ANNOUNCING: Sun has open sourced its Java implementation, named OpenJDK

; Date: Thu Jul 26 2007

Tags: OpenJDK

SANTA CLARA, CA (Nov 13, 2006) - (Somewhat tongue in cheek...) Today is a day which will be henceforth known as Java Freedom Day. Today Sun announces the immediate availability of portions of the source of its Java SE and ME implementations. It is available under the GPLv2. You can find out more at ( and at

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (JavaOne 2007) - Today is the second day which shall henceforth be known as Java Freedom Day. On this, the Second Java Freedom Day, Sun announces the immediate availability of even more of the source of its Java SE implementation, still available under the GPLv2. Sun also announces an interim governance board, interim contribution policies, etc. You can find out more at (

Okay, so if this seems like it's coming from the wayback machine ... I have been attending ( OSCON this week, and am somewhat surprised at the number of people who did not know that we, Sun, have open sourced our Java implementation. Given this I thought it would be nice to make the announcements all over again.

Information about the OpenJDK project is ( on the project web site, and contains another view to describing the open sourcing of Java.

Our current status is that we managed to open source 95% of the JDK source. The code is the train of software leading toward the eventual JDK7 release, however the Java7 project has not officially spun up (no platform JSR for Java7 has been started, for example). We have been rather busy with creating the OpenJDK project, please have patience. The policies and governance, as said above, is in an interim status. We are heading toward having a fully open and collaborative project worthy of the significant role Java plays in the computer industry. To the extent we are not there yet, please have patience, and if you have any advice please come to our mailing lists and discuss with us.

The 5% which we were unable to open source interferes with our goals for the OpenJDK. Namely, it blocks integration of the OpenJDK with operating system distributions such as Linux, it blocks ports of the OpenJDK to other operating systems such as xyzzyBSD, and it blocks the ubiquity which Java deserves. Clearly we all want these encumbrances to be cleared. As I told members of the Cairo team who came by to extoll the virtues of their software, now is the time and the window of opportunity to work with us to clear the encumbrances. There is work under way in experimental collaboration with the Classpath project (under a project named Iced Tea) to explore one way to clear the encumbrances.

I hope this will educate a few more people that the OpenJDK exists and is cool stuff.

Source: (

About the Author(s)

David Herron : David Herron is a writer and software engineer focusing on the wise use of technology. He is especially interested in clean energy technologies like solar power, wind power, and electric cars. David worked for nearly 30 years in Silicon Valley on software ranging from electronic mail systems, to video streaming, to the Java programming language, and has published several books on Node.js programming and electric vehicles.