Sun: Open source Java not whether but how

Sun has conceded: Java will be open sourced.

During his opening keynote at JavaOne 2006, newly annointed Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz welcomed to the stage Rich Green, Executive VP of Software, with the hard question: “Are you going to open source Java?”

After a little mock evasiveness, Green explained Sun’s latest thinking on the matter, ending with the bottom line: “It isn’t a question of whether, but a question of how. And so we’ll go do this.”

Green did take the time to point out that, from the perspective of community involvement and contribution to the development of the Java platform, Java is already effectively open source:

There’s two battling forces here. There’s the desire to completely open this up–complete access–I mean, so many changes of the licenses have been made that it’s virtually all there. But there is the sense of wanting to complete the program. The flip side is compatibility really matters. I don’t think anybody wants to see a diverging Java platform. One of the great values of Java has been that we’ve been able to keep it together–something you can all rely on in terms of its consistency and value and evolution. And the challenge, going forward, is how to solve for both of those things.

C|Net has video of the conversation, and of course the full webcast of the session is available on the JavaOne web site.

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  • bonefry

    I hope they don’t take too long “figuring out”, and just do that already.

  • willthiswork

    I hope they don’t take too long “figuring out”, and just do that already.

    Well, it’s not that easy decision anyway as it deeply involves sun’s future business model.

    Java is already effectively open source

    I tend to agree on this.

    The flip side is compatibility really matters. I don’t think anybody wants to see a diverging Java platform. One of the great values of Java has been that we’ve been able to keep it together—something you can all rely on in terms of its consistency and value and evolution

    How would you reply to this “fear”?
    No arguing, just interested in the topic.

  • bonefry

    > Java is already effectively open source

    Java is not open-source, as in OSI aprooved.
    The first and most important point on the OSI rules for open-source licenses is … free distribution.
    Java’s license does not curently comply.

    Also, you can only modify the source code for experimental purposes.
    You cannot distribute modifications to the JRE, unless you pass the TCK … which costs money (first of all).

    Java’s current license is a far from being open-source (as in OSI aprooved), and as a result … MONO, the .NET clone is more widespread among various Linux distros that Java … now isn’t that ironic ?

  • Kailash Badu

    guys, if they really opensource Java, is everyone going to forget PHP and hop to java bandwagon.

  • bonefry

    > if they really opensource Java, is everyone going to forget PHP and hop to java
    > bandwagon.

    Not really … Java is for big applications, desktop applications and mobile phones.
    PHP is for light websites.

    They really have different markets.

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