Most of you know that the road to open source Java has been a long and winding one. Today an important milestone was announced, and through the efforts of the OpenJDK community and Red Hat's IcedTea project the vision of a fully-compatible, truly free and open Java distribution has been realized.
The version of OpenJDK shipped included with Fedora 9 now passes the grueling Java TCK tests, and it has no reliance whatsoever on the 4-5% of the Java base code that was still legally encumbered by licensing issues when Sun announced open source Java last year. This is a much bigger achievement than you may realize, and a watershed moment for the many developers who have dedicated time and energy to bringing the Java and open source worlds into alignment with each other.
This week the IcedTea Project reached an important milestone - The latest OpenJDK binary included in Fedora 9 (x86 and x86_64) passes the rigorous Java Test Compatibility Kit (TCK). This means that it provides all the required Java APIs and behaves like any other Java SE 6 implementation - in keeping with the portability goal of the Java platform. As of writing, Fedora 9 is the only operating system to include a free and open Java SE 6 implementation that has passed the Java TCK. All of the code that makes this possible has been made available to the IcedTea project so everyone can benefit from the work.
There's a lot more detail available, but instead of rehashing it all here, I will simply recommend that you visit JBoss.org or read Rich's full posting . If I understand this correctly, one of the last remaining hurdles blocking the inclusion of a fully-compatible Java in major Linux distributions has now been cleared. Congratulations to everyone who helped make this happen!