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Eclipse Foundation Launches Adoptium Working Group Focused on AdoptOpenJDK Mission

The Eclipse Foundation this week announced the formation of the Eclipse Adoptium Working Group, a collaboration of vendors supporting the efforts of the Eclipse Adoptium Project, formerly known as AdoptOpenJDK.

AdoptOpenJDK is an open, community-led initiative formed to provide free, pre-built binaries of the reference implementation of the Java platform from OpenJDK. Since it was founded in 2017 by Martijn Verburg, a leader of the London Java Community, AdoptOpenJDK has seen more than 240 million downloads.

The Eclipse Adoptium Project is the continuation of the original AdoptOpenJDK mission, explained Mike Milinkovich, executive director of the Eclipse Foundation, and the working group was created in collaboration with the AdoptOpenJDK Technical Steering Committee.

"AdoptOpenJDK is about providing enterprises with high-quality Java runtimes, without requiring them to enter into a long-term support contracts with Oracle or one of the other vendors playing in that space," Milinkovich told me. "And Adoptium is a multi-vendor, vendor-neutral effort to reduce the costs for getting Java runtimes."

The Adoptium Working Group was created to provide the Java ecosystem with fully compatible distributions of Java runtimes based on OpenJDK source code—not a fork of OpenJDK, Milinkovich emphasized. "The intent here is for the community to pool its resources to build open JDK source code and deliver high-quality runtimes," he said.

The new working group has the support of Oracle, Milinkovich said. "We negotiated an agreement with them to get access to the TCKs, so that we know every runtime we deliver from Adoptium is going to be fully certified is 100% Java SE compliant," he said.

The Foundation emphasized this cooperation in its announcement: "This new open source working group was only possible through the successful negotiation of the OpenJDK Community TCK License Agreement (OCTLA) with Oracle, the steward of OpenJDK, the Java Community Process, and the Java compatibility brand. Under the terms of this agreement, Adoptium will run compatibility tests to ensure conformance to the Java specification."

Adoptium was founded by individual Java developers and a list of vendors that includes Alibaba Cloud, Huawei, IBM, iJUG, Karakun AG, Microsoft, New Relic, and Red Hat. The working group "complements the Eclipse Adoptium project" and will "provide the infrastructure, marketing, community building, and developer advocacy work needed to continue to ensure timely releases to the community and further the adoption of Eclipse Adoptium"

AdoptOpenJDK was popular and well established when its Technical Steering Committee decided it needed the Eclipse umbrella. "In every open source project’s life comes a time to take the necessary steps to enshrine its independence and longevity in a proven cultural and legal framework," Verburg wrote in a blog post announced the move last June. "A project of AdoptOpenJDK’s size and scale also needs an awful lot of logistical support, and the cracks in some places are starting to show!"

"Joining the Eclipse Foundation allows AdoptOpenJDK to continue to grow and to focus on our mission," he added.

"What the Eclipse Foundation brings to AdoptOpenJDK is a well-regarded, vendor-neutral governance model, and a well-documented development process," Milinkovich said. "Our IT staff is going to be doing a lot of work on the additional infrastructure required. There's quite a large-scale of infrastructure needed for doing the builds. We also have to provide the private infrastructure for doing the TCK tests. Oracle's TCK's are proprietary, so we can't do them out in the open, like we do most things. And then there's the additional test suite for quality testing that has to be supported in our infrastructure. The working group will be sharing the cost of creating that infrastructure, as well as doing a little developer advocacy, building some websites, etc. But we really are leveraging the good work that was done at adopt OpenJDK over the last couple of years."

Posted by John K. Waters on March 24, 2021