mether's Fedora Blog

Random thoughts, usually on Fedora

Open source Java? We already have it

Reading blizzard’s take on open source Java, I cant see a reason we should be bothered by it anymore. The arguments in favor of open sourcing Java has already been made pretty clear and the myths about fragmentation and other supposedly negative aspects clearly debunked and nothing has changed for the better in that front but what do we lose ourselves by that? We can’t really call it Java but in practical terms we can run many of the nice software that is written for Java like Azureus, Base or RSSOwl for the desktop or things like Eclipse for the developers which is not tained for a proprietary base anymore or stuff like Apache Tomcat for the servers. Fedora is literally on the cutting edge with this development with a increasingly comprehensive Java stack. We might be an year or so for 100% compatibility by a blind guess. We got a gcj compiler for native code and a gij for bytecode.

Most of the good innovation in the Java space has long since moved into open source projects like the good folks at Apache with JCP process barely catching up. The only sore aspects seems to be that Java-GNOME hasn’t really caught up at all and I was pretty surprised to learn that frysk ( was using it but PyGTK is nothing to sneeze at and we are increasingly moving away from the Java trap. Good times I say.


Written by mether

March 31, 2006 at 11:33 am

Posted in Uncategorized

4 Responses

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  1. catch-up

    You say “we might be an year or so for 100% compatibility by a blind guess”, but this is not the case: Java is a moving target.
    Maybe in a year or so the free implementation will reach 100% compatibility with Java 1.5, but at that time the current version of Java from Sun will be 1.6, with added features.
    Such a catching up game can never be won, 100% compatipibily is impossible, this is why I think the policy adopted by cgj people is correct: fix the focus on certain key applications and make them work.



    March 31, 2006 at 7:35 am

    • Re: catch-up

      Technology is always a moving target. Thats not really a good argument at all. The current GCJ level is good enough to support nearly all the major Free and open source Java apps and thats a very significant achievement.


      April 1, 2006 at 12:47 pm

  2. Thanks for the kind words

    Thanks for the support. We (GNU Classpath/GCJ and friends – kaffe, jamvm, cacao, are really focusing on getting real stuff on your desktop now. And Fedora Core (but also Debian and Ubuntu) have been really helpful here pointing out what kind of things are the popular/important pieces (OpenOffice, Eclipse, Auzereus, RSSOwl, Tomcat, Ant, Jonas, etc.) We hope they all work now for your users.

    We had a developer meeting at Fosdem last month. And one of the main comments was that now that we have delivered a fully free stack we don’t actually get thanks, now we get “we want more!”, “it must be faster!”, “be more compatible!”. We are working on it. Also on the applet viewer and mozilla integration. Honest!




    March 31, 2006 at 1:34 pm

    • Re: Thanks for the kind words

      Yes Mark. Except for Azereus bugs (filed in RH bugzilla) most of these work as good as in the proprietary implementation. Next step would be the GCJ applet in FC6 if we can.


      April 1, 2006 at 9:53 pm

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