The Free Java devroom opened with an introduction from Tom Marble, followed by a ‘State of OpenJDK talk’ from Mark Reinhold and Joe Darcy. Mark reiterated the outline for JDK7 & 8 published on his blog. The general availability of OpenJDK 7 is planned for the 28th of July, 2011.

Oracle’s plans to continue with OpenJDK. Oracle employs around 20,000 Java developers, working on basically everything that is not the Oracle database. So their interest in Java is not altruistic, but based on rational self-interest. Mark outlined their priorities as:

  1. Keep Java #1
  2. Indirect Revenue
  3. Direct Revenue
  4. Decrease Cost

OpenJDK will continue to use GPLv2 with the Classpath exception as its license, though there is a possibility of moving up to GPLv3. The community bylaws were covered briefly, which sparked some discussion. Mark was careful to state that the current version is a draft; it is not immutable and will change. 4 weeks of discussion are planned, via the gb-discuss list, followed by a final vote to ratify the bylaws. Simon Phipps made some helpful contributions, including suggesting that laws should make sure that there is a transparent TCK license process and that the board be expanded to seven members, potentially allowing existing major contributors to OpenJDK, such as Red Hat, to be represented.

Joe Darcy then spoke on OpenJDK6. Going forward, Kelly O’Hair is to help with the OpenJDK6 release process. Security fixes will continue for OpenJDK6 until at least July 2012 (as 6 is already over three years old), and these will happen three times a year. This may eventually shift to the usual Oracle schedule of four times a year.

The good news is that OpenJDK7 will continue to be developed as it is now, without the issues that have plagued OpenJDK6 due to the separation between it and the proprietary release train. There will also be more transparency with release processes and development will continue to happen in the open.

Update: The Register did a piece on Mark Reinhold‘s talk in the dev. room.