Is JDK6 still needed for IntelliJ IDEA build and development? Follow
Both the Community and the Ultimate editions of IntelliJ use JRE 8 to run themselves. However at least the Community edition needs both JDK8 and JDK6 for build and development of itself. At least there is some code that needs to be compatible with the JRE 6 API. This is according to the GitHub of the community project. Please read the "IntelliJ Build Configuration" section:
Why is this requirement still relevant? Or maybe it's already not relevant and that documentation needs to be updated? Anyway Java 6 is too old, why to keep any code of IntelliJ be limited to Java 6 or to its old API?
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Some components need to be able to run under older Java versions like when a user is supporting a legacy project that he wants to debug with IntelliJ IDEA. There is an agent part loaded to provide advanced debugger features. If it's compiled with the later Java versions and the user runs an old Java version, the agent will not be able to load.
JDK 1.6 is not required and you can set IDEA jdk to 1.8 version. The code will build and run just fine and you will not have any issues unless you want to use the debugger with JDK 1.6 or older.