Wednesday Apr 30, 2008

Free Java in Ubuntu 8.04LTS; Coming soon to Fedora 9

Last week, with the release of Ubuntu 8.04LTS, came the debut of the JDK in Ubuntu's Universe repository.  

Universe? So What?

While the JDK had been in Ubuntu's Multiverse before, getting into Universe meant having JDK packages based on OpenJDK6 that were 100% free. This was made possible by the work of a lot of people at Sun and the community (most notably the folks at Fedora cranking on IcedTea).  

The effort to produce the Free implementation started in earnest, as Mark Reinhold points out, last summer when Joe Darcy began creating a Free software "JDK6 code base by removing new features from a clone of the JDK 7 code and then gradually working through the remaining encumbrances and other issues." 

Having a Free implementation of the JDK also opens the doors for packages that depend on a JDK being in Universe, one example being NetBeans, which also made its Universe debut in 8.04LTS. 

Fedora Next

Free Java also means that  Fedora 9 which is due out in a couple of weeks on May 13, will also be able to include an OpenJDK implementation (Fedora, unlike Ubuntu, only accepts Free software).   Specifically, according to Lillian at Red hat's blog, the java-1.6.0-openjdk  package will replace java-1.7.0-icedtea that was in Fedora 8.   Check out the details here on the Fedora wiki.  More hoopla to come on the actual release of Fedora 9.

Mahalo Doko

A huge shout-out to Doko, aka Matthias Klose, the Ubuntu Java ubermensch who did the actual packaging of OpenJDK and then went above and beyond the call of duty to make sure that the latest versions of GlassFish and JavaDB made it into 8.04LTS as well.

Doko and me in an Edinburgh pub last summer at Debconf7.  I owe him a few more of what he's holding in his hand.

Java in Ubuntu -- A Trip down Memory Lane

The JDK first appeared in Ubuntu two years ago in the 6.06LTS release and was made possible by the DLJ (Distribution License for Java) which made Java technology redistributable.  One release later, the JDK was joined in Multiverse by some of its buddies: GlassFish, NetBeans and JavaDB.  In 7.10, the "Java Stack" while still in Multiverse was made up of rev'd component pieces.  And now with 8.04LTS, NetBeans and the JDK are both in Universe and GlassFish and Java DB have been updated. 

Stay tuned for Intrepid Ibex and see where Java lands next!

Java Component
Ubuntu 8.04LTS
Ubuntu 7.10 - Multiverse
Ubuntu 7.04 - Multiverse
Java Dev Kit   Universe: based on OpenJDK6
Multiverse:  6u6
NetBeansIDE  Universe: 6.0.1
5.5.1 v1
5.5, 5.5.1\*
GlassFish  Multiverse: v2u1 
Java DB  Multiverse: 10.3

\*in backport

Want More?

Pau for now... 

Thursday Feb 14, 2008

First source release for Open JDK 6 project (Whew!)

Its taken a little longer than initially intended but, as of an hour ago, the Open JDK6 source has been loosed upon the world!  While this release is primarily targeted at the GNU/Linux distributions  there are also versions for Solaris (both x86 and SPARC) and Windows.  You can get them all here on the download page.

The end of the beginning 

This initial tarball comes with matching binary plugs.  As Joe Darcy, who's been leading this project within Sun, explains:

Not all of the source code that makes up the JDK is available under an open-source license. In order to build an OpenJDK binary from source code, you must first download and install one or more of the following files from which the build process will copy over "binary plugs" for these encumbered components.

And this is where the community comes in, to help both with these final encumbrances as well as to address the outstanding compatibility issues.

Hack on brothers and sisters! 

Coming Soon 

And while the community is lending a helping hand, Joe's team will be sallying forth and working on a new drop.  This follow-on release will be out within the next couple of weeks and should include:

  • JAX-WS 2.0 -> 2.1 upgrade
  • Removal of the binary plug for the imaging classes
  • Exclusion of SNMP support if the binary plugs aren't present
  • Updated README-Builds files that point at the right locations.
Pau for now...

Monday Nov 05, 2007

Red Hat joins the Free Java Party in a big way

A while ago when Sun first announced that it was open sourcing the Java platform, Red Hat joined members of the community in voicing their support.  In fact they even put a big thank you on their home page.

This morning they've gone even further and turned their kind words into action by announcing that they have signed Sun's contributor agreement (SCA).   By signing the SCA, all Red Hat engineers are now able to participate in any and all of Sun's Free and open source projects. 

Maybe more importantly, and certainly more timely, in addition to the SCA, Red Hat has also signed Sun's Open JDK Community TCK License and have joined the OpenJDK community.

Iced Tea anyone?

By signing the TCK license Red Hat now has access to the test suite (TCK) to verify that whatever JDK derivatives they create are fully compatible with the Java SE 6 spec.  This is particularly good news for Free Java lovers everywhere since there still remains 4% of the JDK code that is encumbered (i.e. owned by 3rd parties who not agreed to open source their bits).  Over the past months, folks here at Sun have been working quite diligently in clearing these last few hold outs.

At the same time our folks have been burning the midnight oil, a bunch of the engineers with Red Hat/Classpath project have been putting in a lot of time working on their own completely Free JDK  playfully dubbed, "IcedTea."  Now with the TCK/SCA in hand this should drive greater alignment between the two projects and the IcedTea team will not only be able to contribute directly to OpenJDK, but also  test for compatibility.

This is good news for everyone.  The desire for a completely Free JDK, sooner rather than later, is not only of interest to Sun and Red Hat but was a big topic at FOSSCamp last week.  Now with Red Hat throwing their hat in the ring (sorry, I couldn't resist the bad pun) things should start happening a lot sooner to the benefit of GNU/Linux and other Free distros everywhere.

Thanks Red Hat and welcome!

Pau for now...

Thursday Apr 19, 2007

A Jolt of Caffeine for Ubuntu 7.04

As I mentioned in my last entry, back in November Sun and Canonical announced that GlassFish would be included in the next Ubuntu release.  Well today's the day.  Ubuntu 7.04 nee "Feisty Fawn" is out and not only is GlassFish v1 included in the Ubuntu Multiverse but so are NetBeans 5.5, JDK 6 and Java DB 10.2 -- the whole Java stack in one location.   A big plus for developers looking to harness Java with minimal hassles. (Check out the details)

Getting to Today:  The effort to package these puppys for inclusion turned out to be no small feat.  Sun is new to the packaging game and there is quite steep learning curve.   Thanks to a lot of  late nights and a few weekends Tom Marble and  Harpreet Singh, with a bunch of help and advice from the Canonical crew and Sun legal,  got it done.  (Ironically, Canonical will be coming out to Sun's Menlo Park campus in a couple of weeks to put on a technical workshop explaining, among other things, how to package for Ubuntu.)

Getting to Tomorrow:  In general the distro model with its modular packages is where Sun needs to get to.  We need this so that we can get more of our software into GNU/Linux distros and we need this for our own Solaris.  The monolithic-wad model that we've been employing works fine for our more traditional customer but isnt the right approach for the growth (or as Sun calls it "Red Shift") market.  The hyper growth market needs to be able to rapidly include and assemble components and functionality themselves.  This requires packaging and package management.  I know that Ian's been talking about this as has Greg P.  I would love to see us packaging more of our software for inclusion in Ubuntu as well as other distros.

But thats, a huge toast to the Ubuntu community for delivering another great release (right on time!) and to Tom, Harpreet and the Canonical crew for making sure that it was fully caffeinated!

P.S. In honor of this red-letter day we have created special commemorative mints and gum.


Pau for now...



I look after Sun's relationships with the various GNU/Linux communities as well as our relationship with the FSF. Last year, my family and I emigrated from Silicon Valley to Austin, TX.


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