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OpenJDK to replace IcedTea in Fedora 9

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Thomas Fitzsimmons updated the Fedora 9 release notes source pages to reflect that Fedora 9 would ship with OpenJDK 6 instead of the IcedTea implementation of OpenJDK 7. Fedora 9 (Sulphur) is due to release in May 2008.

OpenJDK Replaces IcedTea

The OpenJDK 6 packages (java-1.6.0-openjdk*) replace their IcedTea counterparts (java-1.7.0-icedtea*). The Fedora 8 IcedTea package tracks the unstable OpenJDK 7 branch whereas java-1.6.0-openjdk tracks the stable OpenJDK 6 branch. The decision to have OpenJDK 6 replace IcedTea was made for several reasons:

  • Sun has replaced most of the encumbrances for which IcedTea was providing replacements.
  • OpenJDK contributes ~99% of the code in the java-1.6.0-openjdk package.
  • IcedTea’s mandate is to merge as much as possible with OpenJDK, so the differences between IcedTea and OpenJDK should diminish over time.
  • OpenJDK 6 is a stable branch, whereas OpenJDK 7 is unstable and not expected to ship a stable release until 2009.
  • Sun has licensed the OpenJDK trademark for use in Fedora.
  • Shipping both OpenJDK 6 and IcedTea would have been confusing and would have added size to the distribution.

IcedTea continues to provide autotools support, a portable interpreter for ppc and ppc64 support, plugin support, Web Start support and patches to integrate OpenJDK into Fedora. The IcedTea sources are included in the java-1.6.0-openjdk SRPM.

OpenJDK 6 is not Java compatible. Work is underway to certify it as such.

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