Forward to the past This is the first fruit of the effort started last summer by Joe Darcy to create an open-source JDK 6 code base by removing new features from a clone of the JDK 7 code and then gradually working through the remaining encumbrances and other issues.
Some work remains to be done. At this point OpenJDK 6 doesn’t quite pass all of the compatibility tests in the Java SE 6 JCK, but it’s very close. It also doesn’t yet have a MIDI synthesizer, or support for SNMP. Despite these gaps OpenJDK 6 is, nonetheless, highly usable—it can run NetBeans and Eclipse, and GlassFish and JBoss.
Credits A big thanks to Matthias Klose (aka doko), who did all the packaging work for Hardy Heron. The Hardy packages are built using the IcedTea build harness and patches, so a hearty thanks as well to Lillian Angel, Tom Fitzsimmons, Andrew Haley, Francis Kung, Keith Seitz, and Joshua Sumali—who’ve prepared a similar set of packages for the imminent release of Fedora 9.
One more thing To celebrate this milestone we’ve redesigned the OpenJDK front page. The new layout includes a main panel which refers people who are looking for prepackaged binaries, documentation, or tutorials to the right place. Below that there’s a rolling summary of recent announcements and the latest batch of entries from Planet JDK. Finally, there’s a new installation page which gives step-by-step instructions for installing OpenJDK-based packages in the distributions that provide them; we’ll expand this as more distros ship such packages.