Update on Bug 6477341,the '...' Windows Combobox bug.

Thanks to the hard work of several teams inside Sun (the development, testing, integration, and approval teams) combined with the persistence of the outside Java community, I am happy to say that the bug 6477341 will be fixed. More importantly it will be fixed in Java 6 final, not in an update release. The fix was just integrated into b103, which should be going up soon.

I'd like to thank all of you in the community to helped drive this bug to be fixed. Especially those of you who voted for it in the bug database. It really does help!

I also want to ask you all to go download Java 6 b103 when it's available. Even with a small change like this there is still a chance of a regression. I certainly hope it won't happen, but it's possible. People subclass Swing components in all sorts of weird ways. And on this note, I have to acknowledge the fact that this fix is conditional on it not causing any new regressions. At this late stage in the release, the most likely solution to a new regression is the removal of the code that caused it. So let's get all the extra testing we can, as soon as possible!

There are two lessons that we can learn from this. First, that I need to be more careful when working on multiple bugs that touch the same file. I have recently taken to creating sub-child-workspaces. This means I check out a workspace to fix the first bug. I then make a child of that workspace to fix the second bug. This makes merging a seamless process and avoids these kinds of conflict errors. It of course requires a version control system which supports an arbitrary hierarchy of workspaces. That's why we are very carefully evaluating what system we will use for the open source release of Java.

The second thing we can learn from this, I think, is that the system works. We have an open development model right now (not yet open source, but that's coming soon). We found this regression because lots of people had been downloading Java 6. Without the help of early adopters like you we wouldn't have found it until Java 6 shipped. The other half is that we wouldn't have been able to classify the bug as a showstopper and get it into the final release without readers and bloggers like you complaining about it. We really do listen to the community. We read the blogs, bugtrack votes, forum threads, and SDN comments. When it became clear this was a showstopper to the people who matter, you, we were able to officially classify it as a showstopper and get it fixed.

I think this was a definite success for our open development model and I know it will get even better once Java is completely open source. I feel very privileged to work on such a great product in a great, open community. I don't think I'd feel the same way if I was working on, say, Vista or Leopard.

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Posted October 18th, 2006

Tagged: java.net