Open JDK vs Sun JDK

Mark Wielaard mark at
Wed Oct 3 13:10:42 UTC 2007

Hi Amit,

On Wed, 2007-10-03 at 18:03 +0530, Amit Kumar Saha wrote:
> I am working on an article which has "Open JDK vs Sun JDK" as its
> theme.

Nice, let us know when and where it will be published.
I think the title/theme is slightly wrong though.
Try changing 'vs' to something like 'extends', see below...

>  The agenda for the article is roughly as follows:
> 1. The motive behind Open JDK

Having fun with the community! :)
There are a lot of official motives listed at:

> 2. Licensing issues related to Open JDK

Almost everything is released under the GPL now. There are a couple of
pieces that couldn't be released right now. These are being worked on by
various groups to make everything available under the GPL. There is the
icedtea project for example which provides
a full GPLed release where all the binary blobs from openjdk not yet
released under the GPL are replaced with code from GNU Classpath so that
various GNU/Linux distribution can start shipping a OpenJDK variant
right now:

Does anybody have some kind of overview page listing the remaining
components and their replacement status in openjdk/icedtea?

> 3. What should people - programmers (hobbyist, professional)  adopt -
> Open JDK or Sun JDK? Can we call one "better" than the other? Who is
> Open JDK mainly targeted at?

We can call the Sun JDK stable, but non-free and OpenJDK development,
but free. So depending on your priorities one or the other is more fun
to work with.

> 4. Future plans for Open JDK and Sun JDK.

I don't believe there is a concrete roadmap yet. But you can find some
of the ideas for both at:

> 5. Which is the future? - Open JDK or Sun JDK

If things go as planned it isn't "or", it is "and".
See again the FAQ:

        Will Sun's commercial JDK releases be built from the open-source
        Yes, for the most part. Since there's some encumbered code in
        the JDK, Sun will continue to use that code in commercial
        releases until it's replaced by fully-functional open-source
        alternatives. In addition, Sun may deliver more differentiated
        commercial JDK products that address specific market needs in
        the future with these variants still built from the open-source

So Sun JDK will be just one instance of OpenJDK.

> I am not sure if this is the proper list, in that case, please point
> me to the appropriate place. I shall really appreciate some insights
> into all or some of the topics mentioned above.

I think you miss a topic "The Unexpected". Various groups are doing all
kind of unexpected (crazy!) things with the code now. See for example:



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