When OpenJDK as a Free Software alternative to Sun/Oracle Java was announced I thought this is a great idea. I don’t like proprietary software too much and since I’m a PHP, JavaScript and SQL developer, I didn’t expect any “bad” consequences for my work. It’s not like you expect any fancy or enterprise features, if you use the “free” version of some commercial software. That said, there are a lot of useful Java tools that you frequently need as a Web developer, such as

Guess what? All of these applications don’t run (at least not without problems) with OpenJDK and of course that’s the only Java distribution that comes with the latest releases of Ubuntu Linux (and probably a lot of other “free software only” distributions). For example, if you open the README.txt file of the “Kaazing Websocket Gateway” it explicitly excludes OpenJDK:

Java Requirements

  • Java Developer Kit (JDK) 1.6.0_14 (Java 6) or higher
  • The JAVA_HOME environment variable must be set to the directory where
  • the JDK is installed, for example C:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.6.0_14
  • Notes:

  • OpenJDK is not supported.

  • For information on installing JDK, see Oracle’s Java SE documentation.

Whoever feels responsible for this disastrous┬áJava user experience should invest some time to either “fix” OpenJDK or convince the managers of Oracle to change the Java license. Or Ubuntu should include the proprietary JDK again. I don’t care about the details, but please, somebody do something! In it’s current form, OpenJDK is pretty much useless for my daily work.