Java finally fully free and open

Bryan Sant bryan.sant at gmail.com
Fri Jun 20 11:25:49 MDT 2008


For anyone who missed the slashdot blurb

http://www.jboss.org/feeds/post/java_is_finally_free_and_open
http://java.dzone.com/news/red-hats-icedtea-project-power

IcedTea is a fork of Sun's OpenJDK code sponsored by RedHat.  About 5%
of the Java code base wasn't released as GPL'd code because Sun didn't
own the code or there were patent infringement issues.  IcedTea took
parts of the GNU Classpath library (a clean-room implementation of the
Java class libraries) and re-wrote some other parts from scratch and
were able to fill in the missing 5% of the JDK with fully free
implementations.  The IcedTea project will continue, but it's
improvements will be merged back up with Sun's OpenJDK source and
IcedTea is being released as "OpenJDK", not under the name IcedTea.

If you're running Ubuntu, you can install OpenJDK if you have the
'universe' repo enabled:
sudo apt-get install openjdk-6-jdk

You can also install the NetBeans IDE:
sudo apt-get install netbeans

The OpenJDK version available right now isn't this latest 100%
compatible one, but I've been running it for months with no problem.
The package will be updated soon with the 100% compatible package soon
I'm sure.

Hate the Java language?  JRuby is doing very well, and netbeans is
fast becoming the Ruby IDE of choice.  Sun hired the JRuby guys a year
ago, and have ensured that Ruby is very well supported on the JVM.
Sun just recently hired the Jython guys too:
http://www.theserverside.com/news/thread.tss?thread_id=48627  So
python support will be much better in the near future (yea!).  A GPL'd
(with linking exception) Java is good for everyone.

-Bryan



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