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Beyond An Open Source Java

simoniker posted more than 9 years ago | from the acronyms-and-rantings dept.

Java 550

Karma Sucks writes "LinuxToday is featuring a intriguing article on why Sun should open source Java, as a stronger followup to the recent ESR saga that was reported here. The writer notes: 'Sun needs to do some radical things to improve its chances of survival, and all of them involve Open Source in some form or the other.' One thing the article fails to mention is the threat of Mono, which should be of special interest to Sun, with its vested interest in GNOME."

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550 comments

I LIKE BIG BUTTS AND I CANNOT LIE (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8392537)

*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_
g_______________________________________________g_ _
o_/_____\_____________\____________/____\_______o_ _
a|_______|_____________\__________|______|______a_ _
t|_______`._____________|_________|_______:_____t_ _
s`________|_____________|________\|_______|_____s_ _
e_\_______|_/_______/__\\\___--___\\_______:____e_ _
x__\______\/____--~~__________~--__|_\_____|____x_ _
*___\______\_-~____________________~-_\____|____*_ _
g____\______\_________.--------.______\|___|____g_ _
o______\_____\______//_________(_(__>__\___|____o_ _
a_______\___.__C____)_________(_(____>__|__/____a_ _
t_______/\_|___C_____)/______\_(_____>__|_/_____t_ _
s______/_/\|___C_____)_______|__(___>___/__\____s_ _
e_____|___(____C_____)\______/__//__/_/_____\___e_ _
x_____|____\__|_____\\_________//_(__/_______|__x_ _
*____|_\____\____)___`----___--'_____________|__*_ _
g____|__\______________\_______/____________/_|_g_ _
o___|______________/____|_____|__\____________|_o_ _
a___|_____________|____/_______\__\___________|_a_ _
t___|__________/_/____|_________|__\___________|t_ _
s___|_________/_/______\__/\___/____|__________|s_ _
e__|_________/_/________|____|_______|_________|e_ _
x__|__________|_________|____|_______|_________|x_ _
*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_


Important Stuff: Please try to keep posts on topic. Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page) If you want replies to your comments sent to you, consider logging in or creating an account.

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Important Stuff: Please try to keep posts on topic. Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page) If you want replies to your comments sent to you, consider logging in or creating an account.

Re:I LIKE BIG BUTTS AND I CANNOT LIE (-1)

Ads are broken (718513) | more than 9 years ago | (#8392570)

How long before people no longer recognize this priceless piece of ASCII art? Stupid Christmas Island. We'll have to keep Goatse alive through the oral tradition.

Java is ok (0, Interesting)

Amsterdam Vallon (639622) | more than 9 years ago | (#8392541)

I still prefer C/C++ though, honestly.

I just like having control of the code and being able to do hardware-level stuff. Also, it's just plain faster.

Java is cool for uber-OO projects, for but most stuff, I'm a strictly C/C++ guy.

HELLO EKROUT TROLL BITCH FAGGOT! MOD PARENT DOWN! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8392568)

*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_
g_______________________________________________g_ _
o_/_____\_____________\____________/____\_______o_ _
a|_______|_____________\__________|______|______a_ _
t|_______`._____________|_________|_______:_____t_ _
s`________|_____________|________\|_______|_____s_ _
e_\_______|_/_______/__\\\___--___\\_______:____e_ _
x__\______\/____--~~__________~--__|_\_____|____x_ _
*___\______\_-~____________________~-_\____|____*_ _
g____\______\_________.--------.______\|___|____g_ _
o______\_____\______//_________(_(__>__\___|____o_ _
a_______\___.__C____)_________(_(____>__|__/____a_ _
t_______/\_|___C_____)/______\_(_____>__|_/_____t_ _
s______/_/\|___C_____)EKROUT_|__(___>___/__\____s_ _
e_____|___(____C_____)\______/__//__/_/_____\___e_ _
x_____|____\__|_____\\_________//_(__/_______|__x_ _
*____|_\____\____)___`----___--'_____________|__*_ _
g____|__\______________\_______/____________/_|_g_ _
o___|______________/____|_____|__\____________|_o_ _
a___|_____________|____/_______\__\___________|_a_ _
t___|__________/_/____|_________|__\___________|t_ _
s___|_________/_/______\__/\___/____|__________|s_ _
e__|_________/_/________|____|_______|_________|e_ _
x__|__________|_________|____|_______|_________|x_ _
*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_


Important Stuff: Please try to keep posts on topic. Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page) If you want replies to your comments sent to you, consider logging in or creating an account.

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Re:Java is ok (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8392591)

I still prefer mixing Python & C via SWIG. Fantastic, easy to use OO language when that's what I want, and speed when I need it.

Re:Java is ok (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8392604)

Modded down... does having a C preference get you shunned around here? I program in assembly (not for PCs), do I get an "overrated" now?

Re:Java is ok (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8392790)

This isn't about which language is best. It's about Java being open sourced. It's off topic!

Re:Java is ok (3, Insightful)

kfg (145172) | more than 10 years ago | (#8392668)

Java is cool for uber-OO projects. . .

Nah. Java is cool for run of the mill OO projects where everyone else is using Java too, because everyone else is using Java.

If you want to look at something interesting check out Apple's Squeak, an implimentation of Smalltalk-80 where even the VM is written in open source Smalltalk.

Squeak [squeak.org]

KFG

Give this man his +5, Insightful (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8392712)

He mentioned Smalltalk

Re:Give this man his +5, Insightful (0, Offtopic)

kfg (145172) | more than 10 years ago | (#8392807)

Can I get a bonus point for bringing up CLOS?

KFG

Re:Give this man his +5, Insightful (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8392829)

Technically you should get modded down for replying to a known karmawhore/troll (Amsterdam Vallon), but I think we'll let it slide.

Re:Java is ok (1)

aled (228417) | more than 10 years ago | (#8392718)

"Squeak began, very simply, with the needs of a research group at Apple."
I don't think Squeak is an official Apple project. It just was born there.

Re:Java is ok (-1, Flamebait)

nineoneone (748675) | more than 10 years ago | (#8392854)

No it isn't. It sucks, big time. It is still to damn slow - ask anyone who runs a java app, christ, even the developers appologise for it ( see ed2k gui ).

Dumb question (3, Interesting)

Brian Dennehy (698379) | more than 9 years ago | (#8392542)

So what exactly is closed-source right now? The language is obviously out in the open. Is that copyrighted? Is it the compiling into binary code itself that is copyrighted?

Re:Dumb question (5, Informative)

Amsterdam Vallon (639622) | more than 9 years ago | (#8392597)

The problem is the way Java is being developed and maintained as a proprietary programming language base.

There are two major Java implementations currently in use -- one by IBM, one by Sun Microsystems. Both of them may come without charge, but are without the freedom that would make them qualify as Free Software.

Therefore, all software written in Java (even software under a Free Software license) running on such a platform will "put the user's freedom at risk" (a quote from FSF/GNU people). It's like running Free Software on Windows.

If you want more detailed 411 about the status of Free Software versions of Java, hit up the following URL:
http://www.gnu.org/directory/devel/prog/java/ [gnu.org]

MOD PARENT +1 INFORMATIVE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8392637)

It's good info.

OOH, GOOD KARMAWHORE MANUEVER! LINK TO GNU! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8392640)

That'll attract the mod points! Note to mods: Amsterdam Vallon = Blatent Karmawhore.

Pah! Opensource FUD (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8392544)

And you think on MS does shit like this.

Have any good open source recipes.. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8392545)

for coffee? I'm looking for a nice blend I can make myself. Any thoughts?

That would suck for java... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8392547)

Incompatibility would run rampant. My java apps barely work for my phone as it is.

Re:That would suck for java... (4, Interesting)

kindofblue (308225) | more than 10 years ago | (#8392698)

Yeah, I expect that an open source project would break things much more. Eclipse breaks the plugin.xml format subtley everytime. EMacs libraries always have bad interaction. Mozilla's XUL API has given me headaches, and is horribly, horribly, horribly documented.

The big plus side to open sourcing is perhaps the language could be forced to match the nice features of C#, like unsafe constructs and precompilation, both for performance reasons. There's only so much JIT optimization you can do. But precompiling (like GCJ, but intrinsic to the VM) would provide greater opportunities for large scale full source tree optimizations. Compiler writers have been doing this stuff for 50+ years.

Re:That would suck for java... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8392732)

I certainly don't want another Python where I must have version >= 2.1 = 2.3 2.4 for others.

Re:That would suck for java... (1)

JavaLord (680960) | more than 10 years ago | (#8392768)

Incompatibility would run rampant. My java apps barely work for my phone as it is.

Sun is working on a J2ME [com.com] standard for cell phones, so hopefully in a few years you wont have that problem.

Sun isn't going to Open source Java, it wont happen for the reason you mention. Incompatibility would ruin the cross-platform appeal of Java.

as ESR said in CatB (5, Informative)

stonebeat.org (562495) | more than 9 years ago | (#8392550)

Re:as ESR said in CatB (0, Redundant)

Kenja (541830) | more than 10 years ago | (#8392880)

Because of course, everyone who can think up a unique recipe can afford to open a restaurant. Furthermore the big IBM, Redhat and Sun restauants down the block from yours would NEVER use your recipe and offer your dish for less then you can.

Someone needs to take the reality 2x4 to ESRs head.

Open Source Java (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8392556)

When I was a kid I used to wet my bed. My parents were nice people and didn't really punish me or even let me know that this would be unacceptable at some point. So I just kept on doing it.

Well, one night when I was about 6 I woke up and I had to poop. Having never been scolded for pissing in my bed, I just stayed right there and shit all over my pajamas and my sheets and went right back to sleep.

The next morning my mother was doing the laundry. I still can remember the expression on her face as she held up my bedsheet covered in streaks of 8-hour old shit... Well, let me tell you, that day I learned that it's not accaptable to piss OR shit in bed.

I agree (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8392558)

First post. I agree. Java should be Open Source.

Java, who needs it? (0, Interesting)

$calar (590356) | more than 9 years ago | (#8392559)

This is not to be a troll, because I hate being cast as one for being negative. But I've never ever liked Java. It never had the performance of native software and there are other ways of getting the code portability of Java. Qt and GTK (via dropline) are examples of this. Mono too has some great promise, but it's still a work in progress. I like the idea of portable code, but the code should still run without an interpreter/virtual machine/emulator. Those are my thoughts.

Re:Java, who needs it? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8392586)

Not a troll either, but I have found that it is quite popular amongst people who do not know anything about programming but think they do, people with serious anal retentive problems and especially PHBs. I am not saying that applies to all Java programmers. It is just a trend I have noticed.

MOD PARENT,GRANDPARENT UP, STORY,SUN,JAVA DOWN (-1)

SirJaxalot (715418) | more than 9 years ago | (#8392645)

MOD THIS POST UP.

MOD UNCLE SIDEWAYS, MOD CUTE NIECE ONTO MY COCK! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8392728)

INCEST RULES!

Re:Java, who needs it? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8392588)

Yah know, just saying "This is not to be a troll" doesn't make it true

Re:Java, who needs it? (1, Troll)

aled (228417) | more than 9 years ago | (#8392598)

Java does run on an virtual machine, but modern VM compile code dinamically, not interpreting nor emulating.
How does MOno run?

Re:Java, who needs it? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8392622)

Mono does ahead-of-time compilation on x86 into native code.

You can also compile Java applications to native code using GCJ, assuming that you're not using anything beyond JRE 1.0 (or something like that).

Re:Java, who needs it? (5, Interesting)

jhouserizer (616566) | more than 9 years ago | (#8392611)

You're talking about clien-side Java. I.e. Java applications with UI.

This article is talking about J2EE (server side) applications. Which often benchmark faster than natively implemented code.

P.S.> Java desktop applications are fairly speedy if you use UI libraries such as SWT - which work directly on GTK for example.

Re:Java, who needs it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8392684)

Which often benchmark faster than natively implemented code.

You do realize that this is impossible, right? You probably meant C code where the lack of constant manual garbage collection may impact performance slightly. Either way, I don't believe that statement.

Re:Java, who needs it? (5, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 10 years ago | (#8392751)

> > Which often benchmark faster than natively implemented code.
>
>You do realize that this is impossible, right?

What makes you say that? In fact, the original poster is quite correct. The JVM *can* generate faster code. You know how? By doing runtime optimizations. Compilers have to optimize for what *might* be the best performance profile at runtime. Also, they can only compile for the lowest common processor. (e.g. A pentium II) The Hotspot Java VM can optimize based on how the code is currently being used, undo an optimization if it starts slowing things down, and use processor specific instructions! Natively compiled code just can't beat that.

Re:Java, who needs it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8392820)

Please explain how this would be faster than writing the app in native code using an assembler and then I'll believe you. You're still referring to compiled languages and probably C code specifically.

I guess there is some truth to the statement, but the wording is misleading (if not completely wrong).

Re:Java, who needs it? (3, Insightful)

nadamsieee (708934) | more than 10 years ago | (#8392856)

> Also, they can only compile for the lowest common processor. (e.g. A pentium II)

That may be true for traditional proprietary software, but NOT for F [fsf.org] /OS [opensource.org] Software. Witness Gentoo [gentoo.org] ; I compile everything for my computer's specific processor. And surely you don't believe that the Hotspot Java VM does its optimizations 'for free'! Every runtime optimization check introduces a performance hit.

Re:Java, who needs it? (5, Informative)

jhouserizer (616566) | more than 10 years ago | (#8392781)

You do realize that this is impossible, right?

No, this is not impossible. Read up on just-in-time (JIT) compliers and you'll see why. In a nutshell, the Java Virtual Machine profiles the code that is being executed, then uses sophisticated algorythms to anylize this information, then compile (while the system is running) native code from the java byte code, that is optimized for the environment, and more importantly for the ways in which the code is being invoked. Subsequent calls are executed by this newly compiled native code.

Thus the JIT compiler is able to (often) do a better job at creating optimized native code than a C++ compiler can do, because the C++ compiler doesn't have run-time analysis to use in its decisions of how to optimize the code. The JVM can continuously re-optimize the same code over and over during the life of the application. JVMs of today (and the last few years) do this as standard practice.

Re:Java, who needs it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8392838)

You're still comparing Java to C++ code. C++ isn't native and I didn't even mention the language. If the parts of the application you describe were written in assembly, it would be native code. Java converts byte code to native code and thus cannot be faster than native code.

However, compared to C/C++ and in certain cases, you are probably correct.

Re:Java, who needs it?-Misleading comparison (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8392845)

Lots of server side programs become bottlenecks. Clients is where the _free_ mips are. Server mips are _expensive_. The Hotspot compile is cool-but it isn't a solution to a bad architecture. Peer to peer take more work-but it will generate a faster overall solution when properly implemented.

Re:Java, who needs it? (5, Insightful)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 9 years ago | (#8392628)

If you think Java is in the enterprise because it is portable, you are greatly mistaken. There are some stuff in Java that makes it a great tool for the job, and portability is only one of them: Portability, Reflection, RMI, Proxies, J2EE, ... And I did forget a lot in the process.

Qt and GTK are not even languages, what the hell are you talking about? You are comparing an enterprise level language with a GUI library! Java is not Swing!

Re:Java, who needs it? (4, Informative)

infiniti99 (219973) | more than 10 years ago | (#8392897)

Qt may not be a language, but it does provide some language extensions via the Meta Object Compiler, which brings some nice things to C++. Also, Qt is not just a GUI library, but actually a whole Java-like foundation for C++. It's good stuff.

I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you, I'm just elaborating on what Qt is. It's closer to Java in nature than you might think, and with the upcoming Qt4 I can imagine it becoming quite a competitor.

Re:Java, who needs it? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 9 years ago | (#8392633)

maybe you should look into what is used for writing programs under contract to businesses?

j2se and .net.

so they're 'needed' at least in the sense that they're really used, in the real world, for doing real stuff on real data.

out of those two java is nice in the fashion of really running it anywhere, on almost any os.

Re:Java, who needs it? (5, Funny)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 9 years ago | (#8392635)

...but the code should still run without an interpreter/virtual machine/emulator.

I'll be impressed if they can make it run without a computer.

Re:Java, who needs it? (1)

aled (228417) | more than 10 years ago | (#8392738)

In my times we had no stinking computers, no sir. We used paper and pencil to "execute" the programs. We never needed to reboot!

Re. Java, who needs it? (1)

Lattitude (123015) | more than 10 years ago | (#8392763)

It never had the performance of native software

Back when everyone was writing assembly the first C compilers came along and everyone said "it's too slow!". And they were right. But, the compilers improved over time and now no one complains that native code written in C is too slow.

The same thing is happening with the JVMs. At first, they were dreadfully slow, but they have improved, and will continue to.

Re:Java, who needs it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8392819)

Java has never been about performance. The reason to use Java is for the portability (which it doesn't deliver), and the security (which it also doesn't deliver.)

High cost of J2EE? (5, Informative)

jhouserizer (616566) | more than 9 years ago | (#8392582)

This article mentions outlandish prices (it says $100,000 per cpu) for J2EE (Weblogic and WebSphere).

It fails to note that these are the *most expensive* full-suites of these products that have lot of non-J2EE frills (you can get into Weblogic's base J2EE support for $10k). Other commercial J2EE application servers are well under the $10k mark (e.g. $1500 for Orion Server)

This article also fails to note that there are more than a couple very robust OpenSource implementations of J2EE application servers, that are of course free.

It's obvious that if they pointed these facts out that their argument would be weaker...

Re:High cost of J2EE? (1)

dietz (553239) | more than 9 years ago | (#8392615)

This article also fails to note that there are more than a couple very robust OpenSource implementations of J2EE application servers, that are of course free.

I was under the impression that the only open source J2EE app server is JBoss. Are there more?

Re:High cost of J2EE? (4, Interesting)

jhouserizer (616566) | more than 10 years ago | (#8392716)

Quite a few more, depending on your definition of "J2EE Application Server". J2EE is a collection of specifications, and you only need to implement one (or more) of those specifications to be considered a J2EE server....

But there are other Open Source "full j2ee stack" application servers out there besides JBoss - Jonas [objectweb.org] for example.

RTFA (3, Insightful)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 10 years ago | (#8392821)

The article does mention that the only visible part of the J2EE iceberg (visible to the decision-makers, not the geeks) is webservers such as Websphere and Weblogic. It doesn't say anything else. It does mention open-source implementations.

What the author is talking about is a lack of the right communication from Sun on this matter. If Sun continue to advertise only WebSphere and WebLogic, they set the visible price very high.

Biggest threat is Microsoft (5, Interesting)

maliabu (665176) | more than 9 years ago | (#8392589)

in previous discussion, those opposed OpenSource Java suggested that with MS's domination today, MS can easily 'improvised' OSJava to become a run-on-windows-only-OS-Java (WOOSJAVA).

it doesn't matter if anyone else is going to benefit from/use/modify this WOOSJAVA, most likely it will just be preinstalled in all Windows shipped.

and regardless of what others may like to think, most consumers of MS will think that this WOOSJAVA is now the standard.

so in the end, maybe even Sun needs to write things to accomodate this WOOSJAVA in order to survive, that'll be ironic.

Re:Biggest threat is Microsoft (2, Informative)

i23098 (723616) | more than 9 years ago | (#8392662)

Ah! But this is the part than an Apache like version takes place. Java is a trademark of Sun, so they can say that Java is open-source, but any derivative products can't be called Java. That way, any one could contribute to it, but with Sun control over Java. MS version of Java couldn't be called Java unless it was approved by Sun.

Re:Biggest threat is Microsoft (4, Interesting)

MBCook (132727) | more than 10 years ago | (#8392750)

That's why the article suggests a dual license with the GPL. That would mean that either MS would have to buy a license that would allow them to modify the language at will (which Sun can just refuse to sell), or they would have to do it to the GPL version and they would have to release the changes to the community which would keep it from being Windows only. If you add in all the stuff that MS has to say against the GPL, they would either have to eat some serious dirt/crow/hat or they would have to not touch the language.

Also, there is the fact that if they do that they can't call it Java, because Sun owns that name (credit for this point goes to a sibling comment).

Mono is not a threat (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8392594)

Given the state of Mono, it's not in a position to give anyone pause.

There's no motivation to "Open Source" Java. It's supported on a myriad of platforms and you can even get access to the source if you want to take on the implementation on a new platform.

Re:Mono is not a threat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8392791)

Mono is porting .NET to UNIX platforms. .NET is a threat to Java. How is this not a threat?

As for no motivation to open source Java, I think you meant no monetary motivation. If everyone had access to the source of Java, we could start doing ahead-of-time compilation of Java apps to native code (using GCJ) to make them start up much more quickly.

I guess if you don't want to change Java at all then, you're right, there's no motivation for open sourcing it. If you're looking to make improvements to Java that require access to the source (as I'm sure the authors of GNU Classpath would like to do), then there is motivation.

Re:Mono is not a threat (0, Flamebait)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 10 years ago | (#8392846)

This is typical from a Slashdot post. The article talks about strategy and positions from Sun and you try to debute it with a mere technical anecdote.

You are way off. I'd suggest you (re-)read the article.

Surprise! (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8392601)

Are we supposed to be suprised that a bunch
of GPL zealots are claimoring for a private
company to relinquish ownership rights to a
piece of software? I doubt there is any "owned"
software that they don't wan't to demand they
be allowed to control. As long as their is a
standards process, preferably ANSI, ISO, etc.
I don't care if Sun retains ownership.

Open cool, but still keep distribution rights. (5, Insightful)

demonic-halo (652519) | more than 9 years ago | (#8392603)

I think open sourcing it is ok, but they should do all the work on it internally and not let any 3rd party distribute their own Java.

When you have a cross platform interpreter, you need to make sure there is consistency. For example, Microsoft JVM ruined it for alot of people since developers will forget to debug it on Suns JVM, causing huge incompatibility issues that they blamed on Sun.

Re:Open cool, but still keep distribution rights. (1)

seriv (698799) | more than 9 years ago | (#8392649)

That would probably be the best thing. I still don't see though how they are going to make a profit from distributing Java either way. Assuming profit is still important to Sun.

But, mono sucks (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8392616)

because I can't compile shit on it

vested means hidden (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8392617)

there's nothing vested about Sun's interest in GNOME. It's just an interest.

Re:vested means hidden (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8392682)

subject: wrong
body: right
titties: good

Thou hast failed it (1)

ValourX (677178) | more than 10 years ago | (#8392777)

Vested does not mean hidden in any sense. Often it means clothed, but in the context of the referenced post it means "Not in a state of contingency or suspension; fixed." Or at least that's what the dictionary says...

-Jem

Re:vested means hidden (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 10 years ago | (#8392887)

Vested interest does not mean hidden. It means invested in some manner, such as a right in an estate.

Or, in this case, the relevant meaning is this one:

3. A special interest in protecting or promoting that which is to one's own personal advantage.

And Sun most certainly is promoting Gnome for its own personal advantage.

KFG

Not sure this is what we need (5, Insightful)

SamiousHaze (212418) | more than 9 years ago | (#8392630)

I'm not certain this is a move that should be made. All we need are 18 different 'forks' in the java tree like certain other open source projects. I can just see it now "No no, you need BobJavaVM-1.43.2.43 - it won't run with FastJava V 2"

Re:Not sure this is what we need (4, Insightful)

jas79 (196511) | more than 10 years ago | (#8392691)

Could you back that up with an real example?

I haven't seen that happen with perl or python. So, I doubt it will happen with java.

Re:Not sure this is what we need (3, Interesting)

SamiousHaze (212418) | more than 10 years ago | (#8392765)

Well, Microsoft's VM for example versus Sun's VM was an example - and I think it would get worse.

Another example are C++ compilers, while there is a De Jure standard - all the companies include their own libraries that you just can't use unless you want to be incompatible. I'm thinking everyone would want a custom VM/Compiler (how many open source C compilers are there?)

I would talk about other non-language related projects but I don't want to get slammed (ok, like "this program won't compile on slackware but it'll compile on redhat cause of default library incompatibility issues")

The worst thing that could happen... (5, Insightful)

StandardCell (589682) | more than 9 years ago | (#8392632)

...is that Sun allows Java to wallow in limbo until its development becomes unsustainable and people start using other languages and development environments like .NET, and then make it open source because it became a black hole for them.

I mean, Sun could still have a vested interest in an open source Java and still derive revenue from custom design services and support while displacing the Beast [microsoft.com] . It isn't even like the implementation is a trade secret. Heck, the Beast has developed Java bytecode interpreters in the past. But the Beast would love to displace Java with .NET as a universal development language. You can bet diamonds to dollars that Microsoft will never open source their version though.

Hence, Sun has a great opportunity here. Will they see it?

I'm so far beyond that I am the opposite of beyond (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8392642)

Wow, that just barely fit in the subject bar. Anyway, please check out my uuencode troll [slashdot.org] !

Sun doesn't NEED to Open Source anything (5, Interesting)

fihzy (214410) | more than 9 years ago | (#8392651)

Sun has enough fingers in enough pies that will keep it going strong regardless of where it's open source strategy goes. The recent deal with the Chinese standard software company shows that it can leverage open source products without having to open source anything so big as Java to establish their commitment.

What they are talking about? (4, Interesting)

aled (228417) | more than 10 years ago | (#8392694)

There are some interesting points, but others are nonsense. "needs to position its own (Open Source) NetBeans and rival IBM's Eclipse as mere IDEs that support the Ant way of building applications.". Is publicy know by anyone interested that almost every major IDE supports Ant.
" Sun can lend credibility to Mozilla and XUL.". As much as I like Mozilla (I'm using it right now) I don't know if anyone could do that.
This is just an order of magnitud above ESR lowly comment but it still missing the target.

No relief (5, Insightful)

aoteoroa (596031) | more than 10 years ago | (#8392702)

From the article:
The Open Source community would be overjoyed, and the Java user community would be relieved, if Sun were to guarantee the perpetually open nature of Java by Open Source-ing its implementations.
I make a living writing custom browser based applications, and mostly use JSP/Servlets for the job. . . So I feel that I am part of the "Java user community" and as such I can tell you that I would feel no relief if Sun chose to open source Java.

Microsoft effectively broke Java by extending it to allow the implimention of native windows widgets that wouldn't run cross platform and since Sun owns Java they were able to sue, and win. I think if Java were open source MS would be free to break it again. It's an old argument and one that we have heard over and over again but it has staying power, I believe, because it is true.

Re:No relief (1)

Unoti (731964) | more than 10 years ago | (#8392905)

Just for my own education: Then why didn't Microsoft break Linux in the same way, since Linux is a much bigger threat to them than Java?

OpenSource to the rescue? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8392705)

Sun needs to do some radical things to improve its chances of survival, and all of them involve Open Source in some form or the other.

It's ludicrous to think that opensource in _any_ form will save _any_ company. No one has built a successful business model around opensource and Sun isn't going to do it either.

Re:OpenSource to the rescue? (2, Insightful)

tehdaemon (753808) | more than 10 years ago | (#8392881)

Nobody has ever sucessfully visited mars yet either. Does that mean no one ever will?? No.

That said, the fact that sucessfull open-source companies are rare (red hat anyone?) means that open-sourcing java is not gaurenteed to save the company. Simply put, your argument is incomplete at best.

Sorry, I am a bit picky about proper logic.

Mono?? A threat to java?? (5, Insightful)

Capitis (639796) | more than 10 years ago | (#8392706)

To borrow a phrase from John Stossel: Give me a break!

While Mono is cool project and, like many developers, one I've been following since it's inception, I don't see it ever overtaking Java, or .Net for that matter. It's a simple matter of resources.

Re:Mono?? A threat to java?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8392800)

Instead of posting crap like this to get easy karma for your slashdot account (so you can post goatse links at '2), why not help them?

Ganesh Prasad (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8392711)

Is he that one [carnaticcorner.com] ?!

Java's fine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8392730)

Though open sourcing Java may be beneficial, Java is doing just fine without it, just look at the Classified section ... most job openings are in Java.

Mono? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8392734)

That's because Mono is not a threat. Never has been, never will be.

Laughable? (5, Insightful)

eidechse (472174) | more than 10 years ago | (#8392760)

"Perl and Python are hardly competitors to Java, so warning Sun about Java's impending loss of market share to these two scripting languages is laughable."

How so?

The term "scripting language" doesn't have the name meaning it used to; especially where Perl and Python are concerned. They both get compiled to an intermediate form and executed...just like Java. The only difference (other than the internals of the runtime) is that the Java's development "model" is closely related to it's static typing; i.e., you manually compile your code into a binary before executing. Trying to discount Perl and Python by calling them scripting languages is silly. The real issue is what works as an enterprise development platform, not the "taxonomy" of the language. As far as platforms go, Python has got a pretty good thing in Zope/Plone etc. And both Perl and Python have libraries for damn near everything you'd want to do. J2EE may be more prevalent at the moment, but in terms of bang for buck Python and Perl present some interesting alternatives in the long term.

What I want to know (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8392761)

Is why my simple 'hello world' Java program takes up 6 megabytes of disk space and needs at least 256 megs of RAM to run. This thing litteraly locked up my linux box (5 times in a row) that only had 128 megs of RAM.

Whatever (1)

N8F8 (4562) | more than 10 years ago | (#8392766)

I fail to see a decent reason that Sun should do it. Lower the cost of J2EE, sure, but give it away? Is Sun were nothing buy a service businesss I could possinbly agree. Buy Sun wants to sell Java app servers on Sun hardware. Or at least so they get a cut of the package sale.

What will happen (4, Insightful)

pope nihil (85414) | more than 10 years ago | (#8392773)

As soon as Sun GPL'd Java, it would start to diverge from Sun's commercial Java. Sun would not be able to incorporate changes made under the GPL into their corporate version. Sure, they could maintain their own "official" GPL version, but the dual license argument is complete rubbish. Java wouldn't die, but Sun would lose most or all control over it.

Grrrr (4, Insightful)

BeerMilkshake (699747) | more than 10 years ago | (#8392774)

[J2EE] has replaced CORBA as the way to go for
large, distributed enterprise apps

Has J2EE replaced CORBA in those scenarios where either the client or server is NOT written in Java?

One of the facts of life in the enterprise is that it is heterogeneous in terms of platforms, operating systems and (maybe) network technologies. Neither J2EE nor .NET is satisfactory in this environment.

People should reread the article (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8392823)

The author is not saying that sun shouldn't close the source but that if they do keep it open, it won't hurt the closed nature of the project and may not in fact not even have any affect on their desire to not close it.

Open Java vs Communism (0, Troll)

pilybaby (638883) | more than 10 years ago | (#8392837)

Sun and Open source Java are a lot like communism. They're a nice idea in principle but just don't / wont work. I don't think Sun is in the business of giving away it's biggest assets now matter how good this would be for everyone else.

Re:Open Java vs Communism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8392867)

You need to move your 'and' and add comma to that first sentence:

Sun, Open source and Java are a lot like communism.

The complexity problem (5, Interesting)

sfjoe (470510) | more than 10 years ago | (#8392861)

The most compelling argument he makes is the complaint about the complexity EJBs:

An Enterprise JavaBean (EJB), which is a component containing business logic, typically requires 5 to 7 supporting files to deploy.

This is the real issue that Sun needs to address. Java is widely used in enterprise apps because it is easier and faster (therefore cheaper) to develop apps. However, EJBs have some fundamental flaws that add unnecessary complexity and network overhead. I have developed apps for some of the busiest sites in the world and the requirements to strip the code down to the essentials are not compatible with EJBs. More times than not, EJBs are ditched in favor of a servlet-based front-end and a proprietary persistence solution.

Apples to Oranges (2, Insightful)

r.jimenezz (737542) | more than 10 years ago | (#8392876)

I fail to see how many of the article's points relate to Java being open source or not. While we could agree that Sun hasn't been marketing Java the best it could, what's wrong with Ant/XDoclet/JUnit not being developed/sponsored by Sun? Do we really want a single provider like we have with MS? Do we need opensourcing Java if we get many of the benefits as it is, and no bickering/forks/whatnot?

As for Mono... I will not state my opinion about Mono per se, it's not the point, but let me just say that Mono is trying to catch up on a Microsoft implementation. I fail to see how that compares with opensourcing Java, or even how it is a threat.

Just my two cents...
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