Good news or bad news?

A new era for OpenJDK 8 and OpenJDK 11 begins with the transition over to Red Hat

Eirini-Eleni Papadopoulou
OpenJDK 8
© Shutterstock / Alhovik

Red Hat has announced that it will be taking over the leadership for OpenJDK 8 and OpenJDK 11 calling out the need for continued support of the technology and community. But what does this mean for the developer community?

Red Hat announced the transition of OpenJDK 8 and OpenJDK 11 over from Oracle.

While this news came as a natural course of events for some, considering the fact that Red Hat has already been the maintainer of OpenJDK 6 since 2013 and OpenJDK 7 since 2015, it was a real shock and disappointment to others who have been raising concerns about the future of Java.

But before we dig into the discussion on the topic, let’s have a look at some facts about the announcement.

The facts

Red Hat’s announcement on stewarding both OpenJDK 8 and OpenJDK 11 means that the organization guarantees its support of the Java community with update releases for OpenJDK 8 and OpenJDK 11 as well as working with the community “to enable continued innovation in Java.” Here is what Mike Piech said:

Java is in a renaissance moment. It continues to evolve and be a key component of new, emerging architectures. 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.

Mike Piech, vice president and general manager, Middleware, Red Hat

SEE ALSO: “Red Hat being acquired by IBM proves that open source software company value has reached a new high water mark

The discussion so far

The discussion on this breaking news has been hitting up on Reddit with numerous people expressing their take on this turn of events.

As mentioned earlier, some people see this transition as a natural course of events, following the transition of leadership from Oracle to Red Hat for OpenJDK 6 in 2013 and OpenJDK 7 in 2015.

What is more interesting to see, however, is while some believe that Java is better off at the hands of a big organization rather than small/mid companies that would not be capable, resource-wise, of caring for OpenJDK, there are many redditors who voiced their concerns about Java and how its future looks rather dark.

Hopefully we’ll see major programming languages NOT be in the hands of a few large private entities, but the trend seems to be otherwise, excluding a few languages.

Most notably, a redditor drew the attention to Michael Azoff statement, featured in the official press release, that more of Java will move out of Oracle and possibly to Red Hat or other organizations.

The future leadership and control of Java is carefully being managed by current Java SE owner Oracle; this care reflects the importance of Java as an enterprise programming language and platform. Clearly, Oracle wants change, and while it owns Java SE it has handed Java EE to the Eclipse Foundation, which has renamed it Jakarta EE. Red Hat, a significant contributor to the OpenJDK, has stepped up and is stewarding both OpenJDK 8 and OpenJDK 11, which will converge with the Oracle JDK. My guess is we can expect more news on the transition of Java stewardship over the next few years and I believe Red Hat is a safe pair of hands to take on that role. It’s also a better fit with Java being open source and Red Hat being a leader in the open source software community.

Michael Azoff, distinguished analyst, Infrastructure Solutions, Ovum

What is your opinion on this breaking news? Let us know in the poll below!

What's your take on Red Hat taking over the leadership for OpenJDK 8 and OpenJDK 11?

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Eirini-Eleni Papadopoulou
Eirini-Eleni Papadopoulou is an editor for Just finished her masters in Modern East Asian Studies and plans to continue with her old hobby that is computer science.

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2 Comments on "A new era for OpenJDK 8 and OpenJDK 11 begins with the transition over to Red Hat"

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Gino Giuliani

Would have voted but there was no f#ck oracle button

Gary R. Hunt

Awesome article Eirini-Eleni, nice update on the stewardship of Java.