Java 7 also marks the first time that a major Java release will be available in open source from day 1.
OpenJDK is the GPLed version of Sun’s “Hotspot” JVM and class libraries. When the Sun piñata broke open, OpenJDK is one of the jewels that fell out. Because of OpenJDK, we now have Oracle, IBM, RedHat, Apple, Azul, and others all collaborating on the same JVM, ensuring it will run great on all platforms. We have top-notch JVMs for every Linux and BSD flavor. And I believe OpenJDK will mean Java 7 adoption moves much more quickly than Java 5 or 6.
All the best development these days are done by folks like you and me that aren’t afraid of new things. Give us a buildable, open-source project, and we’ll start exploring how we can use it. Because JVM releases used to lag behind on many platforms, and because it wasn’t possible to know…really know…what changed in the underlying codebase, people were usually terrified to make a move. Now that OpenJDK is out there, you can build the JVM on your own, you can understand how the platform works. And you can be confident in making a move to Java 7, taking advantage of everything it offers.
For JRuby users, this means you can start playing with solid OpenJDK7 preview releases right now, with a final release coming out this fall. You can start to take advantage of invokedynamic and NIO2. The platform is finally moving again…and it’s going to be a hell of a ride.
Charles Oliver Nutter, co-lead of the JRuby project, in a blog post discussing the latest JRuby 1.6 release, Java 7 and OpenJDK.