Somewhat wonkier Windows problem

Volker Simonis volker.simonis at
Thu May 23 14:00:33 UTC 2013

Hi Anthony,

I think what David is really objecting here is that the current build
requirements for building OpenJDK 8 on Windows as described in the official
build documentation can not be easily fulfilled by anybody outside Oracle
(because of age-old dependencies which simply aren't publicly available
anymore and which can not be easily provided by the OpenJDK project itself
because of licensing issues - e.g. "DirectX 9.0 SDK Update Summer 2004",
Cygwin 1.7.16, etc...).

Of course it is possible to finally build with almost any combination of
tools and libraries given that you invest enough time and resources and of
course after you succeed in doing so you got wiser a little bit. But that's
not the point! Ideally, everybody should be able to get the required build
dependencies as easy as the JDK sources and after installing them as
described in the build documentation he should be able to build. That's
currently not the case - at least not on Windows!

The problem is that Oracle nails down the build requirements years before a
Java version is released and these requirements are carved into stone in
the official build documentation. That's perfectly fine for a commercially
released product which has to run on a variety of different platforms and
which has to be supported for a long period of time - but not for an
OpenSource project!

I've been criticized for my suggestion to put (at least a part of) the
build documentation into a Wiki in order to get a chance to update it more
dynamically. From a software engineering standpoint that criticism was
perfectly valid. From a pragmatic point of view perhaps not. Anyway - if we
want to keep the build instructions in the repository in a central document
(which is good!), than this document should really reflect the current
situation and not the the instructions how Oracle once decided to build its
derived, commercial product. I understand that Oracle may not want to be
responsible to provide such a kind of document and that's perfectly fine.
After all this is an open source project so the community may have to be
involved here - we just have to make this fact clear to anybody.

Currently, unfortunately,  all these notable Windows build adventures more
than often lead to a dead-end (just browse the mailing lists!) or at best
in a blog entry which describes a special, working setup (been there
several time myself:)

Nevertheless David, you have my full moral support!


On Thu, May 23, 2013 at 3:09 PM, Anthony Petrov
<anthony.petrov at>wrote:

> David,
> I pretty much understand the problem you're trying to solve. I recall
> myself in 2006-2007 when I was eagerly wanting to build (then) JDK 6 with
> VS2005 while we officially used VS2003. It was fun. :) Later on we ended up
> switching to VS2010 for JDK7, however some results of my work still were
> useful and relevant, and they made their way to the JDK repo (some make
> files changes, command-line options for the compiler, minor code changes,
> etc.)
> So if you come up with some useful fixes for our new build system and/or
> sources to provide better support for newer compilers/libraries - it's
> great!
> FWIW, I did build JDK8 with VS2012 back in Oct/Nov last year. I've run a
> few GUI demo apps (SwingSet2 and friends) and they all worked just fine.
> Only some make files needed some minor updates in order to learn to use the
> new compilers. Overall, switching from VS2010 to VS2012 shouldn't be hard.
> --
> best regards,
> Anthony
> On 05/23/13 16:47, David Chase wrote:
>> I think you need to understand the problem I'm after -- currently, our
>> public instructions for third-party OpenJDK (8) builds don't work.
>> They don't build at all, so porting is completely out of the question.
>>  I'm trying to come up with instructions that will at least build something
>> that will run on the machine where it is built.
>> Regarding the DirectX compatibility, that sounds like something we should
>> be repairing in the builds, so that we can cut our dependence on a
>> 9-year-old release of the DirectX SDK.
>> Note also that some of these newer DirectX SDKs (certainly April 2006)
>> will mess up your %PATH% by inserting elements on it that include quoted
>> strings, and those you will need to remove manually.  I will do the
>> experiment to see if the 2010 release does not do this, since "repair your
>> path after installing required software" is a good step not to have in any
>> build process.
>> On 2013-05-23, at 8:08 AM, Anthony Petrov<anthony.petrov at oracle.**com<anthony.petrov at>>
>>  wrote:
>>  Binaries built with VS2012 won't run on WinXP. You need VS2012sp1 to
>>> make them compatible with XP.
>>> Yes, we don't officially support JDK8 on Windows XP. However, there's a
>>> difference between _not supported_ and _just won't run_.
>>> Hence, if we ever decide to switch to VS2012, we'll most likely want to
>>> use VS2012sp1+.

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