This is most excellent news. Over the last year or so we at Sun have learned a lot from some of Red Hat’s best hackers: Andrew Haley, Mark Wielaard, Tom Fitzsimmons, Tom Tromey, and Anthony Green. They’ve been generous with their advice and patient with our progress toward truly open development.
With the help of other Red Hat folks like Lillian Angel they started the IcedTea project, an experimental JDK 7 meta-build that uses customary free-software build tools and replaces the encumbered binary plugs with code from the GNU Classpath project. It’s been pretty interesting to watch the heavy lifting going on in IcedTea, in particular the collision between GNU Autoconf and the traditional JDK build system.
The signing of these key documents by Red Hat will enable even closer collaboration between engineers at both Red Hat and Sun. I look forward to seeing, among other things:
The best ideas from IcedTea proposed for integration into the main JDK code bases;
Red Hat engineers voted in as full Members of the OpenJDK Community.