OpenJDK projects promoting proprietary builds

Mark Wielaard mark at
Sat May 30 19:31:38 UTC 2009

On Fri, 2009-05-29 at 22:10 +0100, Andrew John Hughes wrote:
> I agree wholeheartedly, but have to say I long ago ceased to be
> surprised by Sun builds beinge proprietary. Sadly the converse is
> true; I'd be surprised by a Sun build released under the same terms as
> our IcedTea builds.

And that is indeed what is sad about this. That it seems OpenJDK builds
are actually Sun builds, and by extension such things are proprietary.
And that is what I object to. OpenJDK builds should be just that,
OpenJDK builds distributed under the (GPL) terms everybody in our
community adheres to.

If a project wants to publish "early access" builds then they really
should if they feel people would like to play with the bits. But such
builds should follow the standard OpenJDK project rules
( that everybody else also uses.

Going to Sun legal and requesting alternative proprietary terms and then
publishing the code and binaries under non-free software licenses is
just bad for creating a community. It is bad enough that the current SCA
rules around OpenJDK assign all rights to one commercial party, Sun. But
projects then abusing those rights by pushing proprietary derivatives as
early access OpenJDK project builds undermines the whole community of

You are right that we have IcedTea to fix that. If you get your packages
through IcedTea (derivatives) you are guaranteed that it truly is Free
Software. But wouldn't it be better if we could say that about OpenJDK
itself? Wouldn't that make the community stronger?



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