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JavaOne: Sun indicates that most Java is open source

However, Sun hopes that the open source community will help solve an issue related to Java source code for which Sun does not have sufficient rights to release it under GPLv2, as stated by Rich Sands, Community Marketing Director. OpenJDK on Sun. While he has declined to comment on the percentage of “problem” code out of the total 6.5 million lines of Java code, Sands has indicated that the problem is primarily related to 2D graphics technology, particularly that related to rasterization. of graphics and fonts. Although there are already open source alternatives, they do not support all the necessary features of the Java 2D API.

At the moment, Sun will offer plug-ins for Java 2D technology that can be combined with the rest of Java available under GPLv2, giving developers full access to the Java Development Kit (JDK). In the future Sun plans to work with the open source community to rewrite the components involved in the problem so that they can be replaced and made available under the GPLv2 license.

OpenJDK-based software implementations can use the Sun Java SE 6 Compatibility Kit to help developers verify compatibility with current Java SE 6 specifications.

The release of Java as open source represents one of the largest code donations ever made to the developer community, according to Sands, although the fact that the software is publicly available is not enough. As Sands has stated, “Open source developers need to have rules and governance on how to use and interact with the codebase.”

For this reason, Sun is establishing an interim monitoring board for OpenJDK to create a constitution and get community approval for next year. Sands has not disclosed the identities of the five people who will make up the board, although only two of them are likely to be Sun employees. Once constituted, the OpenJDK community will vote to elect a new governing board, where two of the participants will be Sun employees.