OpenJDK projects promoting proprietary builds

Kelly O'Hair Kelly.Ohair at Sun.COM
Sun May 31 17:55:15 UTC 2009

Geir Magnusson Jr. wrote:
> 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?
                                 we have

Seems like I am reading too much "them vs. us" in these emails.


>>  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" 
> phase...
> ;)
> geir
>>  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

More information about the discuss mailing list