Maintaining ports (was Re: Support for Netscape/Mozilla plug-in on Linux AMD64 native platform)

Mark Reinhold mr at
Tue Oct 30 04:40:31 UTC 2007

> Date: Mon, 29 Oct 2007 18:15:21 +0000
> From: Andrew Haley <aph at>

> ...
> Why is this any different from any other free software project?  The
> maintainers of each target will make sure it gets built and tested.
> If the XYZ port of OpenJDK doesn't work, then that's a bug against the
> XYZ port, and the XYZ maintainers will have to fix it.  If the XYZ
> port isn't being properly maintained it will be deleted from the
> source tree.
> If the maintainers are good, so will their port be; if not, it won't.
> If OpenJDK is really to be open it has to be a *distributed* effort,
> with porting, testing, and support done by independent workers.  The
> Sun QE team can't so do it.

Exactly so.

I completely agree that there needs to be a way for ports other than
those supported directly by Sun to become part of the main JDK 7 (and 6)
source trees in OpenJDK.  We'll need to figure out how to identify them
as such, and what the policy is for deleting inactive or broken ports,
but there are plenty of good examples (e.g., the GCC project) from which
to learn.

I'm not sure that a general "Porters" Group is the optimal route; such a
Group would, I suspect, tend to lack focus.  What may make more sense is
for each specific porting effort (e.g., BSD) to propose its own Project
into which the relevant code can initially be contributed, synced with
the mainline code, and generally hacked upon until it's ready to be
proposed for integration.  Once that integration happens then further
development and maintenance of the port would be done under the aegis
of the appropriate mainline project (e.g., JDK 7).

- Mark

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