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My Heart Is An Apple

Posted by editor on May 18, 2007 at 7:37 AM PDT

Of building, or wanting to build, OpenJDK

So, I wanted to do a poll question as a counter to last week's ("What was the most important announcement from the JavaOne 2007 general sessions?") that would get into the question of what wasn't in the Tuesday keynotes at JavaOne. Something like "What was conspicuous by its absence at the JavaOne general sessions?" Of course, the problem of finding things that are missing is much harder than pounding on what's present. When editing feature articles, determining if something important is missing -- if there's been a jump in logic or a critical step left out -- is both vitally important and profoundly difficult. For the poll, I started coming up with a list of things that had been talked up in advance of JavaOne, or mentioned in previous keynotes, and asked some friends for help. But I don't feel like we ever came up with a really satisfactory list of options, and it was burdensome to go through the keynote videos to ensure that items from our list weren't covered. For example, there's been little talk this week about the invokedynamic bytecode to support dynamic languages on the JVM, but it looks like it's alluded to by a single slide at 21:12 (no, not a Rush reference, calm down) into the first segment of the Sun Technical Session.

For what it's worth, some of the things that got brought up as possible responses for this poll idea were a JDK 7 timeline, a new properties syntax, language-level XML support (mentioned as a possible JDK 7 feature way back at JavaOne 2005), multimedia, Java EE 6 re-proposal, JSF 2 with Facelets, and a response to Harmony's open letter. It's an interesting list, but I couldn't get past the thought that there were probably bigger things that people were expecting... so maybe that would be a good topic for the comment section.

So for today's poll, I went back to the previous question about the JavaOne 2007 announcements, and kept in mind Ethan Nicholas' complaint that the consumer JRE has been overlooked in all the JavaFX frenzy. The last poll had the consumer JRE as a choice (and the top vote-getter), along with two responses for Java FX (desktop and mobile). And that leaves one other interesting response from the previous poll: the announcement that, save for a few encumbered bits available only as binaries, OpenJDK has now been completely released. Maybe it didn't get talked up as much because it was fairly well expected, but the fact remains that the complete Java class library, runtime, and compiler are now available under the GPL.

And what are you going to do with it? That's where I found the inspiration
for today's Poll, which asks:
"Have you downloaded and built OpenJDK yet?" So cast your vote on the front page, then check out the
results page for current tallies and discussion.

Have I downloaded and built it? Well, that gets to the title of today's blog: it doesn't build on any of my four viable computers, because they're all Macs, which is not an OpenJDK target, and the ones that I could plausibly put Linux on are PowerPC, not Intel. Sigh. It would be nice to have an up-to-date Java, but that's another blog for another time...

Having mentioned it above, do have a look at