Sun Wants a Vibrant OpenJDK Developer Community

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.


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