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Oracle cooks up free and premium JDKs

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QCon Updated Oracle will deliver two Java Development Kit (JDK) based on the OpenJDK project - one free and the other paid.

That's according to Tweets pouring thick and fast from an Oracle session at QCon San Francisco, where the database giant mostly repeated its earlier plans for Java.

Adam Messinger, Oracle vice president of development, told QCon that Oracle plans to offer a "premium" edition of the JDK in addition to the open-source JDK.

Oracle, meanwhile, is converging its JRockit Virtual Machine and the Hotspot JVM from Sun Microsystems. The converged JVM will be released under the OpenJDK project.

JRockit has world-beating performance, thanks to its garbage collection features. It also provides hot swapability. You can make changes without taking a server offline. HotSpot has been considered a generally good all-round, reliable JVM and it has supported more operating systems and hardware.

Oracle's plan has always been to merge JRockit and Hotspot, and Messinger was simply repeating the message delivered by Oracle during a strategy announcement in January.

Messinger did not explain how the premium JDK would differ from the free version, but the premium edition will likely see performance tuning and tie-ins to Oracle's middleware. But he promised: "there will always be a high-performance gratis JDK."

He did not say how Oracle would price the JDK, or explain how it would be offered, according to QCon Tweets.

Should people be worried about the pricing news, especially in view of Oracle's history of jacking up prices? Oracle recently doubled support costs for MySQL, which is also open source.

Not according to Messinger, who said (according to Tweeter commenters): "I don't tank [sic] folks need to be too hung up on this, since we make so much money on Java elsewhere." That would be the Oracle's Java customers elsewhere, yeah?

Meanwhile, Oracle has officially responded to its double set-back during the Java Community Process (JCP) executive committee elections.

Henrik Ståhl, responsible for product strategy in the Java Platform Group and an official spokesman for Oracle on Java SE, has that said Oracle still "respects" the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) - despite screwing it by refusing to grant ASF a Java license for its Java SE implementation Project Harmony.

Ståhl congratulated ASF's romp home to re-election on the JCP. Somebody from Oracle had to, otherwise it would have looked bad.

"Our disagreement around TCK licensing does in no way lower our respect for and desire to continue to work with Apache," according to Ståhl.

We're sure ASF also harbors no bad feelings and wants to put this behind them too. Oh, wait...

Oracle's JCP man proceeded to chastise those who voted against Hologic during the election, blocking it from getting a seat on the EC group driving Java SE and EE.

Developers saw Hologic as an Oracle supporter being brought on board to pack out the JCP. The Reg understands developers either voted against Hologic or abstained after members actively encouraged their colleagues to block Hologic's nomination.

Ståhl maintained Oracle was trying to bring more of a customer focus to the JCP by nominating Oracle - it just so happened the customer in question was one of Oracle's, referenced in glowing terms on the giant's website.

"We believe that the lobbying against him was misguided and rather unfortunate for the community." Ståhl said. You can read the rest of his statement here. ®

This article has been updated to clarify Oracle's strategy is to offer premium and free JDKs.

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