One of the strengths of the Java platform is the enthusiastic Java developers that make up the Java community. The Java User Groups (JUGs) genuinely want to see the Java platform improve and the Java language become the best programming language it can be. You don't have to join a JUG to do so but you might find more support for what you want to achieve if you do.
This is where JUG participation programs like Adopt OpenJDK and Adopt a JSR begin to make their mark as they encourage Java developers to get involved. If you think about it, getting the chance to shape the language and platform you work with is not open to developers of a lot of other programming languages. It doesn't even matter what level of Java developer you are as it also becomes a learning opportunity to improve your Java skills and knowledge.
Here is an overview of the Adopt OpenJDK program. For the latest information about what's going on make sure you check out the Adopt OpenJDK homepage. The Adopt OpenJDK Program homepage can be found at its Java.net project site.
What Is the Adopt OpenJDK Program?
The main idea behind the Adopt OpenJDK program is to get the Java community involved in the ongoing process of making the Java language better. Once a new version of the JDK is released nobody thinks, "This is it! Java is finally complete." because there's always plans for the next version.
As the Adopt OpenJDK team puts it:
As of Java 7, OpenJDK is the Reference Implementation (RI) for Java. In essence, the OpenJDK is the Java we use every day! With legal and technical barriers become smaller every day, it is now more possible than ever to get involved in the language and VM that we all love.
The main goals of the OpenJDK program are laid out as:
- Lower the technical barriers to allow developers, JUGs and organisations to get involved in OpenJDK
- Improve the Java, the language and the platform
- To promote OpenJDK in the wider Java community
- Broaden the base of contributors to OpenJDK
Why Adopt OpenJDK?
Like the Adopt a JSR program, the involvement of the Java community in the OpenJDK process should lead to a better implementation of the JDK. Whether, it's the addition of actual code or simply finding bugs, the process becomes better with more Java developers involved.
On a personal level you get the chance to learn a lot about the JDK and JVM. There's also the opportunity to learn new skills and technologies. And, being an active member of the Java community certainly looks good on the CV!
What Happens in Adopt OpenJDK?
The Adopt OpenJDK has several projects that you can be involved in like building the OpenJDK, improving the testing of the OpenJDK, testing OpenJDK builds, and learning about new functionality within the OpenJDK.
There are several events which get developers together to work on a certain project. For example, there were several JDK8 warning cleanup days where developers got together to try to reduce compiler warnings. Hackdays typically look at a certain area of a project and organize the developers involved to work on making it better.
There's a list of what's being worked on as part of the program on the Adopt OpenJDK website.
Who's Involved Already?
There are plenty of organizations and JUGs involved in the Adopt OpenJDK program. These include Oracle, IBM, RedHat, GoldmanSachs, the LJC, Greenville JUG, SouJava, JavaBahia, CEJUG, as well those people who contribute on an individual basis.