OpenJDK projects promoting proprietary builds

Kelly O'Hair Kelly.Ohair at Sun.COM
Sun May 31 18:54:54 UTC 2009

Geir Magnusson Jr. wrote:
> On May 31, 2009, at 1:55 PM, Kelly O'Hair wrote:
>> 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.
> Oh, come on.  I don't know where to begin here.
> 1)  I'm not a "you" :)  I'm really happy OpenJDK exists, but as one of 
> the founder's of Apache Harmony, I think it's good that there are many 
> free/open/libre Java communities.   I'm very interested in floss Java, 
> which is why I pay attention to this community.

I am also really happy all the open source projects exist, and I really
like working on them. But I keep getting this feeling of doing battle.
I don't want to do battle, I want to make progress on something.

> 2) This whole thread is about members of the OpenJDK community 
> complaining about *you* publishing proprietary builds.  They don't seem 
> to feel like a part of "us".

And I don't understand the problem, we have never have published
'open' builds. We could I suppose, and probably should, but we don't.
To a large degree we didn't think it made any sense because the Distros
built their own. So we let people know when the proprietary builds were
available because some people wanted them.
Then other people gets all bent out of shape about it. :^(

It's like trying to get all your relatives to agree, just not possible. :^(

I'll stick my neck out a little here...
If I could somehow make some purely OpenJDK7 built zip bundles available,
with no promises on any test results and with no support.
Could we start with that? Does that help or make things worse.
I want to fix this but am only one person, or half a person sometimes,
so help me out here...
Can you provide specifics on what you would expect of any openjdk7 builds?

Can we start a separate email thread on this?


> geir
> geir
>> -kto
>>>> 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

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