Oracle's JVM Strategy

At JavaOne, Paul Hohensee and I presented Oracle's JVM strategy, which expands on and details our published Java SE strategy. For those of you who did not have the benefit of being there, here's a summary of our current plan:

  • JRockit and HotSpot will be merged into single JVM, incorporating the best features from both
  • The result will be contributed incrementally to OpenJDK
  • Some (existing) value-adds, such as those in JRockit Mission Control will remain proprietary (and licensed commercially)
  • Oracle will continue to distribute free (gratis) JDK and JRE binaries which includes some closed source goodies
  • The JVM convergence will be a multi-year process

The impact of this strategy was also discussed during the OpenJDK BoF, where we provided the following answers:  

  • We will continue to maintain an open (OpenJDK) and a closed implementation
  • Sun's Java for Business and Oracle's JRockit Mission Control, JRockit Real Time and JRockit Virtual Edition remain proprietary value-adds and continue to be licensed on a commercial basis as premium products
  • We will continue to provide an enterprise support offering for the free (gratis) Oracle JDK
  • Code in the JVM required to support proprietary value-adds will in general not be open sourced
  • The overwhelming majority of all JVM work we do will go into OpenJDK (this includes all performance features from JRockit)
  • Certain parts of our closed implementation are closed because of 3rd party encumbrances. The font rasterizer is a good example. We would like to see these replaced by open source components, but will not pursue it short term since our developers are occupied with higher priority projects such as JDK 7
  • We are interested in (quality) contributions from the community in these areas

We estimate that the contribution of code from JRockit into OpenJDK will be one of the largest - if not the largest - single contributions to the project since its inception.

Comments:

Wasn't the problem with the font rasterizer already solved years ago in OpenJDK/IcedTea? Certainly it would be a good idea to finally switch to FreeType because the rendering quality of Oracle's renderer is even below the quality of Window's or Mac's native renderers. Of course it would be necessary that Oracle's Java would obey the font rendering settings as other toolkits like GTK or Qt do and behave accordingly.

Posted by steve on November 09, 2010 at 10:44 PM PST #

What about Mac OS X 10.7 Lion lack of a JVM?

Posted by Oscar Fernández on November 09, 2010 at 11:06 PM PST #

Thanks for these good news. Any information or decision regarding open JDK support for Mac OS, since Apple is leaving the game ?

Posted by Antoine Sabot-Durand on November 09, 2010 at 11:10 PM PST #

Thanks for clarifying. Though I doubt the anti-oracle people will be satisfied with the explanation. I look forward to the next jdk release.

Posted by Peter Lin on November 10, 2010 at 02:06 AM PST #

As far as you know, is there any plan for a MacOSX support of the JVM form Oracle side? And if the answers is "no in the short terms" do you think that Oracle will ever take it into account? Thanks in advance

Posted by Gian Carlo Pace on November 10, 2010 at 05:18 AM PST #

Hi! The problem with your statement is that Oracle has blown away all trust, so I have to ask for specifics: 1. WHEN will the free releases be done? At the same time as the pay-versions, or 12 months later? 2. For what platforms will these release be done? OSX? Ubuntu? Fedora? Android? BlackBerry? Symbian? 3. Under what restrictions will you release the JVM? Can it be used for all uses, or only on some devices? 4. How many developers will work on the free version compared to the for-pay version? 5. Will the for-pay versions be licensed under a known public price list, or a "Call for prices" scheme? 6. So, they free/gratis version of the JDK will have closed source pieces in it, doesn't that mean that they can't be distributed automatically with Ubuntu? Why do you insist on this? Can't you make it all open source? This absolutely stinks "setup"! Sorry, you have no cred left, I have to ask these questions! Mats

Posted by Mats Henricson on November 10, 2010 at 07:49 AM PST #

I would also like to ask if you can provide any information concerning a Mac OS Version of Open JDK or the free distributed JDK binaries. Thanks in advance. Regards Stefan

Posted by Stefan Scheidt on November 10, 2010 at 03:15 PM PST #

Hi, I'll try to answer some of the questions. > Wasn't the problem with the font rasterizer already solved years ago in OpenJDK/IcedTea? No. I checked with my ex-Sun colleagues and they say that Sun made the OpenJDK contribution that serves as a font rasterizer but that it was not considered "good enough" to replace the one in the closed Sun JDK. That situation still remains. We would like to fix this, but have no schedule for it at this point. > OSX We are investigating this. I can't say more at present. > WHEN will the free releases be done? At the same time as the pay-versions, or 12 months later? The main release train remains the free (OpenJDK + gratis Oracle JDK) release train. No change from pre-acquisition. Value-add products such as JRockit Mission Contorl add features and will be released either at the same time, or later. > For what platforms will these release be done? OSX? Ubuntu? Fedora? Android? BlackBerry? Symbian? I assume you ask about our gratis Oracle JDK? For JDK 6, no change. We are working on platform support for JDK 7 right now and had planned to share as soon as it's finished. It will remain approximately the same as for JDK 6. Ubuntu is on our current shortlist along with other popular developer platforms. For Fedora we believe community-supported OpenJDK is the right answer. There are no current plans for a gratis Oracle JDK on platforms we consider "embedded". Again, this is how Sun had it set up and represents no change in policy. However, the boundary between "embedded" and general purpose is blending and we are closely monitoring this. > Under what restrictions will you release the JVM? Can it be used for all uses, or only on some devices? For now it remains the same as pre-acquisition, read the license. > How many developers will work on the free version compared to the for-pay version? I would expect the vast majority to use the gratis Oracle JDK, some (mainly Linux developers) to use OpenJDK. The "premium" products add management and deployment capabilities for the enterprise, not developer features. If you're curious about the details, look on our public web sites for JRockit Mission Control, JRockit Real Time, JRockit Virtual Edition and Java for Business. > Will the for-pay versions be licensed under a known public price list, or a "Call for prices" scheme? Our price list is public. > So, they free/gratis version of the JDK will have closed source pieces in it, doesn't that mean that they can't be distributed automatically with Ubuntu? Correct, unless Ubuntu and we agree on distribution rights. > Why do you insist on this? Can't you make it all open source? As I said, our long-term goal to replace remaining closed-source components in the gratis JDK with open-source equivalents. However, our JDK has an extremely large user base and we have high quality requirements. We will not accept anything that is perceived as a regression. Replacing the remaining closed code is a significant development project in itself, and we have decided to prioritize other things for the time being - specifically finishing up JDK 7 and then JDK 8 according to our communicated plans. You don't need to agree with this priority. But you can do something about it; join OpenJDK and start contributing code! > This absolutely stinks "setup"! Sorry, you have no cred left, I have to ask these questions! You are entitled to an opinion. I don't expect it to change based on anything I say or write here. However, I know that your concerns are unfounded, and believe that we - over time - will prove them wrong by delivering according to our promises. Henrik

Posted by Henrik Stahl on November 10, 2010 at 04:07 PM PST #

a good news for Java

Posted by s3051024 on November 10, 2010 at 04:49 PM PST #

Hi Henrik! "[...] they say that Sun made the OpenJDK contribution that serves as a font rasterizer but that it was not considered "good enough" to replace the one in the closed Sun JDK [...]" As far as I know the current renderer in OpenJDK is not "good enough" to replicate the bugs of the proprietary renderer which lead to the abhorrent font rendering results of Oracle JDK. Quality-wise, FreeType's rendering is miles ahead of the proprietary one (even while not using all fo FreeType's possibilities). Isn't that a more precise description of the current situation? Judging from your comments I assume that i still have to decide between good font rendering (OpenJDK) and responsive GUIs (Oracle JDK) in the Java 7 time-frame?

Posted by steve on November 10, 2010 at 07:55 PM PST #

@steve: I find the font rendering quality of the Oracle JDK good, why do you say that? Plus I don't remember anybody using GUI Java apps at work complaining about font rendering quality?

Posted by Herve Girod on November 10, 2010 at 10:17 PM PST #

The clarity here is an absolute relief. The Java community is very uneasy and already some organizations are jumping ship. This type of communication is vitally important and I think I speak for the entire user base when I say the transparency is not only appreciated, but vital to the survival of the Java platform!

Excellent post, I hope to see more of these! (daily/weekly/monthly)

Posted by Jon Fisher on November 10, 2010 at 11:30 PM PST #

I agree with steve that Oracle's renderer has poor quality. I think Oracle should hire better Java Engineers.

Posted by Carlos Barreto on November 11, 2010 at 12:45 AM PST #

This is great news I applaud the decision to reduce jvms and take the best feature of each. Also, please make sure the jvm problem I reported is fixed. I wrote about it in my blog. It is the lastest entry. http://www.myuniportal.com/blog Keep up the great work!! Tony Anecito ("I am the future of java") Founder/CEO MyUniPortal http://www.myuniportal.com 2010 JavaOne Dukes Award Winner

Posted by Tony Anecito on November 11, 2010 at 01:21 AM PST #

Henrik: thanks very much for the information and clarifications. The lack of dialog between Oracle and the community has been very disturbing for this long time Java developer, but getting disclosures such as this really do help. Perhaps you could encourage your other colleagues working with Java to be equally forthcoming? :o) Anyway, Thanks again.

Posted by Peter Ashford on November 11, 2010 at 04:14 AM PST #

Hello Henrik! You said: "We are working on platform support for JDK 7 right now and had planned to share as soon as it's finished. It will remain approximately the same as for JDK 6. Ubuntu is on our current shortlist along with other popular developer platforms. For Fedora we believe community-supported OpenJDK is the right answer." What does this mean exactly? Currently the Sun/Oracle gratis JDK6 runs perfectly well on Fedora. Are you planning to depart from that or is Fedora just not going to be officially supported, but will actually be able to run gratis JDK7? Regards, Peter

Posted by Peter Levart on November 11, 2010 at 04:34 AM PST #

Good to hear all the performance-related work will still go into OpenJDK. I feared that Oracle would try a money-grab by charging for the 'performance-plus' JVM.

Posted by Peter Runge on November 11, 2010 at 05:38 AM PST #

Thanks for the continuing candour in the face of considerable (understandable) angst. Rgds Damon

Posted by Damon Hart-Davis on November 12, 2010 at 07:19 PM PST #

Hi Henrik, What is oracle thinking about apache software foundation's statement about to leave on jcp? (https://blogs.apache.org/foundation/entry/statement_by_the_asf_board1) Will you make an official statement for this? I'm worried on this (i think most open source community also), because apache is one of the most important contributer in open source java projects. Thanks in advance.

Posted by Saban Ulutas on November 14, 2010 at 05:56 AM PST #

Hi Peter Levart, You can find a list of supported system configurations for the Oracle JDK at http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javase/system-configurations-135212.html . The list for JDK 6 doesn't include Fedora. It's nice to hear that it runs well anyway. Dalibor Topic Java F/OSS Ambassador Java Platform Group

Posted by Dalibor Topic on November 14, 2010 at 09:59 PM PST #

Hi Dalibor Topic, I must say I have never really checked the official support list before. I know that in the past (the J2SE 1.3 days), great struggles were made for JDK/JRE to be able to run on as much different Linux distributions as possible. Mainly by depending on old version of system libraries while some distributions were already shipping newer incompatible versions. I guess Linux APIs have stabilized since those days and it's not so hard to compile a native app (JDK) which is compatible with most distributions. Regards, Peter

Posted by Peter Levart on November 15, 2010 at 05:28 AM PST #

Hi, How about the source code of JAVA compiler will that be open as before ?

Posted by S. kumar on December 12, 2010 at 07:48 PM PST #

Google Android presently has greater than 300k phones activated daily. Not sure that anyone will be a significant challenger for them anytime soon.

Posted by Alla Castellanos on December 13, 2010 at 02:30 AM PST #

Hi Henrik, would you have any information on Oracle's JVM strategy when it comes to the database's internal JVM "aurora" ? That JVM is really sluggish and still on language version 5.

Posted by Mark Rynbeek on December 13, 2010 at 08:10 PM PST #

I came up with a good idea IMHO about how to access native C++ from Java, and searched the Web to see if anyone had done anything similar. I did not find anything, but I landed on this portion of your presentation slides:     - Faster native code interfaces: C <-> Java         * JNI designed to be difficult to use: invent something else Since I found nothing, I decided to build it myself. I named it JavaCPP and made it available on this site:      http://code.google.com/p/javacpp/ I think it would be great to have this kind of tool integrated in Java! I based it on JNI because that is what is available today, but nothing prevents a cleaner implementation..

Posted by Samuel Audet on February 20, 2011 at 05:35 PM PST #

Oracles_jvm_strategy.. Great! :)

Posted by blogs.oracle.com on April 26, 2011 at 05:03 AM PDT #

has the other hypervisor support been removed from jrockit ve

the latest version only seems to support ovm and vbox

older releases could also dop vmware and vmware-esx

Posted by guest on June 16, 2011 at 11:40 AM PDT #

This is the beginning of the end boys. Might else well write a new laguage and drop java.

Posted by Upset on June 20, 2011 at 06:50 AM PDT #

Alla: your comment shows its age. Oracle and Google are currently duking it out over patents. Just a minor fact but when there are battles, things get shaken up.

Posted by Jason on September 14, 2011 at 01:18 AM PDT #

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Henrik Stahl is VP of Product Management in the Java Platform Group at Oracle, and is responsible for product strategy for Java ME and SE.

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