java.datatransfer           java.xml
      java.desktop                jdk.httpserver
      java.instrument             jdk.internal.vm.ci
      java.logging                jdk.management
      java.management             jdk.management.agent
      java.management.rmi         jdk.naming.rmi
      java.naming                 jdk.net
      java.prefs                  jdk.sctp
      java.rmi                    jdk.unsupported

      The three built-in class loaders work together to load classes as follows:

      • The application class loader first searches the named modules defined to all of the built-in loaders. If a suitable module is defined to one of these loaders then that loader will load the class. If a class is not found in a named module defined to one of these loaders then the application class loader delegates to its parent. If a class is not found by its parent then the application class loader searches the class path. Classes found on the class path are loaded as members of this loader's unnamed module.

      • The platform class loader searches the named modules defined to all of the built-in loaders. If a suitable module is defined to one of these loaders then that loader will load the class. (The platform class loader can, consequently, now delegate to the application class loader, which can be useful when a module on the upgrade module path depends upon a module on the application module path.) If a class is not found in a named module defined to one of these loaders then the platform class loader delegates to its parent.

      • The bootstrap class loader searches the named modules defined to itself. If a class is not found in a named module defined to the bootstrap loader then the bootstrap class loader searches the files and directories added to the bootstrap class path via the -Xbootclasspath/a option. Classes found on the bootstrap class path are loaded as members of this loader's unnamed module.

      The application and platform class loaders delegate to their respective parent loaders in order to ensure that the bootstrap class path is still searched when a class is not found in a module defined to one of the built-in loaders.

      Removed: Bootstrap class-path options

      In earlier releases the -Xbootclasspath option allows the default bootstrap class path to be overridden, and the -Xbootclasspath/p option allows a sequence of files and directories to be prepended to the default path. The computed value of this path is reported via the JDK-specific system property sun.boot.class.path.

      With the module system in place the bootstrap class path is empty by default, since bootstrap classes are loaded from their respective modules. The javac compiler only supports the -Xbootclasspath option in legacy mode, the java launcher no longer supports either of these options, and the system property sun.boot.class.path has been removed.

      The compiler's --system option can be used to specify an alternate source of system modules, as described above, and its -release option can be used to specify an alternate platform version, as described in JEP 247 (Compile for Older Platform Versions). At run time the --patch-module option, mentioned above, can be used to inject content into modules in the initial module graph.

      A related option, -Xbootclasspath/a, allows files and directories to be appended to the default bootstrap class path. This option, and the related API in the java.lang.instrument package, is sometimes used by instrumentation agents, so for compatibility it is still supported at run time. Its value, if specified, is reported via the JDK-specific system property jdk.boot.class.path.append. This option can be passed to the command-line launcher, java, and also to the JNI invocation API.

      Testing

      Many existing tests were affected by the introduction of the module system. In JDK 9 the @modules tag, described above, was added to the unit and regression tests as needed, and tests that used the -Xbootclasspath/p option or assumed that the system class loader is a URLClassLoader were updated.

      There is, of course, an extensive set of unit tests for the module system itself. In the JDK 9 source forest the run-time tests are in the test/jdk/modules directory of the jdk repository and the runtime/modules directory of the hotspot repository; the compile-time tests are in the tools/javac/modules directory of the langtools repository.

      Early-access builds containing the changes described here were available throughout the development of the module system. Members of the Java community were strongly encouraged to test their tools, libraries, and applications against these builds to help identify compatibility issues.

      Risks and Assumptions

      The primary risks of this proposal are ones of compatibility due to changes to existing language constructs, APIs, and tools.

      Changes due primarily to the introduction of the Java Platform Module System (JSR 376) include:

      • Applying the public modifier to an API element no longer guarantees that the element will be everywhere accessible. Accessibility now depends also upon whether the package containing that element is exported or opened by its defining module, and whether that module is readable by the module containing the code that is attempting to access it. For example, code of the following form might not work correctly:

        Class<?> c = Class.forName(...);
        if (Modifier.isPublic(c.getModifiers()) {
            // Assume that c is accessible
        }
      • If a package is defined in both a named module and on the class path then the package on the class path will be ignored. The class path can, therefore, no longer be used to augment packages that are built into the environment. The javax.transaction package, e.g., is defined by the java.transaction module, so the class path will not be searched for types in that package. This restriction is important to avoid splitting packages across class loaders and across modules. At compile time and run time the upgrade module path can be used to upgrade modules that are built-in into the environment. The --patch-module option can be used for other ad-hoc patching.

      • The ClassLoader::getResource* methods can no longer be used to locate JDK-internal resources other than class files. Module-private non-class resources can be read via the Class::getResource* methods, the Module::getResourceAsStream method or via the jrt: URL scheme and filesystem defined in JEP 220.

      • The java.lang.reflect.AccessibleObject::setAccessible method cannot be used to gain access to public members of packages that are not exported or opened by their defining modules, or to non-public members of packages that are not opened by their defining modules; in either case, an InaccessibleObjectException will be thrown. If a framework library, such as a serializer, needs access to such members at run time then the relevant packages must be opened to the framework module by declaring the containing module to be open, by declaring that package to be open, or by opening that package via the --add-opens command-line option.

      • JVM TI agents can no longer instrument Java code that runs early in the startup of the run-time environment. The ClassFileLoadHook event, in particular, is no longer sent during the primordial phase. The VMStart event, which signals the beginning of the start phase, is only posted after the the VM is initialized to the point where it can load classes in modules other than java.base. Two new capabilities, can_generate_early_class_hook_events and can_generate_early_vmstart, can be added by agents that are carefully written to handle events early in VM initialization. More details can be found in the updated description of the class file load hook event and the start event.

      • The == syntax in security policy files has been revised to augment the permissions granted to standard and JDK modules rather than override them. Applications that override other aspects of the JDK's default policy file therefore do not need to copy the default permissions granted to the standard and JDK modules.

      Modules that define Java EE APIs, or APIs primarily of interest to Java EE applications, have been deprecated and will be removed in a future release. They are not resolved by default for code on the class path:

      • The default set of root modules for the unnamed module is based upon the java.se module rather than the java.se.ee module. Thus, by default, code in the unnamed module will not have access to APIs in the following modules:

        java.activation
        java.corba
        java.transaction
        java.xml.bind
        java.xml.ws
        java.xml.ws.annotation

        This is an intentional, if painful, choice, driven by two goals:

        • To avoid unnecessary conflicts with popular libraries that define types in some of the same packages. The widely-used jsr305.jar, e.g., defines annotation types in the javax.annotation package, which is also defined by the java.xml.ws.annotation module.

        • To make it easier for existing application servers to migrate to JDK 9. Application servers often override the content of one or more of these modules, and in the near term they are most likely to do so by continuing to place the necessary non-modular JAR files on the class path. If these modules were resolved by default then the maintainers of application servers would have to take awkward actions to exclude them in order to override them.

        These modules are still part of JDK 9. Code on the class path can be granted access to one or more of these modules, as needed, via the --add-modules option.

      The run-time behavior of some Java SE APIs has changed, though in ways that continue to honor their existing specifications:

      • The application and platform class loaders are no longer instances of the java.net.URLClassLoader class, as noted above. Existing code that invokes ClassLoader::getSystemClassLoader and blindly casts the result to URLClassLoader, or does the same thing with the parent of that class loader, might not work correctly.

      • Some Java SE types have been de-privileged and are now loaded by the platform class loader rather than the bootstrap class loader, as noted above. Existing custom class loaders that delegate directly to the bootstrap class loader might not work correctly; they should be updated to delegate to the platform class loader, which is easily available via the new ClassLoader::getPlatformClassLoader method.

      • Instances of java.lang.Package created by the built-in class loaders for packages in named modules do not have specification or implementation versions. In previous releases this information was read from the manifest of rt.jar. Existing code that expects the Package::getSpecification* or Package::getImplementation* methods always to return non-null values might not work correctly.

      There are several source-incompatible Java SE API changes:

      • The java.lang package includes two new top-level classes, Module and ModuleLayer. The java.lang package is implicitly imported on demand (i.e., import java.lang.*). If code in an existing source file imports some other package on demand, and that package declares a Module or ModuleLayer type, and the existing code refers to that type, then the file will not compile without change.

      • The java.lang.instrument.Instrumentation interface declares two new abstract methods, redefineModule and isModifiableModule. This interface is not intended to be implemented outside of the java.instrument module. If there are external implementations then they will not compile on JDK 9 without change.

      • The five-parameter transform method declared in the java.lang.instrument.ClassFileTransformer interface is now a default method. The interface now also declares a new transform method that makes the relevant java.lang.reflect.Module object available to the transformer when instrumenting classes at load time. Existing compiled code will continue to run, but existing source code that uses the existing five-parameter transform method as a functional interface will no longer compile.

      Finally, changes due to revisions to JDK-specific APIs and tools include:

      • Most of the JDK's internal APIs are inaccessible by default at compile time, as described in JEP 260. Existing code that compiled against these APIs with warnings in previous releases will no longer compile. A workaround is to break encapsulation via the --add-exports option, defined above.

      • Selected critical internal APIs in the sun.misc and sun.reflect packages have been moved to the jdk.unsupported module, as described in JEP 260. Non-critical internal APIs in these packages, such as sun.misc.BASE64{De,En}coder, have been either moved or removed.

      • If a security manager is present then the run-time permission accessSystemModules is required in order to access JDK-internal resources via the ClassLoader::getResource* or Class::getResource* methods; in previous releases, permission to read the file ${java.home}/lib/rt.jar was required.

      • The -Xbootclasspath and -Xbootclasspath/p options have been removed, as noted above. At compile time, the new --release option can be used to specify an alternate platform version (see JEP 247). At run time, the new --patch-module option, described above, can be used to inject content into system modules.

      • The JDK-specific system property sun.boot.class.path has been removed, since the bootstrap class path is empty by default. Existing code that uses this property might not work correctly.

      • The JDK-specific annotation @jdk.Exported, introduced by JEP 179, has been removed since the information it conveys is now recorded in the exports declarations of module descriptors. We have seen no evidence of this annotation being used by tools outside of the JDK.

      • The META-INF/services resource files previously found in rt.jar and other internal artifacts are not present in the corresponding system modules, since service providers and dependences are now declared in module descriptors. Existing code that scans for such files might not work correctly.

      • The JDK-specific system property file.encoding can be set on the command line via the -D option, as before, but it must specify a charset defined in the base module. If any other charset is specified then the run-time system will fail to start. Existing launch scripts that specify such charsets might not work correctly.

      • The com.sun.tools.attach API can no longer be used, by default, to attach an agent to the current process or an ancestor of the current process. Such attachment operations can be enabled by setting the system property jdk.attach.allowAttachSelf on the command line.

      • The dynamic loading of JVM TI agents will be disabled by default in a future release. To prepare for that change we recommend that applications that allow dynamic agents start using the option -XX:+EnableDynamicAgentLoading to enable that loading explicitly. The option -XX:-EnableDynamicAgentLoading disables dynamic agent loading.

      Dependences

      JEP 200 (The Modular JDK) originally defined the modules present in the JDK in an XML document, as an interim measure. This JEP moved those definitions to proper module descriptors, i.e., module-info.java and module-info.class files, and the modules.xml file in the root source-code repository was removed.

      The initial implementation of JEP 220 (Modular Run-Time Images) in JDK 9 used a custom build-time tool to construct JRE and JDK images. This JEP replaced that tool with the jlink tool.

      Modular JAR files can also be Multi-Release JAR files, per JEP 238.

        Issue Links

          Activity

          Hide
          mr Mark Reinhold added a comment -
          Updated to evolve -Xoverride into -Xpatch, and bring back -XaddReads, thereby closing several open design issues.
          Show
          mr Mark Reinhold added a comment - Updated to evolve -Xoverride into -Xpatch, and bring back -XaddReads, thereby closing several open design issues.
          Hide
          alanb Alan Bateman added a comment -
          Linked to JDK-8142968, as we'll use that JIRA issue for the push to JDK 9.
          Show
          alanb Alan Bateman added a comment - Linked to JDK-8142968 , as we'll use that JIRA issue for the push to JDK 9.
          Hide
          mr Mark Reinhold added a comment -
          Updated with the revised algorithm for computing the default set of root
          modules for class-path applications.
          Show
          mr Mark Reinhold added a comment - Updated with the revised algorithm for computing the default set of root modules for class-path applications.
          Hide
          mr Mark Reinhold added a comment -
          FC Extension Request

          The foundations of the module system were integrated this past March,
          and appear to be in pretty good shape. We expect further revisions as
          the JSR 376 EG works through its issue list [1], and in response to
          further feedback from the wider developer community.

          Late changes in this area are not without risk, and at present that risk
          is difficult to estimate. We expect few if any changes, however, in the
          VM or the client libraries; most changes would be in the core libraries
          and the compiler (javac), for which test execution is fully automated
          and run on all supported platforms continuously.

          Estimated completion: 2016/9/1
          Show
          mr Mark Reinhold added a comment - FC Extension Request The foundations of the module system were integrated this past March, and appear to be in pretty good shape. We expect further revisions as the JSR 376 EG works through its issue list [1], and in response to further feedback from the wider developer community. Late changes in this area are not without risk, and at present that risk is difficult to estimate. We expect few if any changes, however, in the VM or the client libraries; most changes would be in the core libraries and the compiler (javac), for which test execution is fully automated and run on all supported platforms continuously. Estimated completion: 2016/9/1

            People

            • Assignee:
              mr Mark Reinhold
              Reporter:
              mr Mark Reinhold
              Owner:
              Mark Reinhold
              Reviewed By:
              Alan Bateman, Alex Buckley, Chris Hegarty, Jonathan Gibbons, Mandy Chung, Paul Sandoz
              Endorsed By:
              Brian Goetz
            • Votes:
              0 Vote for this issue
              Watchers:
              21 Start watching this issue

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              • Due:
                Created:
                Updated:
                Resolved:
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