January 2010


We are pleased to announce the release of IcedTea6 1.7!

The IcedTea project provides a harness to build the source code from
OpenJDK6 using Free Software build tools. It also includes the only
Free Java plugin and Web Start implementation, and support for
additional architectures over and above x86, x86_64 and SPARC via the
Zero assembler port.

What’s New?

  • Updated to OpenJDK6 b17.
  • Alpha version of the new IcedTea NPRuntime based plugin with support for Firefox >= 3.5, Chromium, and other browsers that support NPRuntime (use –enable-npplugin to build it). For xulrunner >= 1.9.2 (used by Firefox >= 3.6), the new plugin is required and the build will automatically enable it if the old plugin is requested.
  • Support added for building with HotSpot 16 using –with-hotspot-build=hs16. This is the same as was released in the proprietary JDK6 update 18.
  • Zero port updated to match the version submitted to OpenJDK as closely as possible.
  • libjpeg7, libjpeg8, libpng 1.4 and libXext >= 1.1.0 supported.
  • Added JNI call tracing using systemtap version 1.0+ when configuring with –enable-systemtap. See tapset/hotspot_jni.stp.
  • Add support for building the Zero assembler port on Hitachi SH.

The tarball can be downloaded from:

The following people helped with the 1.7 release:

Lillian Angel, Gary Benson, Deepak Bhole, Andrew Haley, Andrew John Hughes, Nobuhiro Iwamatsu, Matthias Klose, Martin Matejovic, Edward Nevill, Xerxes RĂ„nby, Robert Schuster,Jon VanAlten, Mark Wielaard and Man Lung Wong.

We would also like to thank the bug reporters and testers!

To get started:

$ tar xzf icedtea6-1.7.tar.gz
$ cd icedtea6-1.7

Full build requirements and instructions are in INSTALL:

$ ./configure [--enable-visualvm --with-openjdk --enable-pulse-java
--enable-systemtap ...]
$ make

The BBC currently have a proposal before OfCom entitled Content Management on the HD FreeView platform. This proposes that OfCom allow them to compress the service information data and only provide the necessary Huffman table to those who license it from the BBC.

Not only does this not prevent anyone from using the service without the table — the video and audio are not encrypted, and the table could be worked out by brute force — but the BBC pretty much acknowledge this in their proposal. It’s all part of taking a chance that this will then allow them to enforce the inclusion of encryption technology on receivers, which will then cause more media companies to buy into HD on FreeView. That itself may or may not happen, but in the process they will make FOSS implementations illegal as they won’t be able to publish source code which includes the Huffman table (despite the idea in 5.28 of the OfCom consultion that FOSS will be fine because FreeSat receivers running Linux exist!)

I strongly suggest that you write a response to the consultation (you have until April the 2nd) so that OfCom understand the negative effect that allowing this will have on the usage of FreeView HD.