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28 August 2012, 14:54

Jetty 9's development outlined

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Jetty logo Jesse McConnell, Jetty developer at Webtide, has outlined the plans for version 9 of the open source web server and servlet container package. Development has been ongoing for some time and the first milestones are due to arrive in September. Although Oracle has deferred the end of life of Java 6, Jetty 9 will require Java 7; this became the minimum required version of Java because native SPDY support, to be included in Jetty 9, needs Java 7. Servlet API 3.0 will be the supported API in Jetty 9; Servlet API 3.1 isn't available and when it does arrive the developers plan to ship a minor update to support it as "it shouldn't be a huge deal".

As Jetty 9 has a heavily refactored IO layer, Jetty 7 and 8 will continue to be supported as "mature" production releases. The new IO layer moves Jetty from being a modular HTTP server to a protocol server to support HTTP over SPDY, HTTP over HTTP, Websocket over SPDY and other protocols all as first class citizens. The changes are internal but their effects "ripple out" in the form of better performance, smaller software and simpler configuration, and should allow Jetty to adapt to new protocols quickly.

McConnell says that the developers will not be creating split production versions as for Jetty 7 and 8, with a single production release being the norm for Jetty 9. Documentation should also be greatly improved with versioned, docbook-generated manuals available under a common URL on the domain; this will hopefully end "the days of floundering around for documentation on jetty".

There is also a plea for people to stop using Jetty 6 and move to Jetty 7, 8 or 9. "I am constantly amazed with folks on places like stack overflow starting a project using jetty-6" says McConnell, who notes that Linux distributions "really need to update" and says that if distributions need help: "please ping us". He also points at Google's App Engine and GWT as projects that also need to update their embedded Jetty.


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