As some people have noticed, I put a lot of effort in getting a free
java runtime and SDK on archlinux, using GNU java, Eclipse-ecj and some
other free tools, wrapped in java-gcj-compat.
The downside of this whole project is that it's stuck at java 5.0, the
runtime isn't certified (the eclipse compiler is) and there's no more
effort put into this project by redhat.
Since a while, there's an alternative to java-gcj-compat, called
icedtea. This project is based on openjdk, with the difference that
missing pieces of openjdk are filled in with parts from GNU classpath.
One example is the webbrowser plugin, that has been missing from x86_64
since java's existence for this platform. The icedtea6 java environment
passes sun's testsuite, making it a full blown GPL'ed java environment
that is compatible with Sun's java. As it's developed by redhat, it also
compiles fine with GCC 4.3, which we can't say about openjdk.
I would propose to package icedtea/openjdk for archlinux and make it the
prefered java environment. Packaging this java environment requires a
java compiler, our current free java platform is able to build
icedtea/openjdk from source.
This means that only java tools and packages required to build
icedtea/openjdk will get built with gcj/ecj/java-gcj-compat, others will
get built with icedtea/openjdk.
Making this switch means no official support for java-gcj-compat
anymore. If something continues working with java-gcj-compat, it's nice,
but if it doesn't, we don't consider it a bug.
Please let me know what your thoughts are about this change.