A Year Ago: Sun announces Java 2, opens source

Originally published Tue, 08 Dec 1998 17:39:27 GMT

At the keynote speech at the Java Business Expo in New York, Ed Zander, chief operating officer of Sun Microsystems, announced the next version of the Java language. Java 2, formerly known as JDK 1.2, is Sun's most ambitious release since the original, he said, and concentrates on performance, security and stability.

Completely rewritten, Java 2 is designed to have significant performance improvements, a new and more flexible security model and a complete set of Applications Programming Interfaces (APIs) covering email,file transfers, printing and so on.

Sun also announced a road map for the language's future, which includes Enterprise Java Beans (EJB) and XML as "the de facto business software controls", said Zander.

Sun also announced its Community Source License program, whereby the source code for all of Sun's products - including Java and Solaris - will be provided free of charge to developers. "We'll only make money from Java when you make money from Java" said Zander, emphasising Sun's new commercial model whereby royalties will only be charged when a product is distributed. The source code will be downloadable from Sun's web site, with the majority becoming available over the next one to two months: perhaps five to ten percent will be withheld. Sun will have no rights to modified source code.