$subject already states pretty much what I would like to discuss: for Debezium 1.6 (due by the end of Q2), we're considering to move to Java 11 or newer as a required runtime.
The reason for this is that first dependencies are moving to Java 11 as a baseline, so we cannot really stay on 8, unless we stop updating these dependencies, which isn't desirable in terms of bugfixes etc. At this point this concerns a few test only dependencies for our downstream testing on K8s/OpenShift, the MySQL binlog reader client (which already had upgraded to 11, but we could make the case for going back to 8 at least for a while), and the Debezium Quarkus extension for the outbox pattern. But we expect that more and more dependencies will move to require 11 eventually; It has been nearly three years since Java 11 came out, and it's less than six months until the next LTS version (Java 17), so we feel the time for upgrading has come eventually.
The impact of this change on users is expected to be fairly low, as Kafka Connect runs with Java 11 without any issues. E.g. the upstream Debezium container images for Kafka Connect etc. have been based on Java 11 already for quite some time. The biggest impact I could see is on users of the Debezium embedded mode, which will have to move their application to Java 11, too.
If you have any questions or concerns about this change, please let me know. Right now, we're planning to do this change for Debezium 1.6 Alpha1, which is to be released by the end of this month.
Thanks a lot for any feedback,