Sun to open-source Java

Sun to open-source Java

Summary: Sun has backed up an announcement that its Solaris server operating system will have an open source flavour by making a similar promise for its Java technology.Speaking exclusively to Builder AU, Sun's Java technology evangelist Raghavan Srinivas said an open source version of Java "will happen," but declined to elaborate on timelines or specifics of licence arrangements.

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Sun has backed up an announcement that its Solaris server operating system will have an open source flavour by making a similar promise for its Java technology.

Speaking exclusively to Builder AU, Sun's Java technology evangelist Raghavan Srinivas said an open source version of Java "will happen," but declined to elaborate on timelines or specifics of licence arrangements.

"We haven't worked out how to open-source Java -- but at some point it will happen," Srinivas said. However, he noted -it might be today, tomorrow or two years down the road".

It is believed to be the first time Sun has explicitly stated its intention to open-source Java. Sun representatives have previously been quoted as saying the Java technology is "open enough" under its current format. Some have described any additional moves as "weird," encouraging incompatible standards.

The Java community is split over whether open-sourcing Java is beneficial.

Earlier this year, open-source advocate Eric Raymond called on Sun to open source the Java technology for greater acceptance within the developer community and freedom to exploit its potential. Free software activist, Richard Stallman further warned developers of the "Java trap" and encouraged developers to use a free Java development environment. Big Blue, who arguably have a greater financial interest in the Java platform than Sun, have also called on Sun to open-source Java.

However, others, including Sun, believe the main hurdle and concern is the future of the Java brand and compatibility. The main fear is that Java technologies could be forked and the -write once, run anywhere" attraction to Java will be lost, making use of the programming language and platform less attractive. Many see the current Java Community Process (JCP), that entails the evolution of Java by industry experts from Sun, IBM, Nokia and BEA to name a few, as an imperfect but necessary process.

What do you think of Sun releasing Java as open source? Post your comments to our forum discussion at:

http://cgi.builderau.com.au/forum/viewtopic.php?t=92

Topics: Software, Open Source, Oracle

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  • I was reading merrily along through various news stories, when I happened across this sentence: "Sun representatives have previously been quoted as saying the Java technology is "open enough" under it's current format."

    Perhaps it is a regional difference in usage (I am American), but I was under the impression that the possessive form was "its" and not "it's". I also noticed no "[sic.]" note, so I can only assume that the mistake was made by the proofreaders.

    Yeah, I'm a troll. I also harass people on USENET for the same thing.
    anonymous
  • Big Deal. Java as a language is open enough but the attraction to opening "java" could be to open it's VM. Anyone can reverse engineer a java class using one of the millions of java dissasemblers but I guess some people would like more control over it's future development and the way it interacts with the OS. Now the big news is the fact that they are going to open source Solaris. How do you get a OS to sell if you're not Microsoft? Call it "free". It worked with Linux and it will work with Solaris. Who knows whether it's too little too late though...
    anonymous
  • Probably not GPL, but Sleepy Cat license

    An open-source Java almost certainly won't be GPL. BSD is possible, but Sun will want "commercial protection" from competitors (e.g. Microsoft).

    That points to a mixed license like Sleepy Cat: GPL as long as you make your code using the modified Java compiler/jvm source code GPL also and commercial license with fee if you keep your code changes proprietary.

    Note: this would not apply to any java language code people write, but only to mods a competitor might make on the compiler and JVM itself. This would defuse the commercial bite of extensions like Microsoft made on J++.
    anonymous
  • Sun may never open source Java because the brand name is more recognized than either Sun or solaris. They have to do something though because somebody else might do it for them.

    Veekay
    http://linux-tech.blogspot.com
    anonymous
  • java ends up like php

    i'm pretty much a noob to the java community (3 yrs professional php, 4 months java). What i will say is that the attraction of Java is its structure and well organised quality control. Attractive though completely open source technologies like php are, i find the organisation of java technologies refreshing. Maybe its more to do with the structure of the language itself, but i agree with the school of thought that a completely open source java would pollute the solid central core to what java is.
    anonymous
  • Java as Open Source make some things sure

    As Java can implement most secured applications. It should not be taken under open source fully. It crashes the commercialism and may breach the security aspects in future with any application. It should be used with cheap rate with proprietary permission.
    anonymous