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[tlaplus] Compatibility breakage: anybody still running the tools on Java 8?

For a few years now the java tools have had partial compatibility with the Java 8 VM: the tools were compiled stating they target Java 8, but this would only be true at runtime as long as methods in the TLAFlightRecorder class (which uses the Java 11 jdk.jfr API) were not executed. In almost all ordinary executions of TLC these methods are not used.

As part of recent efforts to improve the developer experience by fixing compiler warnings and ensuring the tools build on windows, we are looking at breaking Java 8 compatibility wholesale by targeting compilation at Java 11. To assess the impact of this change we would like anybody still stuck using Java 8 to speak up here. If enough people are affected we can look at alternatives like shipping a separate Java 8 compatibility build. Past releases of the tools will of course continue to be available.

See the discussion in this github issue for more background: https://github.com/tlaplus/tlaplus/issues/921

Andrew Helwer

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