Yesterday, Red Hat announced that it will serve as a steward of OpenJDK 8 and OpenJDK 11, following the transition from Oracle. “With this transition”, says Red Hat, “we are affirming our support of the Java community and following a similar path that led to its leadership of both the OpenJDK 6 and OpenJDK 7 projects.”
At the end of January 2019, Oracle officially ended free public updates to Oracle JDK for non-Oracle customer commercial users. These users will no longer be able to get updates without an Oracle support contract. Additionally, Oracle has changed the Oracle JDK license (BCPL) so that commercial use for JDK 11 and beyond will require an Oracle subscription.
The leadership transfer actually happened mid-February, when Red Hat’s Java technical lead, Andrew Haley was assigned as the Lead Maintainer in the JDK 8u Updates and JDK 11u Updates projects in OpenJDK. While Andrew is the lead whose job is to accept backports, the actual people who do the backporting work span multiple companies: Red Hat, SAP, Oracle, Amazon, Google, etc. These vendors share the backporting, reviewing, testing work. OpenJDK 8u, 11u Update Projects is where that collaboration happens, and Red Hat is leading that collaboration.
Additionally, in December 2018, Red Hat announced commercial support for OpenJDK on Microsoft Windows. Red Hat plans to launch OpenJDK in a Microsoft installer in the coming weeks and distribute IcedTea-Web, the free software implementation of Java Web Start, as part of the Windows OpenJDK distribution.
Mike Piech, vice president, and general manager, Middleware, Red Hat notes, ” There is a developer hunger to bring Java into the next generation of development, and Red Hat is a leader in this movement through our involvement in the OpenJDK project. We are helping to lead the way in our efforts to enable users of JDK to have support and innovation in their existing environments. Red Hat remains committed to Java and is excited to have the opportunity to help steward the OpenJDK community.”