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Why Azul JDK republish as OpenJDK

 
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Hi All,

Getting some doubts about Azul JDK Vs Oracle Open JDK and others OpenJDK. I know just some days before Oracle remade the JDK as open again. For me to get strongly clarified, why these OpenJDK versions are published? And what for they're made off? If I think to my understanding if they implement OracleJDK specification for their custom modification, won't this be a violation of Copyright? OpenJDK is meant for developers or enterprises? If not for enterprises, then the team who build OpenJDK for research? Can anyone or all provide some clarity on this? Why these many OpenJDK versions (Redhat OpenJDK, Adopt, etc)?

Thanks for your time.
 
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Oracle's JDK is not "open", it's just that they have relaxed license terms. Even Sun's JDK was not open-source. Oracle contributed to the development of OpenJDK, but their binaries are built from their proprietary source code, not the OpenJDK source code.

OpenJDK, on the other hand, is 100% open-source. You can download the source code, compile it, even customize it - though redistributing the modifications may be licence-restricted.

Azul has taken OpenJDK, built their own binaries and sells them with paid support. Much like you can obtain paid support for the PostgreSQL database even though it is free with many Linux distros.

Speaking of Linux distros, most of them include OpenJDK and some even appear to install it as part of basic OS installation. The distro builders simply wrap their own distro build processes around the basic OpenJDK source to create an OpenJDK OS package. The difference between them and Azul is that they only provide support for the package, and little or no support for problems internal to OpenJDK.
 
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What Tim said, but additionally, if I am not confused, the difference between what is contained in Oracle's distribution and the OpenJDK version was at a maximum at Java 8, and is now at a minimum at Java 17, with a decrease in the difference between them monotonically decreasing between "Old" Java 8 and "New" Java 17.

The legal differences remain, but the difference you would expect to see in contents, if I understand correctly, have gone steadily down.

To put it another way, the differences between what the following command would output for Oracle/OpenJDK went down substantially between versions 9 and 17:
java --list-modules

I have heard fairly authoritative persons say recently that "what is included" is essentially the same at this point, which certainly wasn't true with older versions.

 
Tim Holloway
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Sun was a great company, but they didn't know how to make money off their ideas, which is how Oracle ended up owning them. Oracle knew how to make money, but it was based on the old mainframe model where you held a semi-monopoly on a critical resource and squeezed. That doesn't work so well in the modern world where so many free alternatives are available. Presumably, that's why they're backing off on the proprietary route now.

Red Hat knew how to make money on free software, and so much of my retirement is going to be funded by having bought shares in Red Hat shortly after they went public and watching them skyrocket until IBM ate them. By then, they could have almost eaten IBM.
 
Jesse Silverman
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Agreed with Tim.

My take-away tho is that the primary difference between the OpenJDK release of Java SE 17 and Oracle's download is just licensing at this point, whereas for older versions what was actually included was materially different.
 
Mohammed Sardar.
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Tim Holloway wrote:Oracle's JDK is not "open", it's just that they have relaxed license terms. Even Sun's JDK was not open-source. Oracle contributed to the development of OpenJDK, but their binaries are built from their proprietary source code, not the OpenJDK source code.

OpenJDK, on the other hand, is 100% open-source. You can download the source code, compile it, even customize it - though redistributing the modifications may be licence-restricted.

Azul has taken OpenJDK, built their own binaries and sells them with paid support. Much like you can obtain paid support for the PostgreSQL database even though it is free with many Linux distros.

Speaking of Linux distros, most of them include OpenJDK and some even appear to install it as part of basic OS installation. The distro builders simply wrap their own distro build processes around the basic OpenJDK source to create an OpenJDK OS package. The difference between them and Azul is that they only provide support for the package, and little or no support for problems internal to OpenJDK.



Tim, I like to add a little more clarity to my thoughts from your clarification, So OpenJDK is different from Oracle Licensed Java?  When saying so, the entrepreneur Azul takes the OpenJDK to modify and resell the product but not the Oracle Licensed one? Or it's up to them? I'm a bit confused about this. When Oracle has their own, how do they allow others to take a copy and restructure it and resell? Basically, the circling thought is will the other who redistributing the JDK will modify according to the enterprise need?
 
Jesse Silverman
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I didn't think it was the case that there is any meaningful difference anymore in "What stuff you get" between OpenJDK and Oracle.
The difference is all about contracts/servicing/licensing only at this point.

On the other hand, Azul themselves are experts in advanced garbage collection, I mostly know them as the best place to go for the best and most detailed information on garbage collection that is far more than the average person needs or ever cares to know.

I don't remember if that is somehow a special product or VM or they mix in their Super-Garbage-Collection options into the JDK they deliver.

For the most part, there are important licensing/servicing/contract differences between the different distributions, not technical ones that you can see at compile or runtime.

In the past, you had more of those, which were due to Oracle not having open-sourced all of the JDK components yet at that time.

Cheers,
Jesse
 
Tim Holloway
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Mohammed Sardar. wrote:
Tim, I like to add a little more clarity to my thoughts from your clarification, So OpenJDK is different from Oracle Licensed Java?  When saying so, the entrepreneur Azul takes the OpenJDK to modify and resell the product but not the Oracle Licensed one? Or it's up to them? I'm a bit confused about this. When Oracle has their own, how do they allow others to take a copy and restructure it and resell? Basically, the circling thought is will the other who redistributing the JDK will modify according to the enterprise need?



In a word, yes. It can be confusing since I believe that Oracle was hosting at least some of the OpenJDK project and has always been a major contributor, even when the company in question was still Sun Microsystems. However, any resemblance between Oracle proprietary source code and OpenJDK source code is entirely at their discretion. And indeed, that was the crux of the temporary split - Oracle promised entire functional units of the Java ecosystem that OpenJDK did not have. As long as the standard certification suites can pass, both can officially be considered as "Java" even if they have entirely different internal resource management, garbage collection and even API classes.

Azure had two options. One, take the OpenJDK from public repositories and work from there. Or two, license Oracle's own proprietary source and work from that. Undoubtedly Oracle would charge a hefty sum for that second option, and at the end of the day, people who only want standard Java without the Oracle extensions wouldn't care.
 
Mohammed Sardar.
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Thanks, Tim It makes little sense to my mind than before this post.
 
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