Microsoft has climbed aboard the OpenJDK project to help with the development of open source Java.
In a message posted on an OpenJDK mailing list, Bruno Borges, principal developer advocate for Java at the company, said Microsoft’s team initially will be working on smaller bug fixes and back ports so it can learn how to be “good citizens” within OpenJDK.
Microsoft and subsidiaries are “heavily dependent” on Java in many aspects, Borges said. For one, Java runtimes are offered in Microsoft’s Azure cloud.
The message lauded Oracle for its stewardship of OpenJDK and added that Microsoft looked forward to contributing. Microsoft has signed an Oracle Contributor Agreement pertaining to its participation.
Microsoft’s Java engineering team already is engaged with other Microsoft groups and subsidiaries using Java, along with partners in the Java ecosystem including Oracle, Azul Systems, Red Hat, Pivotal, Intel, and SAP.
Borges said Microsoft likely still has some things to learn about participation in the Java community, but already understands that discussing changes first before posting patches is preferred.
Aside from Java support in Azure, which prompted the company to buy Java support services company jClarity in August, Microsoft supports Java development in its open source Visual Studio Code editor.
Microsoft’s embrace of Java has come a long way since the 1990s, when Java creator Sun Microsystems sued Microsoft for breach of contract.
Sun alleged that Microsoft had distributed a version of Java incompatible with Sun’s, thus throwing a wrench in Sun’s “Write Once, Run Anywhere” pledge for Java. Microsoft countersued, and the dispute was settled in early 2001.
Oracle bought Sun in 2010, taking over the stewardship over Java.