Open source Java: Missed it by *that* much

Open source Java: Missed it by *that* much

Summary: Leading up to next week's JavaOne Java lovefest and amidst some buzz that there will be a lot of open source-related news at the event,'s Stephen Shankland has a story about Sun's quiet launch of GlassFish.

TOPICS: Open Source

Leading up to next week's JavaOne Java lovefest and amidst some buzz that there will be a lot of open source-related news at the event,'s Stephen Shankland has a story about Sun's quiet launch of GlassFish.   Apparently, Sun will be going public with more details of GlassFish at JavaOne. But, from Shankland's news story, it appears as though Sun is going to open up the source code to its Java Runtime Environments -- primarily for viewing purposes only.  In other words,  those who agree to the Java Research License (the JRL) can view the code and can even toy around with it in private.  But they can't redistribute the code, particularly if they make any changes to it.  Hmmm.  Does this remind you of anything?  Where else before have we heard of a look-but-you-can't-touch-for-commercial-purposes virtual machine?  Oh yeah?  The BSD-based version of Microsoft Common Language Runtime (the runtime behind .Net) and the shared-source license under which it's available.  Not that open source advocates view Sun as an open source poster child, but perhaps Microsoft's Jason Matusow, who told me in a recent interview (you can download the audio too) that there will be a "movement to the middle," was right.

My favorite Java firebrand, JBOSS CEO Marc Fleury, was not at a loss for words.  According to Shankland's story "On his blog, Fleury criticized the license as 'yet another Sun invention,' then added, 'it is irrelevant what kind of licenses they use, since the whole thing is irrelevant anyway.' He recommended watching the movie "Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle" as more interesting."

Topic: Open Source

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  • Hey, at least

    the name is honest. "Glass Fish" as in, it's "code under glass" -- you can see but can't touch.

    The "Fish" part is a mystery unless they're admitting that it has olfactory similarities to a Fish in the Sun.
    Yagotta B. Kidding
  • One step forward, one step right, one step back, one step left

    As a BSD user, this certainly means a whole lot of nothing to me.

    As of now, to get Java on my box I have to register with Sun, download 250MB of tarballs, and then compile them using community written patch sets.

    With their 'new' license, nothing will change. I will still have to go thorugh the laborious process of logging into Sun's site, downloading tarballs, and then compiling from scracth - which takes hours.

    If Sun would just allow redistribution of their source and/or procompiled binaries of their source, they would open themselves up to a whole new market.
    • I share your pain

      for our embedded platforms development.

      Sun, please open it up. It will save our friends at GNU and Apache a
      lot of work. The end result is going to be the same - a free version
      of java.
      Richard Flude
  • Open Source Java is here already

    Many among the open source community have given up on Sun Microsystems letting Java go. In the spectrum between ubiquity and control: they chose control. for many years this was a source of great concern for proponents of free and open source software. Now, as Marc Fluery states, no one cares anymore.

    The reason they no longer care is because the open source community has routed around Sun. With projects like SNAP Platform, SNAPPIX, Apache Harmony, SableVM, GNU Classpath, and many others: open source Java is going quite well with out Sun Microsystems.

    For more information about open source Java, visit one of the 3 most active projects in, SNAP Platform and SNAPPIX to learn the truth about open source Java.