Preview KNIME AP 4.4 -- Java 11 & Eclipse Upgrade

Hey developers:
We completed a major milestone for our upcoming 4.4 release: The current nightly build is based on Java 11 and Eclipse 2021-03. Your node extension probably needs some attention to ensure compatibility with the new version.

This change in the knime-rest repository is an example of how we changed the standard KNIME node extensions – it’s mostly just an update of the package dependencies and compiler settings. (There are more changes in the pull request – those are changes to the eclipse project settings, which are done automatically by the IDE when the compiler level is changed).

What to watch out for: Apart from compilation errors (we had very few exceptions and they were easy to fix) check the runtime behavior of your nodes and check the tests (community contributors: use the public Jenkins instance).

If you have any dependencies to SVG processing libraries, such as batik, birt, etc., an explicit import of w3c.dom.events, version 3, is required. The above PR contains an example. Also observe the start behavior: If the startup takes considerably longer when your extension is present (or fails) then a package import isn’t sufficiently restrictive (e.g. w3c.dom.events).

In our tests we’ve also detected a few changes to numerical precision for scientific computations (6+ decimal place), changes to the date time parsing, and issues with the UI for 4k displays (still working on that).

If you have any questions or feedback, please use this forum thread.

PS: Here are the preliminary release notes:

Time & Date handling

There are still some open issues related to the handling of Zoned Date & Time, as the underlying behavior in Java 11 has changed, The node most affected is: Extract Date&Time Fields.

If you do not select a locale with a country code, the underlying code will use US defaults (like weeks start on Sunday).

XML parsing library change

We no longer use the Xerces / Xalan libraries for XML handling. Please let us know if you see changes in XML handling performance or behavior

Use of XMLBeans and dynamic node factories

API users of any XMLBeans generated libraries, especially extensions of dynamic node factories (e.g. dynamic JS views) and PMML parsers, will need to re-compile their extensions. The binary format of such libraries has changed, hence 4.3.x build artifacts are incompatible with the new version and require a re-compilation.

Best,

Gabriel & Bernd

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