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Red Hat Plans Open Source Java

simoniker posted more than 11 years ago | from the jump-java-and-wail dept.

Java 422

sthiyaga writes "According to a ComputerWire article, Red Hat is in discussions with Sun about launching an open source version of the Java platform. 'There's always been an interest in an open source implementation of Java developed in a clean room that adheres to the Java standards,' Szulik told ComputerWire. 'We're in discussions with Sun. We'd like to do this with their support.'"

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UPDATE: (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6276896)

My nuts still hurt.


Carry on.

Re:UPDATE: (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6277192)

there's a lesson to be learned from having sex with kathleen fent.


Unfortunately, it's always the same: don't have sex with kathleen fent. At least not without triple-bagging your pecker.


You should probably go down to the STD clinic. If you're lucky, a couple weeks of penicillan and your balls will be good as new.

first hello world! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6276920)

hahahahahaa

Much needed (5, Insightful)

nate1138 (325593) | more than 11 years ago | (#6276933)

With so many java API implementations being open source (JBoss, Tomcat), it only makes sense to create an open source version of the core platform. This would go a long way to combat .NET, which claims to be an open standard.

Re:Much needed (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6276987)

OK i keep seeing this .NET stuff and never ask about it cause obviosly so many know and i'm not in the know. And i admit i'm somewhat behind things sometimes, so obviosly i missed this somewhere. What is .NET exactly?

Re:Much needed (2, Informative)

Dave2 Wickham (600202) | more than 11 years ago | (#6277034)

I'm probably talking complete and utter balls...but...

This reference of .NET refers to the ".NET bytecode" or whatever it's called, which .NET programmes are compiled into, which allows easy compatibility between different .NET languages and platforms.

Again, I'm probably talking out of my arse, though...

Re:Much needed (3, Insightful)

nate1138 (325593) | more than 11 years ago | (#6277361)

Exactly. The bytecode format is what MS claims is "Open". Never mind the little fact that without a full library implementation it means absolutely nothing.

Re:Much needed (5, Informative)

spacecowboy420 (450426) | more than 11 years ago | (#6277178)

.NET is Microsoft's newest programming language offerings. Basically the purpose is to integrate the web into windows applications. There is VB .NET, ASP .NET, C#, etc... The languages are actually pretty usable in a windows enviroment, and are OO. This makes them a little more powerful. I use Java, but its nice to bust out a VB .Net proprietary app that runs cleaner/ faster on a windows system. The down side is similiar to Java though, in order to run Java apps, you need the JRE, with .NET stuff, you need the HUGE ass .NET framework installed.

Re:Much needed (2, Informative)

ikkonoishi (674762) | more than 11 years ago | (#6277199)

.NET is MS's latest development platform.

At it's heart it is meant to be a way for various programming languages and protocols to communicate with each other and work together.

The main problem is (of course) that to truly become platform independant MS would have to release a large amount of the code that runs it.

Microsft's .NET Site [microsoft.com]

Re:Much needed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6277213)

What is the .NET Framework?
The Microsoft .NET Framework is a platform for building, deploying, and running Web Services and applications. It provides a highly productive, standards-based, multi-language environment for integrating existing investments with next-generation applications and services as well as the agility to solve the challenges of deployment and operation of Internet-scale applications. The .NET Framework consists of three main parts: the common language runtime, a hierarchical set of unified class libraries, and a componentized version of Active Server Pages called ASP.NET.

eh, not likely (5, Interesting)

m750 (569359) | more than 11 years ago | (#6277018)

http://www.computerworld.com/developmenttopics/dev elopment/java/story/0,10801,82286,00.html?nas=AM-8 2286 'Should Java be made fully open-source? The problem with open-source is that [victory] goes to volume, and that's evident in the Linux community today where ISVs [independent software vendors] are qualifying to Red Hat and abandoning everyone else. Why? Because Red Hat has volume. If Java were open-source, Microsoft could take it, deliver it as they saw fit and drive a definition of Java that was divergent from the one that the community wanted to be compatible. And to the victor would go the spoils of that nefarious action. '

Re:eh, not likely (2, Funny)

Delphis (11548) | more than 11 years ago | (#6277114)

Maybe it needs to be released under an alternative license, say the MSFO license that states it is illegal to reuse said source code in any company product if that company name starts with the letter 'M' and ends in 'icrosoft'.

Surely the reader can determine what the letters 'FO' stand for in the license acronym...

Re:eh, not likely (2, Interesting)

nate1138 (325593) | more than 11 years ago | (#6277134)

I guess that all depends on what license the Open-source version is released under. In reality, Microsoft has already killed client side Java. Fortunately, the server is another animal altogether. I don't know a single Java developer that would ever consider using a MS Java implementation. Lastly, I don't see what volume has to do with MS corrupting an open source Java.

Enlighten me.

Re:eh, not likely (1)

m750 (569359) | more than 11 years ago | (#6277310)

Wasn't my quote... That's JS speaking. I just thought it was pertenant. I think volume has alot to do with open standards. Take html for example... IE and others interpret it differently. Now, IE's volume has allowed them to skew code in thier favor. Taking an open standard, and becoming nonfunctional on other browsers. AO

Re:eh, not likely (1)

rutledjw (447990) | more than 11 years ago | (#6277400)

I agree. The Java/J2EE guys I know would turn up their noses at anything MS has tweaked. Today, the platform independence is something that many hold important.

Many of us develop on Linux/Windows and deploy on Linux/UNIX. Why would anyone EVER risk screwing that up with MS software?

The problem is that MS wouldn't have a strong selling point to use their version of Java with a fully open version as well as Blackdown, Suns own and IBMs which are all free to d/l as needed.

Re:eh, not likely (1)

KeyserDK (301544) | more than 11 years ago | (#6277152)

This is a thing GPL/LGPL can prevent.

That's the point of copyleft (5, Insightful)

yerricde (125198) | more than 11 years ago | (#6277307)

If Java were open-source, Microsoft could take it, deliver it as they saw fit and drive a definition of Java that was divergent from the one that the community wanted to be compatible.

Assume that Microsoft would have called this divergent platform "J++".

If the Java platform were open-source and under a license similar to that of X11, what you quoted would be the case. On the other hand, if the Java platform were open-source and copylefted, Microsoft would have to publish the source code of its J++ platform.

Re:Much needed (1)

jo42 (227475) | more than 11 years ago | (#6277088)

... only if they also support the BSDs. 'nuff said.

Re:Much needed (1)

nate1138 (325593) | more than 11 years ago | (#6277208)

And therein lies the true beauty of open source. If you want support, just do it (Somebody probably will). The more platforms Java runs on, the better.

Microsoft learned a tough lesson (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6276949)

About making their own Java not built to standards and without Sun's support. It looks like RedHat learned it, too.

Native Java (4, Interesting)

buckinm (628185) | more than 11 years ago | (#6276959)

Having a open-source version of Java should allow swing to be compiled via GCJ. There would no longer be anything holding natively compiled Java back.

Re:Native Java (3, Insightful)

Cereal Box (4286) | more than 11 years ago | (#6277110)

No, I think what's holding back Swing support for GCJ is the fact that you actually have to IMPLEMENT all those AWT classes (Swing is built on top) using native GUI libraries. It's a bit harder to make Java's GUI stuff work natively than, say, linked list classes and the like. An open source Java will not make it any easier to get Java's GUI libraries natively ported to every single platform that GCJ runs on.

Re:Native Java (5, Informative)

Dingleberry (144200) | more than 11 years ago | (#6277111)

Java not being open source isn't "holding" this back. Look at the GCJ web site FAQ. They are currently writing peers in GTK and XLIB for AWT. Once that's finished Swing will follow.

Gosling favors Open-Source Java (5, Informative)

Domino (12558) | more than 11 years ago | (#6276961)

James Gosling, the creator of Java, recently mentioned that he favors an Open-Source Java. (See Infowork article [infoworld.com] ).

Some people withing Sun seem to be scared though that an Open-Source Java standard could be "polluted" by Microsoft.

Re:Gosling favors Open-Source Java (0, Flamebait)

MisterFancypants (615129) | more than 11 years ago | (#6277070)

Some people withing Sun seem to be scared though that an Open-Source Java standard could be "polluted" by Microsoft.

Newsflash: Microsoft has gone and made a better Java -- C#, and funnily enough they not only standardized it with recognized standards bodies (which Sun has never done with Java), they've also released their own shared source version and have not at all stood in the way of third parties making their own implementations (dotGNU, Mono, etc).

Re:Gosling favors Open-Source Java (1)

gehrehmee (16338) | more than 11 years ago | (#6277183)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't they holding onto some patents anyways? Things they could theoretically come down on unlicenced C# developers for?

Re:Gosling favors Open-Source Java (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6277249)

"funnily" WTF? You make an informative post, but destroy it by making up words. WTF? No, really, did you think that "funnily" is a word? Please tell me you are not that stupid.

Re:Gosling favors Open-Source Java (1)

Distinguished Hero (618385) | more than 11 years ago | (#6277382)

"funnily" WTF? You make an informative post, but destroy it by making up words. WTF? No, really, did you think that "funnily" is a word? Please tell me you are not that stupid.

funniÂly adv. [reference.com]

Re:Gosling favors Open-Source Java (4, Interesting)

MagikSlinger (259969) | more than 11 years ago | (#6277287)

Newsflash: Microsoft has gone and made a better Java -- C#, and funnily enough they not only standardized it with recognized standards bodies (which Sun has never done with Java), they've also released their own shared source version and have not at all stood in the way of third parties making their own implementations (dotGNU, Mono, etc).

Newsflash: Microsoft patented [slashdot.org] the CRL layer, so all those "third parties" could be toast anytime Microsoft finds them "inonvenient".

Hey troll/Tool Of The Man (tm) (2, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 11 years ago | (#6277299)

Ever hear of the JCP? That's the Java standards body.

And, it's not a puppet body like some other bodies you might be able to think of.

They added some nice features in .Net, but Java will again leapfrog them with 1.5. In the meantime there is marginal benefit and a lot of downside with using .Net for anything that matters.

Re:Hey troll/Tool Of The Man (tm) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6277350)

Creating your own standards body does not a standard make.

Java is more open than .NET (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6277330)

Only the equivalent of "The C++ library" has been standardized for C#. No technology that's used in most apps today, like a web technologies or GUI apps has been standardized.

Meanwhile, Java's JCP process allows open source projects like Apache and JBoss to contribute to the standardization of Java. No part of Java is not standardized this way, and as a result, nearly all JCPs have open source implementations including Tomcat and JBoss. These implementations, more often than not, dominate the field over proprietary implementations.

In short, Java is more open than .NET will every be. Mono is dreaming if it think it can pull .NET way from being a Microsoft technology. When developers use .NET, they look at Microsoft's implementation first, ECMA standards next. If Mono is ECMA standardized and Microsoft does an "embrace and extend" so that it's not, then developers will choose Microsoft's .NET over Mono, even if Mono is "correct".

Re:Gosling favors Open-Source Java (1, Flamebait)

tshak (173364) | more than 11 years ago | (#6277116)

Some people withing Sun seem to be scared though that an Open-Source Java standard could be "polluted" by Microsoft.


Hah - that's a good one! The issue within Sun is that they can't collect on the Java license of it goes OSS. This is why there's still issues with projects like Tomcat and JBoss. Until Sun makes Java an open standard (ECMA, ISO, etc.), I don't see how an "open Java" can truely exist.

Re:Gosling favors Open-Source Java (1)

Pionar (620916) | more than 11 years ago | (#6277139)

Some people withing Sun seem to be scared though that an Open-Source Java standard could be "polluted" by Microsoft

And it isn't now? If I do remember correctly, one of the bigger points in the Sun v. Microsoft case was that MS was changing the Java compiler that shipped with Windows. In effect, if Red Hat made an OSS Java, Microsoft would have every right to submit code to it. In fact, MS could theoretically take that and release its own distro of it, though if RH does follow with the plan, it'd probably be GPL'd and MS wouldn't touch it (damn viral GPL!)

The truth is, I don't really see a need for this. I'm not saying there isn't, just that I don't see it. I've never heard anyone complain that Java needed to be open. I have a feeling Java would become too much like Perl, where there's so many ways to do one thing, that it's hard to follow anyone else's code unless it's heavily commented. I like Java's strictness and its "Do it this way, or don't do it at all" attitude. But, that's just me.

Re:Gosling favors Open-Source Java (4, Interesting)

FatherOfONe (515801) | more than 11 years ago | (#6277275)

The issue is that RedHat has made a decision to only ship open source software in their distro. So you won't get the good video drivers or a good JVM.

This could easily be solved if they just shipped Sun's JVM with it, and had the installer agree to the terms.

Personally I would love a separate RedHat CD or DVD that had "NON GPL" software. I then could load stuff like a good JVM, and good video drivers.

Re:Gosling favors Open-Source Java (3, Insightful)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 11 years ago | (#6277440)

I wouldn't. I like the pressure it puts on companies to Open Source their stuff. Non-Open Source software is inherently untrustworthy because you can't get an independent review of exactly what it's doing.

I don't want to end up with a security nightmare like you have on Windows desktops where it seems like every other program has some kind of call home feature that essentially turns the program into a trojan.

Re:Gosling favors Open-Source Java (1)

jkauzlar (596349) | more than 11 years ago | (#6277384)

I don't think the open-source community would let Java become polluted by anything, esp. Microsoft.

The reason for making it open source is allow people outside of Sun to play with the code. There may be better ways to improve garbage collection and just-in-time compilation that Sun employees haven't thought of or haven't had time to do.

The GUI could use some work too. Sun probably doesn't know as much about Linux as OSS developers do. If OSS developers could use their knowledge of Linux to optimize the native GUI code, then there could be another advantage to OS Java.

Sun's interpreter could then just be the reference implementation for Java. They would have a better implementation in the OS Java and not have to take the blame for any shortcomings.

Re:Gosling favors Open-Source Java (1)

Mannerism (188292) | more than 11 years ago | (#6277406)

Some people withing Sun seem to be scared though that an Open-Source Java standard could be "polluted" by Microsoft.

I wouldn't put anything past Microsoft, but I don't see how they could do this without some pretty blatant backpedalling. MS has already gone to great lengths to reject both Java and Open Source...it's hard to imagine them participating in an Open-Source Java effort in any way.

Typical Linux crap (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6276963)

While Apple this week announced many tools and technologies that literally redefine the world of computing, the Linux "industry" announces an open source effort to duplicate an old, outmoded development system that already has dozens of free implementations.


Someone should tell Linus and co to just pack it in already. Go Apple!

Time to start up the pool... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6276968)

How long before SCO claims that Java is a derivative work of the Unix kernel?

Re:Time to start up the pool... (1)

lordvdr (682194) | more than 11 years ago | (#6277426)

alright, sorry if I get trolled or whatever... These are starting to get annoying. -md

Re:Time to start up the pool... (2)

jared_hanson (514797) | more than 11 years ago | (#6277435)

How is this funny, this is completely overrated, and I am screaming for moderator points right now. A Unix kernel has nothing to do with a Java interpreter.

A bytecode interpreter is an abstraction above the kernel, and is made so that said bytecode can run on any kernel (theoretically).

If your going to make a funny comment, make sure their is some connection between the two things you're comparing. This is just shameless bashing on SCO, with no humor whatsoever. I'm appalled.

Cool (-1, Redundant)

Nex6 (471172) | more than 11 years ago | (#6276971)

This is very cool, The more open standards the better.

-Nex6

Re:Cool (3, Insightful)

nostriluu (138310) | more than 11 years ago | (#6277145)

That's right. The best thing about standards is there are so many to choose from.

Sun's Support (3, Insightful)

Devil Ducky (48672) | more than 11 years ago | (#6276978)

'We're in discussions with Sun. We'd like to do this with their support.'

It'd be hard to do it without Sun's support since they have been known on occasion to get very mad about people making versions of Java without their support. Of course that was mainly about a non-standard version, so maybe it wouldn't matter as long as it followed the standard.

How far is RedHat into this? Planning, Writing, Compiling, Marketing? If they're only planning it, java may finally be dead before it gets done; of course java may outlive me, of course I may die this evening, we just don't know.

An even better idea... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6277053)

would be for RH to partner with Blackdown (who would ultimately be the keepers of OpenSource Java). All the mechanisms are already in place, and they would ensure that itÂd run on any Linux distro, not just RH.

Blackdown is tainted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6277439)

The Blackdown coders agreed to the SCSL, so (IIRC, IANAL) Sun owns their brains for life.

Re:Sun's Support (1)

ElGuapoGolf (600734) | more than 11 years ago | (#6277082)

Java may be dead before it gets done? How long is RH planning on taking? Decades?

Cos I don't see any J2EE apps running in F5K companies gettin rewritten overnight. And all those phones that play those neat games (J2ME) won't disappear overnight.

Re:Sun's Support (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6277340)

How is this idiot insightful? Insightful would be doing a little research before you blab about something which you haven't a clue. Java dead? Not likely. And before you start trying to justify your thinking, consider there are Cobol programmers with a job -

There (4, Informative)

Ann Coulter (614889) | more than 11 years ago | (#6276985)

is already some source code [sun.com] available. :)

Re:There (4, Informative)

Monkey-Man2000 (603495) | more than 11 years ago | (#6277119)

It sounds like they're interested in doing a clean-room implementation that isn't tied down by proprietary licenses like the one Sun provides (and the link you gave). This is a _good_ thing.

Re:There (0, Offtopic)

logic7 (462356) | more than 11 years ago | (#6277282)

informative, huh? sure, the source code is available, but it is not open source. neither free as in beer nor free as in speech. the parent poster knew about this, hence the winking smiley. should be "funny" or "karma whore" instead.

GPL? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6276999)

Why not open up the original sun platform?

What was Blackdown? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6277003)

Wasn't it originally a clean-room open source JDK for Linux that Sun adopted?

Re:What was Blackdown? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6277099)

No. Blackdown was not a clean-room implementation, and was based in part on Sun's Java. Especially in the class libraries area.

Re:What was Blackdown? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6277177)

No - Blackdown was simply a port of the Sun JDK to Linux. Same source base.

Its actually fairy easy... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6277014)

Java's source is really, really simple, actually.

Just take one pound of fresh, dry-roasted beans (I prefer Sumatra myself, though Peruvian and Venezuelan are nice, too). Grind these to the desired consistancy, depending on one's brewing method of choice (I'm a 'french press' kinda guy myself, but auto-drip is the norm). Next, load the beans into the appropriate container (filters for the drips, wire mesh baskets for us pressers). Apply nearly-boiling hot water, allow a moment for the beans to steep. Pour into your favorite cup and voila! Instant Java.

Jeesh. Why everyone makes such a big deal out of that, is just beyond me. No wonder all these tech companies go out of business - they can't even make a goddamn cup of coffee!

sun should go for it (3, Interesting)

autopr0n (534291) | more than 11 years ago | (#6277023)

It would be a win-win situation for them, and they can use their trademark to protect the 'purity'. I.E. if it's not "Pure java" it can't be called "Pure java". And microsoft seems to have gotten out of the java game anyway, so their corruption isn't much of an issue. I doubt the open source maintainers would allow contributions that would violate sun's standards, and Microsoft would never fork a GPL project since they hate the GPL so much.

And plus, sun wouldn't need to do any of the work themselves :P

first post! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6277024)

being a subscriber 0wns niggas!

Blackdown? (3, Insightful)

mickwd (196449) | more than 11 years ago | (#6277027)

Does Blackdown [blackdown.org] have any role in this ?

Re:Blackdown? (2, Interesting)

wfrp01 (82831) | more than 11 years ago | (#6277258)

Also GNU Classpath [gnu.org] . Seems to me that if Redhat wants a free Java implementation, they would do well to contribute to existing effort, rather than starting yet another one.

Good for the web (4, Interesting)

narfbot (515956) | more than 11 years ago | (#6277031)

I don't use java with mozilla because it's bloaty and not very open source friendly. This it sometimes a pain though, not having it available. And of course there are those java programs I can never try. Having an open source version with Sun's support will improve the current mess.

Somebody make a current open source shockwave plugin!

Re:Good for the web (5, Funny)

Thorgal (3103) | more than 11 years ago | (#6277122)

Sir, it does really sound weird for Mozilla user to complain about Java's bloat.

Re:Good for the web (1)

Corporate Gadfly (227676) | more than 11 years ago | (#6277320)

holy crap... as if Mozilla wasn't the most bloated piece of software itself.

Secondly, what java programs have you not been able to try? Ever heard of J2EE. Stop using client-side java as an excuse.

Is Slashdot running on Java? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6277040)

It's so slow, it must be.

Re:Is Slashdot running on Java? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6277161)

HA HA HA!!! Oh man that's a good one! Hey, know what would be even funnier!?! If they ran on ASP.NET!!! Man, between the reboots, exploits, viruses, shit code, lackluster performance and non-existent security there wouldn't even be a Slashdot site!!! HA HA HA!!! Oh man, Java, slow ... bwaaahaaaaahaaaa ... that's sooooo 1996 it's funny!

RedHat's Rawhide (3, Interesting)

thule (9041) | more than 11 years ago | (#6277048)

Recently Rawhide had Eclipse and Tomcat in it. I was pleasantly surpised to see Eclipse running on ppc Rawhide! It looked like they were running it against gcc's java, but after reading that article I was possibly mistaken. Did anyone else look at the Rawhide version of Eclipse?

Sad News - Open Source Java guy found dead (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6277060)

I just heard the sad news on BBC radio. Web entreprenuer/pioneer Open Source Java guy was found dead in his Maine home this morning. Even if you never admired his work [goatse.cx] , you can appreciate what he did for the 'last frontier' of the internet.

Reports are that he died from complications resulting from Open Sores. Truly a internet icon. He will be missed :(

be careful (5, Insightful)

73939133 (676561) | more than 11 years ago | (#6277069)

Sun has promised a lot in the past for Java and then gone back on their word. For example, Sun promised an open Java standard but then pulled out of two standardization efforts.

If this gets dragged into the JCP process or stays under Sun's "community source" umbrella, it will not be open source in the way that we know it. If people aren't free to "corrupt" the open source Java in any way they like, it will not be open source; for example, one project of key importance for Java on Linux would be native bindings to Gnome.

A closely related question to be answered is what the patent situation around any such "open source" version of Java will be; Sun currently holds several patents that effectively block fully compatible open source implementations. Will Sun dedicate those patents to the public domain? Or will the "open source Java" adopt a license that makes the code open source but lets Sun retain control over who gets to use it through patents?

To Sun, Linux is as much as a threat as Microsoft, and their strategy is the same: make the OS irrelevant by replacing it with a Sun-controlled platform that runs on top of the OS. The Linux community should be as paranoid about that occurring as Microsoft management is. Sun is, ultimately, not a friend of Linux.

Maybe Sun is serious about creating an "open source" version of Java in the sense we all use the term. But I will reserve my judgement until there is something concrete on the table. So far, every promise of opening up Java by Sun has turned out to be a smokescreen and a distraction.

Re:be careful (1)

deanj (519759) | more than 11 years ago | (#6277311)

If anyone "corrupts" Java so it can't pass the conformance tests (ie, adds keywords, stupid C# stuff, or anything like that) it's not Java.

Re:be careful (1)

sedmonds (94908) | more than 11 years ago | (#6277377)

To Sun, Linux is as much as a threat as Microsoft, and their strategy is the same: make the OS irrelevant by replacing it with a Sun-controlled platform that runs on top of the OS. The Linux community should be as paranoid about that occurring as Microsoft management is. Sun is, ultimately, not a friend of Linux.


Wouldn't that make Sun not a friend of "open source and open standards with respect to Linx", rather than not a friend of Linux? Not everyone involved with linux cares if whats done on top of linux is "open".

What patents? (1)

yerricde (125198) | more than 11 years ago | (#6277442)

If people aren't free to "corrupt" the open source Java in any way they like, it will not be open source; for example, one project of key importance for Java on Linux would be native bindings to Gnome.

As long as Red Hat keeps additions out of the java.*, javax.*, sun.*, and com.sun.* namespaces, preferably limiting them to com.redhat.* and org.gnome.*, Sun would not consider Red Hat's additions to "corrupt" the platform.

Sun currently holds several patents that effectively block fully compatible open source implementations.

You mean these patents [prime-radiant.com] ? Can you pick one out that doesn't have an extensive body of prior art?

Re:be careful (2, Insightful)

Strudelkugel (594414) | more than 11 years ago | (#6277453)


To Sun, Linux is as much as a threat as Microsoft, and their strategy is the same: make the OS irrelevant by replacing it with a Sun-controlled platform that runs on top of the OS. The Linux community should be as paranoid about that occurring as Microsoft management is. Sun is, ultimately, not a friend of Linux

Now I get to ask my other favorite tech-biz question:

What exactly is Sun's business model?

Sun does not make money from Java, it's an expense. They support it because it provides an alternative to Windows in terms of availability, and .Net as a comprehensive framework. But for this to work to Sun's advantage, the message has to be "Java is everywhere, but for best results, you really should run it on a Sun platform. All those other platforms are just there so you can have a common codebase." How will opening the source benefit Sun? Seems that will allow others to make optimized versions for non-Sun hardware or OSes. Sun has to pretend "We're all in this together against big bad M$", while at the same time wondering how to undermine Linux - a nightmare for them.

So far, every promise of opening up Java by Sun has turned out to be a smokescreen and a distraction.

For what seems to be a clear reason.

Sun's Jonathan Schwartz Opposes Open Source Java (4, Informative)

tomkerigan (565384) | more than 11 years ago | (#6277081)

SAN FRANCISCO -- Jonathan Schwartz, executive vice president of software at Sun Microsystems Inc., spoke with Computerworld during the recent JavaOne conference here about the possibility of Java becoming open-source, the potential market for Java in mobile devices and Java's relationship with IBM. Excerpts from that interview follow.

Should Java be made fully open-source? The problem with open-source is that [victory] goes to volume, and that's evident in the Linux community today where ISVs [independent software vendors] are qualifying to Red Hat and abandoning everyone else. Why? Because Red Hat has volume. If Java were open-source, Microsoft could take it, deliver it as they saw fit and drive a definition of Java that was divergent from the one that the community wanted to be compatible. And to the victor would go the spoils of that nefarious action. To the extraordinary credit of the Java Community Process [JCP], we have a uniform compatible standard that now spans hundreds of millions of devices, hundreds of millions of smart cards, hundreds of millions of desktops and tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of servers. So you have to really be careful in understanding the distinction between open-source and open standards.

More at http://www.computerworld.com/developmenttopics/dev elopment/story/0,10801,82286,00.html [computerworld.com]

About time.... (1, Insightful)

licketyspit (455028) | more than 11 years ago | (#6277087)

I'm hoping that this will happen. With projects like gnuclasspath and gcj, the java java language could really take off like a rocket if there were a fully compliant set of classes.

Re:About time.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6277289)

it could take off like a rocket, but then again, i could shit solid 24k turds.

Sun has been serious about it for a while !! (3, Interesting)

$exyNerdie (683214) | more than 11 years ago | (#6277096)

really... (0, Redundant)

hatrisc (555862) | more than 11 years ago | (#6277123)

the source for java is already available directly from sun. it isn't however liscenced in such a manner that modifications can be redistributed, etc etc.

That'll never happen! (4, Funny)

Jon Abbott (723) | more than 11 years ago | (#6277132)

According to a ComputerWire article, RedHat is in discussions with Sun about launching an open source version of the Java platform.
Ha! That'll happen when pigs fly, and when Apple comes out with a system that is faster than a PC. Oh wait...

Isn't it Kaffe? (5, Interesting)

Jungle guy (567570) | more than 11 years ago | (#6277150)

According to the Kaffe website [kaffe.org] , it is a "a clean room implementation of the Java virtual machine, plus the associated class libraries needed to provide a Java runtime environment. The Kaffe virtual machine is free software, licensed under the terms of the GNU Public License."

Wasted effort ? (0, Troll)

Krapangor (533950) | more than 11 years ago | (#6277171)

I doubt that RedHats decision makes any sense at all. There is a package of reasons why they shouldn't brother in touching Java. Especially with the fucked IT economics these days a major failed investment like useless and obsolete language fork might seriously cripple or even kill a small company. RedHat is gambling with their very lives for gaining nothing. That's contradicting sense at it's best. Perhaps they were inspired by SCO.

Well, much claims but I should back them up a little. Let's look at the problems of a Java port.

  • Java is already relatively free. SUN's license doesn't compile with the EFF's open source criteria, but that's more a philosophical issue. It's free enough for the uses of almost all users and that should be enough for everyone.
    Why spend much effort only to follow the path of the true OSS aposteles ?
    That might raise your karma but not your balance.
  • They should take into account the effects of potentially success of SCO attacks on IBM and Linux. While this might be extremely unlikely from a logical point of view, one should always keep in mind that the US legal system is relative fucked in that respect.
    So really anything can happen including the collapse of space-time. But if SCO is successful with the strange "derivative works" claims then this has effect on all software produced in the US. Especially creating a clean room implementation won't help anymore, it will always be SUN's IP.
    So RedHat would be working for SUN for free.
    The only solution would be to outsource to coding to a country without IP laws like Bahamas, Nigeria, Somalia or Tibet.
  • Why spend any effort on Java at all ?
    Java has some good points, but its design is deeply fucked in some aspects. The creators ignored some important ideas of modern software engineering. A major (but not the only one) reason is that thay wanted to create a C++ derivate. But C++ is from an object-orientated perspective utter blasphemy, mainly due to its dreadful ancestor C (well, not many people have a psychotic axe-murderer as an ancestor).
    SUN is trying to fix this with introducing generics and other modern stuff. But in my experience fucked designs won't get better with adding features. That's like adding a better engine to a car without wheels.
    So why should RH brother with Java. There are much more modern approaches to networked programming than Java. Hey, even MS .NET is more wisely designed that SUN's stuff and from Microsoft we usually won't see the state of art in modern programming.

Re:Wasted effort ? (4, Insightful)

deanj (519759) | more than 11 years ago | (#6277414)

Ok on the first two points, but complete FUD on the last one. It shows a complete lack of understanding of how Java was created, why some of the design decisions were made. If you don't like Java, fine, program in whatever the hell language you want.

Don't blame your bias on the language design, especially when you don't name anything to back it up.

What's the "much more modern approach to networked programming than Java?"

And don't say .NET, because that blows your whole argument.

Why start from scratch? (3, Interesting)

jyoull (512280) | more than 11 years ago | (#6277187)

So they already have source code that works... tell me again why someone has to start from scratch in a "clean room" to build something that validates against the API ? I must have slept through that part.

Um, Classpath? (5, Interesting)

deblau (68023) | more than 11 years ago | (#6277188)

The guys over at GNU are already working on this [gnu.org] . The project is called Classpath, it's distributed under a modified GPL so it doesn't contaminate projects it's only linked with, and it's far along already. Most Java 2 classes have been implemented, even though they only claim to be 1.1 compliant.

stupid question? (2, Interesting)

kurosawdust (654754) | more than 11 years ago | (#6277193)

There's always been an interest in an open source implementation of Java developed in a clean room that adheres to the Java standards..'We're in discussions with Sun. We'd like to do this with their support."

If you're going to do it with Sun's support, then why do you need a clean room? Or, if you're going to do it in a clean room, why do you need Sun's support?

I don't see the need... (4, Interesting)

Cnik70 (571147) | more than 11 years ago | (#6277215)

As a java programmer, I have never found java to be limited as a closed source language. The overall structure of the language is easily expandable and adaptable enough to fit my daily needs. And by introducing a new non-sun version of java leads to the same problems that M$ had with J++ where 100% pure sun java code is incompatible with other flavors. Sometimes I believe that certain things, especially programming languages, are better left untouched by multiple sources. It strengthens the language when it remains uniform.

Re:I don't see the need... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6277363)

There's nothing wrong with extensions to the platform that are clearly identified and have open interfaces. Red Hat knows we won't put up with Microsoft's brand of incompatibility.

Was this Larry Ellison's idea? (4, Interesting)

Mannerism (188292) | more than 11 years ago | (#6277216)

I wonder how long it would take Oracle to turn an open source JVM into an Oracle product in much the same way as they turned Apache into 9iAS.

Re:Was this Larry Ellison's idea? (1)

geekBass (665923) | more than 11 years ago | (#6277305)

that was orion server which had nothing to do with apache. orion was never open source and oracle bought the source from them.

OT: THANK YOU! (4, Insightful)

Dalcius (587481) | more than 11 years ago | (#6277250)

I know some Red Hat/Sun folks are reading this. As a person who is learning Java in his spare time, I really want to say thanks -- I pray that this goes through. Combining Java and OSS with Red Hat and Sun support, in my mind, is enough to kill .NET and set Linux up for good.

This might be the final kick in the ass that gives Linux the momentum to move on top.

Re:OT: THANK YOU! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6277385)

In other words you think Java should be a monopoly?

Forgive my ignorance, but (1)

Trelane (16124) | more than 11 years ago | (#6277260)

isn't this Blackdown's Java?

How is this different from Blackdown?

Re:Forgive my ignorance, but (1)

molarmass192 (608071) | more than 11 years ago | (#6277392)

I didn't think there WAS a difference. In fact, I thought the Blackdown team was the one doing the Linux port for Sun. It would be interesting for somebody who knows "for sure" to chime in on this one.

Re:Forgive my ignorance, but (1)

El (94934) | more than 11 years ago | (#6277417)

From www.blackdown.org:


"The Blackdown project is based entirely on Java product source bases that have been licensed from Sun Microsystems.

Open Source less than Open Standards? (2, Interesting)

mkc (30434) | more than 11 years ago | (#6277266)

Sun Software VP Jonathan Schwartz seems to consider open standards more important than Open Source. See the CNet article [com.com] from a couple of months ago.

Perhaps there's a sense that locking down more of the Java developer market is more important than keeping the intellectual property in the implementation of Java "hidden". Once you put the open source version out, you can hope yours will become the defacto standard. But why go to Red Hat to open the Java source? Couldn't you just open it up yourself?

Maybe Sun just needs a high-volume distributor to developers everywhere. Developers who might use Java more if they didn't have to download it, if it were just there. Who serves up more downloads? Red Hat when they release another version of their distro? Sun when they release another version of Solaris? If you want to reach developers and M$ doesn't want to help [microsoft.com] , wouldn't you go for the next largest crowd?

Java making progress (3, Interesting)

nepheles (642829) | more than 11 years ago | (#6277300)

It seems that Sun is recognising that Java in general was in danger of stagnation. Recently, we've had a major push into the mobile phone arena, the bundling of JREs with Dell and HP PCs, SDK 1.5, and now this.

This might well be in reaction to the threat posed by .NET, but it seems that Sun are actively seeking to innovate once again, before .NET has a chance to catch up

And that's, long-term, probably a good thing for the development community

making the right decision (1, Interesting)

yajacuk (303678) | more than 11 years ago | (#6277352)

With Ximian's Mono's project bringing the dot Net architecture to the Open Source arena, and Sun's failure to standardize Java, I wonder if Red Hat is making the right decision.

Isn't blackdown OpenSource? (4, Insightful)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 11 years ago | (#6277380)

I was under the impression that the Sun sponsored blackdown project was already opensource. THey have ported Java already to sparc/linux and I believe have a lintel port.

This has been a good idea for a while. (2, Interesting)

Captain Rotundo (165816) | more than 11 years ago | (#6277419)

It would be so great if there was a open implmentation of java. I know there are groups working on it, but if only sun would get involved then it would have a greater chance of staying current. I've always thought it wouldn't hurt Sun to open up the Java SDK and classes a little, what exactly is the benifit they get from it being closed? The version they released would still be considered the standard regardless of its openess or of potention forks.

Forget GCJ, just think of the advantages to Sun if there was a kernel driver to run plain java natively, if done right, and of course open enough to be compatible it could only bolster java greatly, especially now that .net is a big threat.

I have to admit I like java for some tasks but am apprehensive that the two biggest hyped technologies nowadays are both controlled by a single company each, and both have closed source reference implementations.
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