Luckily, we are getting help. The London
Java Community has done a great job of
pushing along information about how to do
builds and providing very constructive and
timely feedback on these topics. And there’s
a developer from SAP named Volker Simonis
who has done a fantastic job at documenting
his own experiences building OpenJDK on a
number of platforms. There are lots of stars
in the community, but we’re always looking
Java Magazine: OpenJDK contributors now
include such companies as Apple, and as you
mentioned, IBM and Twitter. It’s noteworthy
that Twitter joined, even though they are not
a company that gets their revenue from software licensing—they’re an end user of Java.
Smith: This is a very important point. When
I was at Eclipse, we noticed something that
academics and others have written about.
There are different waves of participation in
open source communities. The first wave is
usually one or two organizations that have a significant
code base that, for whatever
reason, they’re interested in
making open source. They are
usually ISVs [independent software vendors], or other enterprise software companies, that
make their revenues directly
from software licensing.
Then, after the project has
proven itself, a second wave
of participation occurs, consisting of companies that are
software companies but don’t
generate their revenue directly
from software licenses. So
software to them is not their
JAVA IN ACTION
Left to right: Oracle’s
director of product
Dalibor Topic, principal
plans for an OpenJDK
Smith and Cecilia Borg,
talk about recognizing
achievements in the
Smith: The OpenJDK community has access—
through a TCK license agreement specifically
for the OpenJDK community—to a compatibility test kit to validate that their builds of
OpenJDK are compatible with the Java SE
specification. This license is free of charge,
but you have to sign the agreement, and we
have to process it, which can take a few weeks.
You can find the agreement on the OpenJDK
Website. We’re trying to keep Java compatible.
Java Magazine: What’s happening now
in terms of industry participation in the
Smith: We announced at 2011 JavaOne that
we were going to begin the process of open
sourcing JavaFX, and we’ve made strides with
initial code contributions, and now we’re
looking to ramp up community participation.
Several organizations are making strategic
use of JavaFX, and we’re hoping to see more
participation in the project. We anticipate
having some exciting announcements related
to JavaFX at JavaOne this year.
Java Magazine: Tell us about the various
groups who are a part of OpenJDK.
Smith: The notion of a group is codified in
the OpenJDK bylaws. A group is a collection
of participants interested in engaging in an
open conversation about a common interest.
There are, for example, groups that focus on
the core libraries, the compiler, and security.
One of the more topical areas right now that
my team is focusing on is the
quality group, where we want
to make it easier for people
to submit and run their own
test cases and test harnesses.
There is a group related to
build. The challenge with both
of these groups, and a number
of our activities, is that we are
trying to push the infrastructure along to keep up with the
demands of the community.
We’re working on a better bug
reporting system, but we also
need a better build and test
story so that people can more
easily get their own builds up
I believe we’ve
commitment to Java
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