What's the future of OpenJDK?

Volker Simonis volker.simonis at gmail.com
Tue Mar 2 13:26:49 UTC 2010

On Tue, Mar 2, 2010 at 12:28 AM, Ismael Juma <mlists at juma.me.uk> wrote:
> Volker Simonis <volker.simonis at ...> writes:
>> I doubt that this "merge" will take place in an open source
>> version.
> Why do you doubt this? For what is worth:
> "OpenJDK will remain the single open source Java and JVM implementation that
> Oracle contributes to.

This only means they will not open source anything more and makes no
commitment at all about the future amount of contributions!

> Open sourcing the current JRockit code base simply does
> not make sense. Better focus our efforts on the future unified offering which
> will be a merge of some kind between the two technologies.
> Another thing worth mentioning here is that some features in JRockit do not make
> sense as part of an open source JVM. One example is integration with the Fusion
> Middleware logging infrastructure - definitely not of interest outside of an
> Oracle context. The open source codebase should not be polluted by such
> proprietary extensions. I don't have an answer to how to accomplish this yet,
> but it's possible that the modularity work in JDK7 can help."
> http://www.theserverside.com/news/thread.tss?thread_id=59317#332147

But these are exatly my fears! They say: " Open sourcing the current
JRockit code base simply does not make sense" and "The open source
codebase should not be polluted by such proprietary extensions". Mark
told in his webcast that he specially likes features like the garbage
collector and "Mission Control" of JRockit on the one side and the C2
JIT of the HotSpot on the other side.

Now imagine how these features can be "merged"? I suppose this will
(and can only) happen in a closed version (remember how long it took
to inspect and clean the HotSpot code for open sourcing?). And once
the former Sun engineers will work on this closed version, the HotSpot
source code will begin to rot. It took a really long time for Sun to
open up its development model and it's really nice now to follow the
development live in the newsgroups and repositories. It would be sad,
if we would loose this again!

And remember that I'm mainly reasoning about the HotSpot VM here. I
think all this will not be that much of a problem for the Java API
libraries. I can imagine very well that the OpenJDK libraries will
remain the reference implementation which will be used by the HotSpot,
JRockit and the new, merged VM together.

I can only agree with Mark Wielaard and his call to "Endorse and
promote individuals, organizations and
companies to contribute and encourage them to work together", although
I think this will be a lot harder for the HotSpot VM case than for the
J2SE libraries.


> Ismael

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