Oracle JDK vs. OpenJDK: font engine differences

Daniel Gredler djgredler at
Tue Nov 14 01:55:41 UTC 2017

Hi all,

Mark Cavage (Oracle VP Java and Container Native Platform) said the
following last month during a JavaOne keynote [1]:

"There will be zero differences between the OpenJDK and the Oracle JDK."

A related blog post by Donald Smith (Oracle Sr. Director Product
Management) [2] says:

"[...] our intent is that within a few releases there should be no
technical differences between OpenJDK builds and Oracle JDK binaries."

I think that this is a great decision, but I haven't been able to find any
mention of how this affects the font engine within the JDK. It is my
understanding that one of the big differences between the Oracle JDK and
the OpenJDK is that the Oracle JDK uses the proprietary T2K font library
internally, while the OpenJDK uses FreeType [3]. Anecdotally, we are unable
to use OpenJDK for some of our applications that require precise font
measurement / layout, because rendering results are still inconsistent
across the two runtimes. Has this difference, and the steps necessary to
remedy it, been discussed on any public forums? I'd love to know more about
the way forward here.

Take care,



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