Sun JDK vs OpenJDK - Sun JRE vs OpenJDK JRE

Dalibor Topic Dalibor.Topic at Sun.COM
Sat Sep 13 20:21:12 UTC 2008

Geir Magnusson Jr. wrote:
> Why not do continuing maintenance of j6 in the open and push the code
> into the secret j6 repo and the JDK Next repo?
Because OpenJDK 6 came after OpenJDK 7 which came after SE 6.

OpenJDK 7 is where the development of 7 is happening, while OpenJDK 6
has been created to deliver a stable, certifiable
implementation of SE 6 in collaboration with GNU/Linux distributions, as
it makes a lot more sense for a distributor to ship
a stable SE 6 API and implementation then one in heavy development, i.e.
7, and a lot of distributors have a strong preference
for a fully free software implementation, i.e. OpenJDK 6 based ones.

Yeah, it's a bit messier than one would expect, but it should become
simpler over time.

> Why not just get people to bring changes directly to the project?
They do, too. One does not exclude the other. ;)
>   And how do contributions happen?
On the lists.
> I know sun wants joint copyright of everything - is icedtea securing
> copyright for transfer to Sun?
The patches going into OpenJDK are covered by SCA, yes. Not all patches
need to go into OpenJDK, though,
so IcedTea does not require the SCA for contributions.
> Doesn't this take the pressure off sun to build a community?
The OpenJDK community goes beyond a single organization or project.
Naturally, Sun is contributing a lot
to help grow OpenJDK, and so far seems to be doing it all a lot better
then some would have expected initially.

That's in large part due to the community OpenJDK attracted so far
coming from a long tradition of successful,
distributed open source development around independent projects like GNU
Classpath - those developers
don't have a habit of waiting for Sun to do one thing or another - as
IcedTea shows, the community goes
ahead and does things that it needs to be done, like pull up additional
ports, or provide a plugin on
amd64-linux, etc.

I think it's been working out pretty good overall - instead of the team
at Sun trying to build an
open source Java SE community from scratch, it was courageous enough to
try to mesh with the
existing one instead, and that has paid off.

There is still a ton of things to do, of course. There always is.

dalibor topic

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