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I meant breaking in that the Java 10 compiler would be targeting a newer version of the JVM and could dispense with having to be backwards compatible, which was one of the reasons I remember reading for generics.

Where are you reading that? The Java N compiler always targets version N of the JVM (well, by default, anyway), and you can't run bytecode on older versions of the JVM.

I would sincerely doubt they're considering breaking back-compat in Java 10 (that is, making it so older bytecode targeting something <10 cannot run on 10+).

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