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The Fourth Conference of Research Software Engineering was held at the University of Birmingham.

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Tuesday, September 17 • 12:00 - 12:25
#1D3 - Legacy Software - Launching Java Applications into the Future

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Over the years, the Java runtime platform has been hardened against a number of security vulnerabilities. Each time, maintainers have had to change their practices in order to ensure applications remain accessible to users.

In the first quarter of 2019, the Jalview (www.jalview.org) team migrated their mature interactive application from Java 1.8 to Java 11. It required some radical changes. Build, deployment, installation and launch mechanisms were recoded. Getdown (https://github.com/threerings/getdown) was adopted to replace Java Webstart, and adapted to give a hopefully seamless experience with an "install once, works forever" approach. JRE packaging methods were developed to allow over-the-air updates in preparation for future Java releases. We’re now adapting Getdown further to support "channels" so that the user can easily switch between a stable release, development release, or access older versions of Jalview to aid reproducibility.

I’ll examine the issues we encountered when migrating an interactive graphical desktop Java application relied on by thousands of researchers and educators to Java 11. I’ll also evaluate whether our new deployment model meets the future needs of our broad community of users.

avatar for Ben Soares

Ben Soares

Research Software Engineer, University of Dundee School of Life Sciences

Tuesday September 17, 2019 12:00 - 12:25 BST
4. Aston Webb, Room WG12 Aston Webb Building