By octav on Jun 25, 2009
There is no secret that the Java community would like talented developers around the world to contribute their expertise to the OpenJDK project. There are many ways to contribute and not all of them have to include writing code. Though, I suspect that most of the folks are interested in scratching their itch (read - fix an annoying bug or adding their favorite lang feature). In my case I want to introduce #ifdef in Java (I still miss that from my days programming in C).
With that in mind, I decided to try to become an OpenJDK contributor and see where the community will guide me, based on expertise and skill set.
My enthusiasm was spoiled upon reading the contribution process. Having to fax the SCA is rooted in the 20th century. I pulled the sources from the repository without much fuss and I was pleasantly surprised by how fast is Mercurial. The documentation advises you to find a sponsor. Read ahead, since it seems that a sponsor is needed just for the basic setup .
Building OpenJDK (on Windows) should a lot simpler. The instructions on the project website are generally clear, however I could not find easily any info how to build the sources. I googled the topic and found some instructions which made me cringe. I have some of the software requirements other than cygwin. The rest seems very archaic.
Once I have more time, I'll get back to the build process and I hope to come up with some suggestions on how to improve the process. Perhaps that will be a form of contribution in itself!