I'm the maintainer of IcedTea and a developer on the IcedTea-Web project, maintained by Deepak Bhole. IcedTea-Web is the plugin and Web Start implementation developed by the IcedTea team that originally lived in the IcedTea trees. We've separated it out into a new project so that its release cycle is separate from that of the IcedTea distribution of OpenJDK. This provides a number of advantages. The main one is that there is no longer any need to rebuild and test the entire JDK to get plugin/javaws updates, which should mean that bug fixes and security updates get to end users quicker. Additionally, it gives greater prominence to the work being done on this items (as this article demonstrates). Oracle have never released their plugin or Web Start implementation as Free or Open Source Software (FOSS) so the version supplied by IcedTea and now IcedTea-Web is a completely independent implementation. You can use IcedTea-Web with existing IcedTea releases now by building IcedTea with --disable-webstart --disable-plugin and then pointing IcedTea-Web at your IcedTea installation. In the future, it may also be possible to use the IcedTea plugin and Web Start with other JDKs. However, at present, it is limited to IcedTea only.