Sun Wants a Vibrant OpenJDK Developer Community

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2007-10-15 Print this article Print

But the company remains a benevolent dictator of the OpenJDK Project.

SANTA CLARA, Calif.—Sun Microsystems wants its OpenJDK project to spawn a vibrant developer community during the next year. There are a number of projects under way within the OpenJDK community, and a multilanguage virtual machine project was proposed this past week, Mark Reinhold, chief engineer of Suns Java platform, told attendees Oct. 15 at Suns Open Source Summit press event here. "We also look forward to working more closely with Red Hat on its Iced Tea project," he said.
Some 96 percent of the JDK code has been shipped in source form, along with some binary plugs for the other 4 percent, to which Sun does not have the rights to make that code available, Reinhold said.
"Many of these encumbrances have been overcome, and components have now been made available, while others, including most of the sound engine and some imaging APIs, have not as yet," he said. To read more about how Sun has poured out its Java cup, click here. As for those that refused to open their code, there has been internal debate about whether to "name and shame" the offending parties, but Sun will refrain for now, said Simon Phipps, the chief open-source officer at Sun. Sun is also looking at switching to a new source code management system that would give outside contributors who have proved themselves more freedom with regard to submitting code and making changes, he said. On the issue of governance, Reinhold said that the OpenJDK interim governance board has met twice via teleconference and face-to-face for the first time this past weekend. It is looking to have a draft constitution written by the end of the year, which would likely then be rolled out next spring. "But Sun remains in control of the OpenJDK project as a benevolent dictator, for now," Reinhold added, noting that Sun intended to give up control once the constitution had been ratified. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis in programming environments and developer tools.
Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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