Open source TCK was: JDK 9: General Availability

Andrew Hughes gnu.andrew at
Wed Oct 11 15:59:12 UTC 2017

On 24 September 2017 at 07:46, Andrew Haley <aph at> wrote:
> On 24/09/17 00:51, David Herron wrote:
>>  You make a compelling case and I largely agree with the goal of "open
>> sourcing" the TCK's.  Doing so would go a long way towards truly opening
>> the OpenJDK project.
>> There is a practical question regarding the primary use for the
>> TCK's - which is to certify compliance with the specifications.
>> An open source software project is free to be downloaded, modified,
>> and the modified version distributed at will.
> Not necessarily: there are variants of free licences which don't
> permit some sections to be changed.  But it doesn't really matter what
> licence is used for the TCK itself: the Java Compatible badge would be
> reserved for implementations which had passed TCK Version n.n, as
> posted at  That would be the canonical one true TCK.  Sure,
> people would be able to hack their own copies of the TCK, but what
> would be the point?  The purpose of passing the TCK is to ensure
> compatibility with other implementations.  There isn't any motive to
> claim compliance with a private version of the TCK.

I tend to agree with Andrew on this. Passing the TCK is already a
process based more on trust than source code licensing. It is
taken as part of making such an assertion that the TCK is being
run as shipped with only approved exclusions.

On the other hand, I think trust in the TCK itself could be improved
by making the source code public. Only then is it possible for anyone
to verify that the TCK is testing against the specification, rather than
a particular implementation.

Andrew :)

Senior Free Java Software Engineer
Red Hat, Inc. (

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