OpenJDK Governing Board Minutes: 20011/4/21

Dr Andrew John Hughes gnu_andrew at
Mon May 9 12:06:34 UTC 2011

On 9 May 2011 11:14, Mark Wielaard <mark at> wrote:
> On Sun, 2011-05-08 at 23:14 +0100, Dr Andrew John Hughes wrote:
>> From the OpenJDK source code base, it looks like the proprietary parts
>> of Oracle's JDK slot in pretty cleanly to the OpenJDK tree.  If this
>> is the case, is there any good reason why GPL binaries could not be
>> provided, with the option to add on the proprietary extensions
>> (alternative font renderer, colour management, graphics renderer,
>> plugin, web start) under a separate license?  It seems pretty easy to
>> me to provide a default which downloads both parts for the majority of
>> users who don't care, while allowing those who do to just pick the
>> Free part.
> Yes, that is the idea behind the "Assembly Exception" to the GPL that
> OpenJDK uses. and
> That allows you to distribute everything under the GPL with the
> exception of those proprietary modules. Of course that doesn't work for
> GNU/Linux distributions, which will want to use a fully free JDK
> distribution, but it can for Oracle (or anybody else) who wants to
> distribute all the free code freely, plus some binary blobs.

Yes, precisely, there is both the technical and legal means to provide the GPL
components separate from the proprietary ones.  But Oracle don't.  I'd
be interested
to know why not.

All not doing so seems to create is confusion.

> Cheers,
> Mark

Andrew :-)

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