OpenJDK projects promoting proprietary builds

Geir Magnusson Jr. geir at
Sat May 30 23:38:47 UTC 2009

On May 30, 2009, at 7:20 PM, Dmitri Trembovetski wrote:

> Geir Magnusson Jr. wrote:
>> Hi David,
>> On May 30, 2009, at 7:05 PM, David Herron wrote:
>>> Mark,
>>> Please recall that JDK<n> != OpenJDK<n> though for values of n >=  
>>> 7 the
>>> difference is very small.  The JDK7 builds have some proprietary  
>>> bits in
>>> them.
>> Why?  For heaven's sake... why?
>  Because the corresponding open source parts aren't good enough yet  
> and we don't have enough resources to make them on par with the  
> proprietary bits although this is what we want in the long run.
>  Specific parts that I know of are color management, AA shape  
> rasterizer and font rasterizer.

It's been how many years that you've had to re-write?

>  You must understand that "passing the TCK" doesn't necessarily mean  
> "has acceptable performance, fidelity and stability".

Oh, I understand that.  Of course, I'm still in the "getting the TCK"  



>  Thanks,
>    Dmitri
>>> It's valuable to the JDK product cycle for JDK builds to have  
>>> early access
>>> exposure so people can report bugs etc.  Sun started doing very- 
>>> early-access
>>> releases with JDK6 and the Peabody Project, and early exposure was  
>>> a purpose
>>> of the <project-name-never-to-be-spoken-again> Regressions Contest  
>>> which I
>>> ran in early 2006. (See my blog posting of Jan 30, 2006)   
>>> I'm sure
>>> you can understand the value, right?
>>> There would also be value to the OpenJDK project for reference  
>>> OpenJDK
>>> builds to be available.  For example to help those like you who  
>>> are involved
>>> with packaging OpenJDK-derived builds.  Anybody could do those  
>>> builds
>>> couldn't they?
>>> I don't think it's correct to say Sun is "pushing proprietary  
>>> derivatives as
>>> early access OpenJDK builds.." is it?  The name JDK7 is  
>>> distinguished from
>>> OpenJDK7, right?  Isn't it well known that they are approximately  
>>> 96% the
>>> same and that there are differences in specific areas?
>> As an interested observer and fan of open and even Free(tm) Java, I  
>> need to ask why would you want to have this differentiation?
>> I can understand the need to provide source and/or binaries to  
>> commercial partners and customers under licenses that aren't the  
>> GPL, but given your right to relicense the whole thing, the same  
>> code should be able to be offered under the GPL...
>> geir
>>> - David Herron
>>> On Sat, May 30, 2009 at 12:31 PM, Mark Wielaard <mark at>  
>>> wrote:
>>>> 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
>>>> equals.
>>>> 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?
>>>> Cheers,
>>>> Mark

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