Friday, June 08, 2007

GNU forks OpenJDK (despite claims to the contrary)

The folk who have used Firefox code to produce Iceweasel, have now taken OpenJDK and produced "IcedTea".

Apparently impatient with Sun's progress on establishing the code repository, governance model, and replacements for the encumbered parts of the implementation, the GNU project have gone ahead and started the work on their own terms.

Red Hat's Tromey told people at last month's JavaOne meeting that the company were stopping work on GCJ and Classpath to focus their finite resources on OpenJDK.

In announcing the IcedTea project, Haley (also of Red Hat) is keen to say that this is not a fork of the OpenJDK project, and that the code will be contributed back to OpenJDK "once the legal and technical issues are resolved". In the meantime, go and make yourself an IcedTea as an alternative to your cup of Java!

Welcome to the stable of open source Java SE implementation projects.

[p.s. I see that the image of a glass of iced tea that the project chose to front their homepage appears to have been taken from Poor Richard's Restaurant's on-line menu. Perhaps they'll use their own IP there too if they are that serious about free legal issues ;-) ]


Casey said...

For one, RedHat != GNU. As I understand it, IcedTea is largely a way for RedHat to prepare a fully free and buildable Java for their distributions.

For two, the iced tea image appears to be public domain:

robilad said...

Tim, you may be interested in this comment from Mark Reinhold on IcedTea:

"BTW: Nice work, folks -- impressive progress in just one month!"

And you may be interested in the State Of the Coffee Cup session from last DebConf at that has more information about IcedTea, OpenJDK and all that.