Thursday, November 8, 2007

Why Did RedHat Choose OpenJDK ?

RedHat just got itself into the openJDK community and this is apparently big news. Even Jonathan Schwartz, thinks its a momentum for Java!! I'm sure most of you remember the open letters that were written to Sun to make Java open source... OpenJDK was Sun's response to those letters. But all this is history... RedHat's promise has just taken its first step to contribute openly to Java...

But just integrating openJDK with its distribution is not going to help Java... not that Linux never had JRE (Java Runtime Environment). Every DVD distribution with had non-OSS software included jre or anyone could download it from Sun's website.

So what's RedHat going to do with an openJDK?? Firstly, it will be able to test compatibility with Sun's JDK 6 and make sure Java remains "Write Once Run Anywhere"... Only time will tell if it remains this way with the other JDKs

Secondly openJDK does not have classes that are Sun proprietary. RedHat will contribute open-source variants of these classes... I'm wondering how much time will it take to reinvent the wheel ;-)

Thirdly, it had to do it since it was one of those that pressurized Sun to open source Java. I'm wondering why it took RedHat so much time to join the openJDK community if it had it in mind since long!!

All those explanations do not make much sense to me... Sun was already doing very good with all the work in keeping Java version-compatible and language changes didn't have steep learning curves. Any answers from you guys why RedHat's joined openJDK??

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