Friday, September 25, 2020

foojay - A Place for Friends of OpenJDK

I welcome new sources of information on all things Java and was excited to see what the foojay site has to offer after Geertjan Wielenga (@GeertjanW) pointed it out to me. In this post I highlight some of the most promising characteristics of this site for this seeking new information on Java-related topics.

The About page describes the site's name: "A place for friends of OpenJDK." This relatively new Azul-sponsored community site was highlighted in Simon Ritter's 25 April 2020 post "foojay: A Place for Friends of OpenJDK." In that post, Ritter states:

For Java users and developers who depend on OpenJDK builds, finding the relevant highlights of a given update and how they may improve or otherwise impact deployments is no small task. Separating issues that have significance to a user from others would involve going through hundreds of individual issues. Following each into the Java Bug System to review details, and deducing relevance for one’s environment can be quite a challenge. In practice, few Java users or organizations will go through this level of effort.

This is where foojay's user-focused Java and OpenJDK update descriptions come in.

New Bug Fixes and Features in the OpenJDK

As the Ritter quote above demonstrates, one of the primary objectives of the foojay site is to help Java developers understand the various JDK offerings available based on OpenJDK and the changes, fixes, and new features associated with different versions of OpenJDK.

The following describes how to quickly see new features associated with various versions of OpenJDK on the foojay site:

  • The "What's New in OpenJDK?" is front and center on the Foojay page.
    • Provides overview of new features coming to recent versions of OpenJDK.
    • Click on month/year to see versions of OpenJDK with changes in that month.
    • Click on specific version of OpenJDK for that month/year to see change categories such as "Highlights", "All Issues", "Component View", and "Security / CVE View"
    • Click on category tab to see table representation of changes to that OpenJDK version in that category. This table includes different details depending on the category. The "Foojar Commentary" column of the "Highlights" table provides summary details about a particular bug or feature.

Java Version Almanac

The Java Version Almanac section of the Foojay site presents details on various versions from 1.0 to through JDK 16 as of this writing. There are, of course, generally more details in the later versions than the earlier versions, but it's interesting to see how Java and the JDK have changed. The information presented in Foojay's "Java Version Almanac" section is based upon, which "is provided by Java Champions Marc R. Hoffmann and Cay S. Horstmann".

OpenJDK Command Line Arguments

Another interesting section of the Foojay site is the section on OpenJDK's supported command-line arguments. This section shows command-line arguments for each version of OpenJDK from Java 6 through Java 16 as of this writing. This section is derived from Chris Newland's site.

Foojay Blog

Since its inception, the foojay site seems to have broaded its scope to cover additional topics related to use of Java and OpenJDK. There are several well-known Java developers/speakers who write posts for the Foojay blog. These include the following authors (not the entire list):

Although many of the bloggers on the Foojay site have their own blog sites with the same blog posts, there is an advantage to being able to see the headlines and blogs of these different authors in one place without needing to go to each author's individual blog.

Things I Like About the Foojay Site

  • Coverage of different versions of Java and OpenJDK
  • Coverage of different implementations of OpenJDK
  • Community-based with contributions from multiple individuals and sites
  • Blog posts focused on Java-related technologies
    • Even though many of these posts are available on the authors' sites, it's easier to see the headlines in a single location and click on stories of interest.
    • I like the strong focus on Java in these blog posts because Java is still my main programming language.
  • Single location for updates on what's new in the Java and OpenJDK world
    • This Azul-sponsored site nicely complements the Oracle-provided Inside Java site and a Java developer is likely to be aware of most major developments in the Javasphere if regularly reviewing these two sites.
  • Significantly fewer advertisements than many software development aggregation sites
    • Although there are mentions of Azul offerings, they are limited and not the invasive pop-up style advertisements plaguing many software development aggregation sites.
  • Backed by Azul
    • Too many blogs and other sources that I like for new information on Java tend to die out quickly and I have greater confidence in the Azul-sponsored Foojay site being around for a while.
    • The Foojay site's association with Azul means that it is associated with an OpenJDK contributor who provides their own implementation based on OpenJDK and who is a participant in the Java Community Process.


We continue to have exciting new things coming soon to a JDK near us. With the 6-month cadence of new OpenJDK releases, it can be difficult to keep up with so much change. The Foojay site is a great tool for Java developers who want to see the most important details regarding what's coming without needing to delve into bug reports and OpenJDK mailing lists.


David said...

Do you know ?

@DustinMarx said...

Hello David,

Thanks for leaving the comment. I do like and that is the site I referenced and linked to in this post with the statement, "This Azul-sponsored site nicely complements the Oracle-provided Inside Java site and a Java developer is likely to be aware of most major developments in the Javasphere if regularly reviewing these two sites."