Java finally free and open software
It’s been more than two years since Sun Microsystems announced plans to release Java as free software under the General Public Licence. But, finally, an open sourced Java looks to be a reality, thanks, in part, to Red Hat.
In May 2006 Sun Microsystems announced that it was planning to release Java as free software under GPL. And Simon Phipps, the chief open source officer at Sun Microsystems, said late last week that he was “expecting that certainly by the end of this year and hopefully sooner we’ll have all of the source code for Java under the GPL”.
The big step forward, however, came last week when the IcedTea project announced an that OpenJDK (Java development kit) binary had passed the Java Test Compatibility Kit (TCK) and was now included in Fedora 9 X86 32-bit and 64-bit versions.
The IcedTea project was launched in June 2007 by Red Hat as an effort to make OpenJDK usable without requiring non-free software, which would make it possible to include OpenJDK in open source operating systems without restrictions.
OpenJDK passing the TCK last week is a major step forward for a completely free Java. By passing the TCK it means that, despite running without restricted software, OpenJDK operates the same as any other Java SE 6 version.