Last Saturday Matthias Klose announced on the ubuntu-devel-announce mailing list the official certification from Sun of the OpenJDK 6 on Ubuntu 9.04. This seems to me a very important step for anyone developping and deploying Java on Ubuntu, and as there seem quite a bit of this happening on our server platform, I thought it was worth giving this announce a bit more visibility.
The Technology Compatibility Kit (TCK) for Java is a very throrough test suite made to insure that each of the components shipped on a given OS respect the Java specifications. Validation of the test suite by Sun is what provides the certification. Achieving this provide a great level of assurance to anyone willing to deploy its application in a new environment and allows validation that the Java specs are not derived by vendors to lock-in their customers, which has been tried in the past.
When you factor in the excellent work done by Thierry Carrez on Tomcat's 5 and 6 packaging, together with the Debian maintainers, as well as the growing position of the Spring framework in the Java world, with this new certification, it now means that we have a fully maintained and supportable Java stack for serving great Java applications on Ubuntu Server Edition which is fully open-source. This not only implies that you can deploy any Java compliant web application on our Server, but also that you can get support for it, access the code, add additional servers freely, redistribute pre configured (virtual) appliances, etc...
Thanks to the whole Ubuntu Java team for this great achievement, as well as to the teams from all the other distros and Sun on OpenJDK without which this could not have been made possible!