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From Eric Evans <>
Subject Re: Why does Cassandra recommends Oracle JVM instead of OpenJDK?
Date Tue, 03 Jan 2017 14:27:45 GMT
On Mon, Jan 2, 2017 at 2:26 PM, Edward Capriolo <> wrote:
> Lets be clear:
> What I am saying is avoiding being loose with the word "free"
> Many things with the JVM are free too. Most importantly it is free to use.
> As it relates to this conversation: I am not aware of anyone running
> Cassandra that has modified upstream JVM to make Cassandra run
> better/differently *. Thus the license around the Oracle JVM is roughly
> meaningless to the user/developer of cassandra.
> * The only group I know that took an action to modify upstream was Acunu.
> They had released a modified Linux Kernel with a modified Apache Cassandra.
> That product no longer exists.
> "I don't how to read any of this.  It sounds like you're saying that a
> JVM is something that cannot be produced as a Free Software project,"
> What I am saying is something like the JVM "could" be produced as a "free
> software project". However, the argument that I was making is that the
> popular viable languages/(including vms or runtime to use them) today
> including Java, C#, Go, Swift are developed by the largest tech companies in
> the world, and as such I do believe a platform would be viable. Specifically
> I believe without Oracle driving Java OpenJDK would not be viable.
> There are two specific reasons.
> 1) I do not see large costly multi-year initiatives like G1 happening
> 2) Without guidance/leadership that sun/oracle I do not see new features
> that change the language like lambda's and try multi-catch happening in a
> sane way.
> I expanded upon #2 be discussing my experience with standards like c++ 11,
> 14,17 and attempting to take compiling working lambda code on linux GCC to
> microsoft visual studio and having it not compile. In my opinion, Java only
> wins because as a platform it is very portable as both source and binary
> code. Without leadership on that front I believe that over time the language
> would suffer.

I realize that you're trying to be pragmatic about all of this, but
what I don't think you realize, is that so am I.

Java could change hands at any time (it has once already), or Oracle
leadership could decide to go in a different direction.  Imagine for
example that they relicensed it to exclude use by orientation or
religion, Cassandra would implicitly carry these restrictions as well.
Imagine that they decided to provide a back-door to the NSA, Cassandra
would then also contain such a back-door.  These might sound
hypothetical, but there is plenty of precedent here.

OpenJDK benefits from the same resources and leadership from Oracle
that you value, but is licensed and distributed in a way that
safeguards us from a day when Oracle becomes less benevolent, (if that
were to happen, some other giant company could assume the mantle of

All I'm really suggesting is that we at least soften our requirement
on the Oracle JVM, and perhaps perform some test runs in CI against
OpenJDK.  Actively discouraging people from using the Free Software
alternative here, one that is working well for many, isn't the
behavior I'd normally expect from a Free Software project.

Eric Evans

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