Despite OpenJDK, 70% of Java fixes and features come from Oracle, Big Red says

Despite OpenJDK, 70% of Java fixes and features come from Oracle, Big Red says

Oracle has released Java 20, and says that since Java 11 in 2018 it has contributed over 70% of the fixes and features, measured by issues in the JIRA issue tracking system.

“Of the 21,604 JIRA issues marked as fixed in Java 11 through Java 20 at the time of their GA, 15,420 were completed by people working for Oracle while 6,184 were contributed by individual developers and developers working for other organizations,” the company said. In the case of JDK 20, 1,595 of 2,314 issues were completed by Oracle, which is approaching 69%.

The next biggest contributor since 2018 is Red Hat, according to the stats, followed by independent individuals, and then SAP. In the JDK 20 stats, independents are slightly ahead of Red Hat, with SAP still in fourth place.

It is a somewhat crude measure, as multiple individuals from different organizations may contribute to an issue; but shows if nothing else that Oracle is committing plenty of resources to Java, which it describes as the “#1 programming language for today’s technology trends.” That may be an exaggeration, since most surveys put it behind JavaScript and Python in usage, but if the context is enterprise applications it remains hugely significant.

Fixed by company in JDK 20 (image from OpenJDK on Twitter)

One reason for the focus on fixes might be that there is not much new in JDK 20, unless you count updated previews. The big features that developers are waiting for, such as virtual threads (Project Loom), or a replacement for JNI Java Native Interface (Project Panama), are not yet final. Pattern matching (Project Amber) also has an updated preview. Scoped Values, part of Project Loom, appear in the JDK for the first time as an “incubator”, the earliest stage for a major new feature.

It may not matter much that this is a light release for features, as it is not a long-term support (LTS) release and is superseded in six months by JDK 21, which will be a LTS release. The cadence for LTS releases is now two years.

The release of JDK 20 is accompanied by new releases from other OpenJDK implementations. Amazon has released Corretto 20, and said that “highlights of OpenJDK 20 include a second preview of Record Patterns, which are used to more easily work with record-based objects.”

At the time of writing, Adoptium, an Eclipse Foundation project which offers free OpenJDK binaries, is still preparing its JDK 20 release and progress can be tracked here.