Rich Green, Sun EVP for software, used the Linux World conference as the stage to update the story of Java's journey into the world of open source. It's part of the open sourcing of the entire Sun portfolio. During a press event, Green said that open source is a means to end, making software easily available to developers and evaluators, which is one of Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz's core principles around free and open software, value in volume and transparency.
Sun software EVP Rich Green
The big news was that Sun is open sourcing its implementation of the JavaME (Micro Edition) specification. Alan Brenner, vice president of mobile and embedded systems at Sun, said that most of most of JavaME will be out in open soruce by the end of this year. "It's most important to accelerate participation in innovation at platform level, complementing the JCP with activity around the platform, developing more compelling apps," Brenner said. "We believe we can drive a more robust and active community for the construction of the next generation of applications." The Sun open source team is also busy solciiting feedback on the best approaches for licensing and governance.
Similarly, major chunks of JavaSE (Standard Edition)--such as Java C and the Hotspot VM--will be open sourced by the end of the year, according to Laurie Tolson, Sun vice president of developer products and programs. The remainder of JavaSE code will be open sourced next year, she said. Sun plans to use one of the approved OSI licenses, but hasn't settled on one, Tolson said. Nor has Sun settled on a governance model. "We are looking through various needs and approaches," Tolson said, "and we will be transparent about it as we go." A Web site has been set up set up for discussion of licensing and governance models. "We won't make everybody happy, but we will do our best to meet everybody's needs and strike a balance," Tolson added. "The GNU community wants GPL, there is Apache and CDDL is somewhere in the middle. On the governance side people want an easy way to contribute and interact. We are looking at the Apache, Linux, Solaris and other governance models. We are still in the early stage of gathering input."
JavaEE (Enterprise Edition] is already available in open source under the CDDL license, similar to Solaris and NetBeans. "We have all the JavaEE 5.0 reference implementation and Sun's application server available. We are in the process of adding the enterprise features like clustering, replication and high availability," said Eduardo Pelegri-Llopart, a Distinguished Engineer in the area of XML and Web services. "The first milestone of this v.2 version is coming out this week. It will go through a several month process to get all the code out. The complete binary will be done early next year."
For both JavaME and JavaSE, Sun is working through the IP encumbrances, licenses and setting up communities. Green, Tolson and Brenner also talked up the compatibility issue. "We are looking at reinforcing the Java brand--compatible, write once/run anywhere," Tolson said. "I believe the community will force that [compatible implementations]. Making the TCK--Test Compatibility Kit--more broadly available is good step."
See also: Dana Gardner's post on open sourcing Java