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Sun Finishes OpenJDK Transition

by Ian Roughley on May 08, 2007 |
Today's keynote was the culmination of a year long process to open source the JDK, resulting in a completely build-able JDK now available to developers. As previously reported by InfoQ, the license selected was GNU General Public License v2 (GPLv2). The reason given for the selection is that "GPL forces all changes done in the open shared by all, maximizing the chances that compatibility will be maintained." It will also allow other GPL projects, such as Ubuntu, to distribute Open JDK without license compatibility concerns. Also announced was the interim board. They will be responsible for setting up the constitution, and once established and ratified, the interim board will hold an election to appoint a duly elected board. The interim board consists of:

  • Fabiane Nardon - CTO ZILICS and InfoQ contributor
  • Doug Lea - Professor at SUNY
  • Simon Phipps - Sun Microsystems
  • Mark Reinhold - Sun Microsystems
  • Dalibor Topig - kaffe.org
Today's announcements leave open the question of Sun's response to the Apache Harmony project's recent open letter regarding the JCK licensing terms. Javalobby asks the same questions:

...In my mind, it's pretty obvious that Sun wants to give their open source version of Java the best chance to survive and it sure looks like they're giving a bit of a headstart by dragging out negotiations with Apache over being able to call Harmony Java. What do you guys think? I suppose that Harmony matters for those who don't want to suffer the embrace of the GPL, but for regular Joe Developer, does it matter? I suspect that most developers are going to get their bits the normal way, from java.sun.com...

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