Announcing IcePick, a build framework for compiling the langtools

Andrew John Hughes gnu_andrew at
Mon Dec 3 21:54:33 UTC 2007

The aim of the IcePick project is to allow the language tools (javac, javadoc, 
javah, javap, apt) from the OpenJDK project to be built separately using any 
1.5 compliant Java compiler. This is primarily motivated by a desire to allow 
these tools to be used with virtual machines that make use of the GNU 
Classpath library rather than simply as part of the larger IcedTea or OpenJDK 
distribution with the HotSpot or CACAO virtual machines. The advantages of 
using this toolset as opposed to existing tools distributed with 
Classpath-based solutions are:

    * A 1.5 capable Javadoc generator (gjdoc still needs support for the new 
    * Provision of the apt tool for which there is no other Free software 
solution. This tool is needed to build the JikesRVM.
    * More heavily tested implementations of javac, javah and javap than those 
provided by ecj and the GNU Classpath tools 

Unlike IcedTea, IcePick's only dependency is a 1.5 capable compiler which can 
be provided by ecj, a gcj which uses ecj or an existing copy of javac. 
Because the OpenJDK class libraries and HotSpot are not being built, their 
requisite dependencies (see BuildRequirements are no longer needed. As a 
result, IcePick is buildable on a wider range of systems including those not 
yet supported by IcedTea. This includes those architectures other than x86, 
x86_64, ppc and ppc64 (the latter two having experimental support on IcedTea 
thanks to Gary Benson) and systems which can't meet the arduous build 
requirements of IcedTea/OpenJDK. It also provides a solution for users who 
want the OpenJDK toolset but don't want to build the entire distribution.

It's still fairly untested so please try and give it a whirl and let me know 
of any problems.  Details of how to check it out and build are on the IcedTea 


Andrew :-)

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