To ensure backwards binary compatibility as Java has evolved over the past 10 years, new features have been added but never have features been removed, to avoid breaking the binary compatibility. However over time, we’ve seen the Java JRE and JDK continue to grow from each release to the next. JSR 270, the JSR for JDK 6, proposes the first API to be removed from a future release, and I believe is the first JSR to propose that something be removed from the platform intead of added.
The approach suggested is that the JSR for release N can propose for feature X to be removed in future release N+1. It is then upto the team involved in the implementation of N+1 if they want to go ahead with the feature removal. Mark Reinhold discusses in more details in his blog here.
The feature currently on the chopping block? The javax.sound.midi package. I expect some developers or users of music software on Java may be upset by this, but I don’t expect there to be much resistance on this one.