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Sun to Release Java Source Code

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the long-time-coming dept.

349

pete314 writes "After resisting for years, Sun Microsystems CEO Jonathan Schwartz at JavaOne this morning said that he will release the source code for Java. The company is asking developers to provide feedback on how to best get there and prevent forking and fragmentation."

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Not such big news after all... (0, Flamebait)

tehdely (690619) | more than 8 years ago | (#15344631)

Really, who cares about Java any more?

Most of the promise of the technology is already gone and it's become yet another dinosaur for button-pushing undermen and Indians who hide behind their many certifications and years of overspecialized "experience".

Java offers nothing useful or exciting compared to what's out there. Sun has mismanaged and mismarketed the platform since the beginning. If it weren't for Java's supreme ability to support the conference, buzzword and certification industry, it would probably never have even found its niche within corporate applications.

Java is a failure and it's time to move on.

I suppose in the end I'm happy they're open sourcing it. This means that when Sun goes bankrupt after years of abject ruin, at least someone will be able to keep maintaining the language to support their 15 year old banking application.

Re:Not such big news after all... (0)

s31523 (926314) | more than 8 years ago | (#15344669)

Come on now.. I see java all over the web, so I guess the answer to who cares would be a lot! Even in this here Slashdot page, I see the java tag used all over the source code for this page.

MOD PARENT DOWN,GRANDPARENT UP,STORY/JAVA DOWN (1)

SirJaxalot (715418) | more than 8 years ago | (#15344687)

Mod Java fanboys (ie managers and anal retentive UML assholes) DOWN!

Re:Not such big news after all... (1)

tehdely (690619) | more than 8 years ago | (#15344691)

Slashcode is written in Perl.

Re:Not such big news after all... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15344937)

Slashcode is a POS from 1996. As are the mentalities of slashdot's posters

Re:Not such big news after all... (2, Informative)

mypalmike (454265) | more than 8 years ago | (#15344977)

Even in this here Slashdot page, I see the java tag used all over the source code for this page.

For the bazillionth time, Javascript is not Java. I can't believe there are people on /. who don't know this.

Re:Not such big news after all... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15344683)

Really, who cares about Java any more?

Just about everyone except you.

I can't believe anyone modded this troll up. Isn't the fact that he's posting at +0 a tipoff to anyone?

Huh? (3, Insightful)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 8 years ago | (#15344708)

Java offers nothing useful or exciting compared to what's out there.

What else is *out there*? c,c++,C#, Visual Basic, Python? If your going to tell me its terrible, I certainly understand that point of view, please at least tell me what you cosider to be better and what applications you have in mind. Just telling me its bad and not good for much, doesn't help much.

Any suggustions to what is out ther that holds such great advantages to Java?

All true. (1)

James A. V. Joyce (798462) | more than 8 years ago | (#15344709)

To be frank, I'd rather Sun hadn't open sourced Java, because that would probably reduce its (admittedly already very poor) uptake still more. As you can tell, I'm not a big fan. In trying to overcome the disadvantages of both compiled and interpreted languages, it actually incorporates them all: you get the slow startup times associated with JIT, and slow execution due to fiddling with bytecode. Let's not forget that the only type of optimisation carried out on the bytecode is peephole optimisation, which is inadequate for the majority of I/O intensive operations. The list goes on and on.

Re:Not such big news after all... (1)

Peter Trepan (572016) | more than 8 years ago | (#15344750)

IANAP(rogrammer), but I can see how it would make a variety of things possible within the open source community.

For instance, if one knows exactly how Java works, one should be able to make code intended for a Java VM compile into native binaries. That means that every Java app out there, and there are a lot, should be able to run much faster and in native windowing environments within Linux - and that Java code written natively for Linux would also be (somewhat) portable between platforms using VMs.

Again, I'm not a programmer, so someone correct me if I'm wrong.

Re:Not such big news after all... (1)

magicjava (952331) | more than 8 years ago | (#15344773)

Again, I'm not a programmer, so someone correct me if I'm wrong.

You're not wrong, but such tools already exist. IMHO, all this will do is lead to incompatible versions of Java.

Re:Not such big news after all... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15344788)

People have been able to see how Java works for quite some time now. You just have to agree to a very restrictive and invasive license that no free software developer would agree to.

My guess is they will release it under CDDL, like OpenSolaris. For all of Sun's idiocy, I appreciate their graceful march to death.

Re:Not such big news after all... (1)

RetroGeek (206522) | more than 8 years ago | (#15344887)

That means that every Java app out there, and there are a lot, should be able to run much faster

Compiling has trade-offs. You must target the end environment (CPU, OS), and also try to optimize code (for the target CPU). But you can only do static optimization.

Modern JVMs optimize on the fly. So the more you use a particular path through the code, the more it will be optimized (obviously only so far...). See this article [ibm.com] : "The dynamic nature of the Java language provides opportunities for better optimization based on runtime profile information, and this is a significant advantage of a Java dynamic compiler over a traditional static compiler."

So having a compiled executable may not yield faster run times. It may have faster load times, which is where most of the perception of slowness comes from.

I use a rather large Java IDE (Eclipse [eclipse.org] ) for development. It takes 10-15 seconds to load up the IDE from a cold start (2.1 GHz laptop). After that it is just as fast as I can type, which includes on-the-fly error/syntax checking, code assist, and so on.

Re:Not such big news after all... (1)

wasabii (693236) | more than 8 years ago | (#15344942)

There are already open source, free, and feature complete Java Virtual Machines. There are also open source and nearly complete class libraries. Check out kaffe, gcj and classpath.

These can run most non-Swing applications perfectly. They are distributed By Default in Redhat and Ubuntu. Eclipse runs on them, Tomcat runs on them. Most Java applications run on them. This is old news.

It is not under question how "java works". It's easy. It's well published and well known.

Misleading Headline (5, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#15344634)

"After resisting for years, Sun Microsystems CEO Jonathan Schwartz at JavaOne this morning said that he will release the source code for Java.

BZZT! WRONG! Java source code has been available for YEARS! (And no, I'm not going to bother linking. If you don't already know where to find the SCSL and JRL licensed code by now, you need to pull your head out of your butt and Google it.)

This article is nothing but a blurb that suggests that Sun is looking at Open Sourcing Java. (What the Slashdot pundits have been screaming for, for years now.) Unfortunately, one of OSI's core requirements is forking. So Java will never be able to make the pundits happy. :-/

Re:Misleading Headline (4, Insightful)

Coryoth (254751) | more than 8 years ago | (#15344801)

Unfortunately, one of OSI's core requirements is forking. So Java will never be able to make the pundits happy.

Sure they can - there are other ways to pevent forking than in the license. Look at most of the major OSS projects around and you'll see that there is very little in the way of forking - sure minor forks exist but they quickly die. Sun doesn't care about some minor fork of Java that 20 people use that eventually dies, they are worried about a significant competing standard that honestly splits developers between two different platforms. How often has that happened with big OSS projects? Hardly ever. The question is not so much "what can be done to prevent forking" but "what happens that causes a successful fork". The major examples of significant splits in the OSS world would be Emacs/XEmacs, gcc/ecgs, and XFree86/Xorg. In each of those cases the reason for both the fork, and the success of the fork, comes down to the original project stagnating and being unresponsive to change. Avoid that and you tend to avoid significant forks.

Jedidiah.

Re:Misleading Headline (1)

nickos (91443) | more than 8 years ago | (#15344847)

Remember the Unix wars [wikipedia.org] fiasco?

Re:Misleading Headline (2, Insightful)

Coryoth (254751) | more than 8 years ago | (#15344961)

Which interestingly enough took place between proprietary systems, not open ones. In that sense the UNIX wars are more akin to the battle between Java and C# and .NET (which could, indeed, be seen as damaging to the VM market). That is to say, regardless of what Sun does with Java they are already facing the same sorts of problems.

Jedidiah.

Re:Misleading Headline (4, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#15344867)

Sun doesn't care about some minor fork of Java that 20 people use that eventually dies

But they DO care about IBM or Microsoft creating a VM that advertises compatbility, but actually pulls the bait-and-switch routine. Remember, Microsoft already tried to pull that routine with the NON-OSS version of Java. It was the license that stopped them. This time, you can be sure that they would stay precisely inside the letter of the law. No Java trademarking, but no compatability testing either. Companies will start to rely on it for its Windows performance, and then Microsoft will start introducing subtle differences. Before you know it, users will blame Sun for being incompatible.

Re:Misleading Headline (2, Insightful)

Coryoth (254751) | more than 8 years ago | (#15344923)

But they DO care about IBM or Microsoft creating a VM that advertises compatbility, but actually pulls the bait-and-switch routine. Remember, Microsoft already tried to pull that routine with the NON-OSS version of Java.

Sure, but they will still own and control the Java trademark and they can simply bar such bait-and-switch advertising. Microsoft can fork Java all they want, they just can't call it Java, nor Java comnpatible. Besides MS is unlikely to do any such thing now since their efforts are heavily sunk into C# and .NET.

Jedidiah.

Re:Misleading Headline (2, Interesting)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 8 years ago | (#15344998)

But they DO care about IBM or Microsoft creating a VM that advertises compatbility, but actually pulls the bait-and-switch routine.
One way to manage that risk might be to pull a page from the (oddly enough) pen & paper RPG world -- when Wizards of the Coast adapted the open source idea to those kind of games by releasing the core of D&D/3e under its Open Gaming License as the d20 System Reference Document, it faced similar concerns, so its content licenses requires surrendering rights that the user would otherwise have to, e.g., nominative fair use of trademarks, so that while you can make derivative works, you can't (except by complying with a more restrictive trademark license) advertise or promote them using "product identity" associated with D&D or the d20 System. Applying the same idea back to software wouldn't be that hard. OTOH, there is a limited degree to which you can exercise control over OSS -- that's rather the point.

Re:Misleading Headline (1)

FooBarWidget (556006) | more than 8 years ago | (#15345020)

"No Java trademarking,"

Why? Open source does not imply no trademarking. Look at RedHat for a good example. As this post [slashdot.org] said, Sun can make it so only compatible VMs can call themselves "Java". Isn't that THE ideal solution? Why don't people spend more time discussing this instead of yelling "OMG open source java evil nonononono!!!!" all the time?

Isn't that just the API? (0)

Cybert8 (968584) | more than 8 years ago | (#15344802)

I don't think the VM and compiler apps have been open-sourced.

Re:Isn't that just the API? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15344899)

Hello? McFly? [justfuckinggoogleit.com]

Re:Misleading Headline (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 8 years ago | (#15344919)

while source code for the java languages is opened and available, what the "pundits" have been calling for is the source code to the virtual machine and the compiler. That is C code and is NOT opened. In fact, the lack of openness led to gcj and the other java vm.

Re:Misleading Headline (4, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#15344976)

what the "pundits" have been calling for is the source code to the virtual machine and the compiler

WindBourne! I'm shocked to hear such garbage from you!

Current "Stable" JVM - <= 1.5 [sun.com] (SCSL)

"Unstable" JVM Branch - 1.6 [java.net] (JRL)

Every, (and I do mean every) story on Java here on Slashdot has contained one of those two links. Most of them contain BOTH. Why? Because the trolls come out in force. The fact that you didn't take the time to look into the matter (I believe I suggested Googling for it) is disappointing and disheartening. :-(

Re:Misleading Headline (4, Insightful)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 8 years ago | (#15344946)

It depends on whether they prohibit or merely discourage forking. Indeed, Sun could even go the trademark route with some success, with only the official Sun Java, and specific licensees (such as creators of alternative Java implementations that conform to the spec) being allowed to use the trademark. This is compatible with the GPL. The fact you can't call your fork "Java" doesn't mean your freedom to change and distribute it has been affected.

There's a more interesting issue here. Sun Java is an embarassment to the OSI. Over the last few years, by using a community driven development process, Java has improved leaps and bounds. Essentially, Sun said "What the Open Source movement says is right, except for the freedom part". And given the OSI keeps being at pains to argue that it's merely a front for software freedom, trying to encourage the development of free software by promoting community-driven development processes which, supposedly, rely upon the software being developed to be Free, this really doesn't hasn't helped it much.

Essentially, the OSI says "We must have free software, because free software means a community of interested parties can develop a program to a much higher standard than would otherwise be the case if it was proprietary. We describe this whole thing as "Open Source"."

Sun responds with: "Aha! But Java isn't free, and it too is developed by a community of interested parties, and they've generated a much higher standard of product than would otherwise have been the case if it wasn't developed using a community process. So your argument fails because you don't need software to be free to use your "open source" development model!"

ESR responds with: "You all suck. Set Java free!!!1!"

So why's Sun "open sourcing" Java? I think they're just looking at ensuring the official Sun implementation has wider adoption, by removing licensing barriers. Free software licenses happen to be a great way to get there. Sun wants to get Java "out there", especially with .NET nipping at its heels. The real problem with Sun's strategy hasn't been forsaking the development model advantages of the OSI's "Open Source", it's been that it's harder to integrate the official Sun Java, the reference implementation, with the non-Java world, because of licensing issues.

And as such, I don't think Sun gives a rats arse what the OSI thinks.

FWIW, I wrote about this in my journal [slashdot.org] .

Re:Misleading Headline (1)

Arandir (19206) | more than 8 years ago | (#15345010)

Unfortunately, one of OSI's core requirements is forking.

There are ways to minimize forking. For example, a license could require modifications be distinct from the original (ei. patching). The QPL license does this. But a far easier way is to simply trademark the name (already done), and only permit it to be used on the original (or approved) code bases.

Re:Misleading Headline (1)

pianomahnn (936367) | more than 8 years ago | (#15345050)

In the amount of time it took you to write why we need to pull our heads out of our butts, you could've posted some useful links.

Its Simple (4, Funny)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 8 years ago | (#15344637)

Use a spoon. Not only does it prevent you from forking, but its really hard to fragment anything with it.

Re:Its Simple (1)

enrevanche (953125) | more than 8 years ago | (#15344784)

Unless your spoon is a spork!

Re:Its Simple (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15344812)

There is no spork.

Re:Its Simple (2, Funny)

LordOfTheNoobs (949080) | more than 8 years ago | (#15344836)

#define spork(a) fork(a)

sweet...

Re:Its Simple (2, Funny)

Surt (22457) | more than 8 years ago | (#15344926)

Unfortunately, there is no spoon.

first post? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15344642)

is it?

Less talkin' more openin' (1, Insightful)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 8 years ago | (#15344644)

C'mon Sun, we're sick of hearing about the pending open sourcing of Java. Show us the license!

I know, I know, Sun's afraid that Eclipse is going to... well eclipse the sun, but c'mon! make it GPL, retain the trademark and you won't believe the explosion in Java coding you'll see!

Re:Less talkin' more openin' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15344710)

...but c'mon! make it GPL...

Oh please no.

Re:Less talkin' more openin' (2, Insightful)

cfoushee (803584) | more than 8 years ago | (#15344765)

If they were to license it under the GPL that would kill it because all the commerical applications that rely on it would then have to go GPL as well. They would have to use something more like the LGPL or the apache license model so that commerical appication can leverage off it and still have their own licensing.

GPL'ing java would be bad... (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 8 years ago | (#15344775)

LGPL'd maybe.

But GPL'ing it would create the requirement that every project that used it would also have to be GPL'd because at runtime everything links to its runtime environment.

Which would make the commercial use of Java impractical.

I can't think of a faster way to kill it that to put the GPL on it.

Re:GPL'ing java would be bad... (2, Interesting)

Maxmin (921568) | more than 8 years ago | (#15344818)

every project that used it would also have to be GPL'd because at runtime everything links to its runtime environment.

Really? You're saying that for applications which link to the Java class libraries, they'll have to be GPL'd as well? I thought that the GPL had an exception for "links-to" versus "extends" or "based-upon."

Re:GPL'ing java would be bad... (4, Informative)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 8 years ago | (#15344882)

No, thats the LGPL. GPL is everything that extends it or links to it. LGPL is only for the code itself and not linking code. Thats why glibc is LGPL instead of GPL.

Re:GPL'ing java would be bad... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15344914)

Really? You're saying that for applications which link to the Java class libraries, they'll have to be GPL'd as well? I thought that the GPL had an exception for "links-to" versus "extends" or "based-upon."

You mean LGPL?

Re:GPL'ing java would be bad... (1)

BrainInAJar (584756) | more than 8 years ago | (#15344943)

I thought that the GPL had an exception for "links-to" versus "extends" or "based-upon."

No it doesn't. That's why Stallman himself made glibc LGPL. It's also why you see very few commercial Qt applications ( gtk+ is LGPL, Qt is essentially GPL unless you pay for it)

Re:GPL'ing java would be bad... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15344835)

dual licence

Re:GPL'ing java would be bad... (1)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 8 years ago | (#15344866)

LGPL'd maybe.

*slaps forehead*

Of course - you're completey correct.

Re:GPL'ing java would be bad... (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 8 years ago | (#15344996)

No, GPL's fine. It will help prevent a certain type of "embrace and extend" forking.

As far as ensuring the GPL license doesn't leak into applications that run over the Java run-time system, you simply supply an additional, optional, license, that allows for linking code with a pre-built binary distribution of Sun's Java using the published APIs. Developers can choose which they use on a project-by-project basis.

Re:Less talkin' more openin' (2, Interesting)

BrainInAJar (584756) | more than 8 years ago | (#15344920)

More likely, Sun will make the source CDDL [sun.com] like the rest of their free-software (and hardware [sun.com] :) ) offerings

Re:Less talkin' more openin' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15344988)

meh, java will still suck open-source or not

it has no purpose. you have to compile it but it's not as fast as a native language. you have to compile it so it's not as flexible as a scripting language. it loses on all fronts.

arguably it's also too object orieneted (the death of smalltalk as well). a good language allows you to program cleanly in various styles so you can make the most of your algorithms.

Oh, dear lord (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15344646)

Java is written in Java! No wonder it's so slow.

Re:Oh, dear lord (0)

creimer (824291) | more than 8 years ago | (#15344689)

That would explain why the lines are long at Starbucks... the employees drink Java. As long as they get the whip cream in with my grande mocha, I really don't care.

Re:Oh, dear lord (1)

Ohreally_factor (593551) | more than 8 years ago | (#15344800)

Gee, given your handle, is it any surprise what sort of Java you'd be focused on?

Re:Oh, dear lord (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 8 years ago | (#15345023)

That would explain all the Java I was taking at school. Of course, the fact that it took the school three years to find the money to upgrade the Microsoft site license to .NET was probably a coincidence while Java was so big.

Java is written in... (1)

Merdalors (677723) | more than 8 years ago | (#15344853)

Java is written in Java

Really? Not in C/C++? How do you get the first compiler to run on a new architecture? Probably a cross-compiler.

(Not a troll: genuinely curious & ignorant)

Re:Java is written in... (1)

ToasterofDOOM (878240) | more than 8 years ago | (#15344901)

WHOOSH! on a kinder note, It is written in C/C++, it was just a joke.

Re:Java is written in... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15345005)

The original, vanilla compiler was written in C. The Hotspot compiler (which is now the free one) was written in C++ (http://www.research.att.com/~bs/applications.html search for Sun).

The libraries are apparently a hodge-podge.

ha (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15344655)

die

You can't prevent it. (2, Insightful)

mungtor (306258) | more than 8 years ago | (#15344659)

That's why they have resisted it for so long. Now it will just be one more thing where there are sneaky, annoying inconsistencies between distributions. Nothing will be "broken", but things will end up being implemented slighly differenty and some portability will be lost.

I guess it doesn't *have* to happen, but there seem to be more than enough people that want to take Java away from Sun that it's inevitable.

Re:You can't prevent it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15344803)

If java goes GPL, there is no reason to take it away from sun.

Also, significant forks are unlikely for such a large project. Only small projects can take getting forked left and right, but with a large body of source code the amount of people required to actually get anywhere with a fork is too large for it to happen without a very good and powerful reason.

Sun will remain the center of gravity for java GPL or no. Because that's where the action will be.

Huh? (0)

WgT2 (591074) | more than 8 years ago | (#15344660)

*picks jaw off floor*

Must be trying to keep up with the times.

loooong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15344662)

This is going to be one loong /. discussion.

Especialy the "I told you so" parts :)

Hey, Look!!! (1)

adminsr (919472) | more than 8 years ago | (#15344663)

Free Beer!!!!!!!

rob levin (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15344666)

For the first time in his life, he was in a situation where a hot hardbodied GNAA member could take advantage of him properly and nobody would ever know. "Man oh man, opensource finally payed off big. All the years ive spent in my trailer slaving away at my terminal managing freenode irc and now i'm going to get the attention i diserve", lilo thought.

Gary Niger threw lilo onto the bed and rolled him over so that he was laying on his stomach. "Kneel bitch!" Gary Niger demanded. Rob Levan did as he was told. Tonight was the sumation of all his hopes and dreams. Rob had been taking premarin for about 16 months and it's affects showed. He had b cup breasts, and his body hair was much thinner than it had previously been.

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"It's time", said Gary Niger. Rob knew he couldnt get out of it now, not that he wanted to anyway. He was past the denial stage. The GNAA was going to treat him like the woman he always knew he was. This wasnt cooking copy blog pasta with the girls on the playground, this was adult time.

Gary Niger gently rubbed the tip of his massive rod against Robs anal interface. Rob looked back and gazed into Anonymous's deep brown eyes. The butterfly feeling was in full affect, Robs breathing got slower and he could feel the release of dopamine flooding his neural structures providing a positive feedback response.

Every thrust of Gary Niger's penis reminded Rob Levan of the raw power of opensource. The dream fostered by Richard Stallman ( Rob's idol ) set his sexuality free. He could feel the head of Gary Niger's penis slide into his anal cavity. Gary Niger gripped Robs' waste tightly.

Every thrust from Gary Niger's throbbing rock hard penis sent Rob Levans mind spinning. The rythmic movement of his hands holding his midline sent waves of energy courcing down Rob's back, down his neck and into his head. "Forking dancer-ircd and calling it hyperion-ircd with superficial changes a 10 year old could pull off really made a difference", Rob thought.

Rob looked back and gazed at Gary Niger's face. He was overcome with emotion. Rob felt safe knowing Gary Niger was here to protect him. Each thrust of Gary Niger's giant nigger tool further stimulated Rob Levins fantasy of becoming a mother. Every thrust sent waves of pleasurable sensation streaming though his body.

Rob Levin rocked back and forth matching the rythom of Gary Niger's penetrations. He was working the system like a pro. His mission was to acquire a peer directed load of gay nigger seed in the most efficient manner possible. Rob Levan wasnt a bottom, he was more than that, he was an emulation of a female creature.

As his body rocked back and forth he could feel his long hair brush against his back and arms, even though his hair was cut short. His b-cup breasts swaed ever so slightly back and forth, each motion adding to the pleasure he was experiencing.

His brain was 100% enrolled in his open source virtual environment that he perceived as reality. The GNAA efficiently powned him in a way that he never immagined and the result was beautiful. Rob was basking in a warm glow of virtual estrogen.

Being a creature of the analog domain and derriving cognition from the vast array of neural interconnects he slowly became saturated with his new found stimulus. He requested Gary Niger to hold him closer and tighter so he could feel the straining of the niggers chest muscles against his back as he received renetration.

"Shut the fuck up mugfugger!" Gary Niger yelled after smacking Rob Levin right accross the face. This dominence behavior exhibited by Gary Niger only heightened the sexual intensity Rob felt. Rob liked to be controlled. He wanted a strong man to bend him to his will.

C'mon Jeanie! *Please* get back in your bottle! (5, Insightful)

pla (258480) | more than 8 years ago | (#15344680)

Jonathan Schwartz at JavaOne this morning said that he will release the source code for Java. The company is asking developers to provide feedback on how to best get there and prevent forking and fragmentation.

Well, as a developer, I will tell you THE one and only way to prevent forking and fragmentation...

Don't release the source code.


Oops.

How to prevent forking and fragmentation (4, Insightful)

gronofer (838299) | more than 8 years ago | (#15344686)

The code isn't going to fork itself. If Sun is doing a reasonable job maintaining the source code, they don't have much to fear from a fork. If they are not doing a good job, a fork would hardly be a bad thing.

Re:How to prevent forking and fragmentation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15344888)

Agreed. For a fork to steal Suns thunder it needs to attract users and developers, which means it must offer significant advantages, which means it must have developers working on those features. Catch 22-ish.

Without serious missmanagment on suns part, no fork will be able to compete enough to even muddy the waters.

Re:How to prevent forking and fragmentation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15344945)

Well said. If Sun allows enough good changes into their source. a fork will be unnecessary. And if they use a GPL-like licence, nobody can redistribute their changes without allowing Sun to use them as well. That means they will never be beaten in competition unless they decide to be stupid and not listen to their user base.

Re:How to prevent forking and fragmentation (1)

SpinJaunt (847897) | more than 8 years ago | (#15344987)

If Sun is doing a reasonable job maintaining the source code
That is EXACTLY the only probable cause of a fork, as long as Sun can continue make the best available version of Java.

The only downside to a fork is the Java trademark. Sure I can live with a Java-compatible fork, but how confusing will it be for others (the non-technically inclined) when all they want is a Java that just "works the way it used".

Change the title (5, Insightful)

clevelandguru (612010) | more than 8 years ago | (#15344696)

The title should read "Sun to Open Source Java". The source code has been available for a long time.

Forking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15344705)

A SABDFL is the answer. I don't think any fork of the Linux Kernel is very popular, thanks to Linus

Trademark usage. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15344711)

What I don't get is why Sun have such a hissy fit over supposed Java incompatibilites introduced through forking of free licensed code. What's to stop them preventing people from calling derivitive versions 'Java'? Sun could implement strict compliance testing, a-la UNIX, to ensure that derivitives are compatible, and can license the 'Java' trademark for use by those compatible versions. Problem solved.

Re:Trademark usage. (1)

magicjava (952331) | more than 8 years ago | (#15344927)

That's how Java works already. You can change the source however you want. You can distribute those changes. You just can't call your changes "Java" unless you get certified.

Re:Trademark usage. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15344932)

Because if everybody starts forking java and introducing minor incompatabilities your gonna see an issue like what happened with the Microsoft VM for java. Where programs compiled for one won't work on another system... This would dilute and potentially hurt java acceptace big time if the whole write once, run anywhere concept got broken.

What Sun has to ensure is that the core of Java is NOT forked to death and helps maintain the continuity of Java, fragmentation and rampant forking would only hurt it, even if you implement "licenced" java trademark the unlicenced ones would cause a bit of chaos.

no way! (0)

NanoWires (530320) | more than 8 years ago | (#15344713)

no way! Hell froze over

You want to prevent forking? (5, Insightful)

Trigun (685027) | more than 8 years ago | (#15344717)

Create a strong community with strong corporate involvement. If somebody does fork the code, the project will either die or be assimilated back into the main branch. Don't worry too much about others, just make sure that Sun will stand behind an official community. And standing behind them also means listening to them, even the ideas that you don't like.

Look at Perl. It's open source, and hasn't really forked. It has, however, evolved.

"Look at Perl." (4, Funny)

Dystopian Rebel (714995) | more than 8 years ago | (#15344948)

Just so I fully grasp your analogy, do you mean Perl < 6.0, which was damnably hard to read, or Perl >= 6.0, which will be impossible to understand?

Re:You want to prevent forking? (3, Insightful)

magicjava (952331) | more than 8 years ago | (#15344959)

No offense to Perl fans out there, but Perl doesn't have a Microsoft and and IBM trying to purposely introduce incompatable forks.

Making Java open source, in the sense of a GPL or similar license, will kill Java.

Re:You want to prevent forking? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15344997)

Making Java open source, in the sense of a GPL or similar license, will kill Java.


Considering GCJ/Classpath is around, why isn't Java dead yet?

You can only use the term "Java" if you pass tests (5, Insightful)

geoffrobinson (109879) | more than 8 years ago | (#15344738)

Anyone can use the code. You can only call yourself "Java" if you hit certain specs and pass some tests. In other words, if you can prove that you meet the Java standards (with API support etc), you can call yourself Java and use the source code. If not, you aren't Java. Feel free to use the source code.

This may not be a GPL license, but that's alright.

Is there any reason why such an approach wouldn't work?

Re:You can only use the term "Java" if you pass te (2, Insightful)

magicjava (952331) | more than 8 years ago | (#15344808)

Is there any reason why such an approach wouldn't work?

That approach works great. That's the license they already have.

Re:You can only use the term "Java" if you pass te (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15344841)

Anyone can use the code. You can only call yourself "Java" if you hit certain specs and pass some tests. In other words, if you can prove that you meet the Java standards (with API support etc), you can call yourself Java and use the source code. If not, you aren't Java. Feel free to use the source code. This may not be a GPL license, but that's alright.
Actually exactly that can be done with the GPL (though as some rightly pointed out, LGPL or GPL+linking exception is a better idea) or any other license + a trademark. Redhat does exactly that.
Is there any reason why such an approach wouldn't work?
I don't see why it wouldn't, it certainly would prevent the scare of broken Java imlementations, though Sun would have to overcome their fears in that regard.

Criteria #1 (2, Insightful)

TopSpin (753) | more than 8 years ago | (#15344792)

Whatever 'how' you come up with must satisfy one simple criterion: make it possible for the major Linux distributions to include the Sun JVM, runtime (tailored to whatever degree necessary to work well,) and source, in their product.

Just don't break it, please (3, Funny)

mattypants (169026) | more than 8 years ago | (#15344810)

Although the source for the reference platform has been available for some time, the fact that it may become 'free' means forks are inevitable, and that's the only thing that's missing from Java, namely the freedom to fork it. Mind you, if the C++ crowd get hold of it that's what it will be... completely forked.

Look at all the shiny forks... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15344819)

Oh, hey Sun, look at all the forks Python has, I mean it's IMPOSSIBLE to code for it because of all the variations and lack of a standards body! Keep fighting this evil demon called Freedom and don't give in!

Get your forks ready.... (1)

cfoushee (803584) | more than 8 years ago | (#15344828)

I bet IBM is just foaming at the mouth ready with its fork just ready to scoop up the source code and create some stiff competition of who has best version of java. Look at SWT and eclipse and you'll see just how much they have accomplished without the source code.

Re:Get your forks ready.... (1)

Cereal Box (4286) | more than 8 years ago | (#15344972)

IBM already has their own cleanroom JVM. Anyone who HASN'T already seen the Sun JVM source code can write their own JVM (and there are already some opensource ones). It's all just a matter of manpower.

Java and the DISPLAY variable (1)

Chemkook (915402) | more than 8 years ago | (#15344829)



My favorite Java feature is that it works well when you export the DISPLAY.

Some excellent examples of this are
Java in Mozilla, OpenOffice, Veritas NetBackup and UGS TeamCenter products.

I too think that it's important that Java does not get forked.

Oh well, that my 2 cents.

grasping at straws (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15344839)

Too bad Sun will remain irrelevant.

The Media Is Retarded (1)

wasabii (693236) | more than 8 years ago | (#15344846)

"""A group of developers could split off from the main Java community and form a second, independent group that follows an independent course. This could lead to confusion with developers and cause Java to lose focus.""" Am I the only one tired of hearing nonsense like this? Java has already been forked. Multiple times. There are already open source implementations of both the VM and the base class libraries. These implementations are distributed by default in most big Linux distributions: RedHat, Ubuntu, at least. I know. I started the port of Eclipse 3.0 to Ubuntu/Debian. It runs on GCJ and Kaffe or IKVM. All very high quality *FREE AND OPEN SOURCE* virtual machines. It uses Classpath as it's base class libraries. Exactly what more is there to fear? There are ALREADY other entities out there who have "forked". Why don't most people realize this?

Re:The Media Is Retarded (2, Interesting)

magicjava (952331) | more than 8 years ago | (#15345012)

Well, if those products are already out there and already open source, how can the OSS flag-wavers claim that Java can't be open-sourced?

How quickly people forget what Microsoft tried to do to Java. The only thing that saved Java was it license agreement.

is there a subject? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15344869)


100M100200...

()

 

Why is this a surprise? (5, Insightful)

Were-Rabbit (959205) | more than 8 years ago | (#15344871)

Whereas I'm not surprised that Slashdot is bringing out the normal anti-Sun's-attitude-towards-Java dogma, is this really a surprise? Jonathan Schwartz is closer to being a pro-Slashdot geek than Scott McNealy ever was. If anything, McNealy was just an arrogant ass who liked staying in his ivory tower with Bill Gates and Larry Ellison. Schwartz has always shown to be more of a geek than McNealy, and releasing the source code to Java has been a "cry of the geeks" for a long time.

(Note that I don't use "geek" derogatorily as I fondly consider myself to be one.)

Sun is giving us a ton of surprises in the past few years with Schwartz on board - from AMD processors to their first, AFFORDABLE powerhouse workstations (Ultra 20). I'm not surprised by this move at all, but I also don't blame them for wanting to be able to protect one of their revenue streams. At least Sun is trying. I guess the Slashdot "make it free or forget it" is still too strong, based on the responses I've seen so far in this thread. Looks like when it comes to Java, Sun is damned whether they do or don't. Pity.

Forking is the beauty of open source (1)

clawoo (945374) | more than 8 years ago | (#15344890)

You don't want to fork your project, keep it for your bloody self... How could the code be free if you prevent it from evolving in various, now unthinkable ways?

I can hear it now... (0, Redundant)

greg_barton (5551) | more than 8 years ago | (#15344891)

Cue the slashdot crowd, with cries of, "IT'S NOT ENOUGH!"

okok, but why (1)

l3v1 (787564) | more than 8 years ago | (#15344894)

Don't get me wrong, I'm all pro-FOSS, still... We have this: http://java.sun.com/j2se/1.5.0/source_license.html [sun.com] and I don't see how this "new" turn of events will further help Java. I think it will be like with OO.org, it's open still, only a handfull of devs care about it for various reasons. I really like Sun as a company and as a source of hw and sw (no, I'm in no way affiliated or related) and I hope this turn will be in the right direction.

How? Three words: (1, Interesting)

caudron (466327) | more than 8 years ago | (#15344907)

General Public License [gnu.org]

Seriously, there's a reason it's so popular. It ensures that noone can hijack the project and the source code will be legitimately free. You will make the most people happy with your decision if you go that route. Anything else will be seen as hedging your bets.

Tom Caudron
http://tom.digitalelite.com/ [digitalelite.com]

When and If this happens... (1)

Linus Sixpack (709619) | more than 8 years ago | (#15344992)

Are the various demagogues of Open Source going to track how the new license helps Java grow?

I'd say that this is a classic situation where Java will not be the only thing worth studying. Once the license is decided and the code is even more out there for even more possibilities will we see IBM do even more with it? Will we see schools teach more Java because it has passed open source muster? Will this help it gain market share? Force M$ to open its languages? What about a new free Delphi?

I hope everyone, including Sun, is pleased with the outcome of this. Its not everyday such a big player takes this step. What do people think will happen?

We'll have to see. :)

LS

forks are good (1)

DennisInDallas (309656) | more than 8 years ago | (#15345033)

if people didn't like 'em, they wouldn't happen.

Twenty years ago people were all the time telling me that the biggest problem with unix was all the different versions, nobody was ever gonna use it if they couldn't be certain tht the version they picked will still be around in ten years. They were for the most part MVS bigots (or CDC cybernaughts).

I've heard a lot of the same stuff 'bout linux, mostly from windows washers.

This talk about forks doing harm to java is pretty much the same type of FUD.

I just see Emily Latella saying "Forks are good! I think there should be more forks. Just imagine how much more the Chinese could have contributed if they hadn't spent so much time fumbling around with those chopsticks..." Finaly, Chevy leans over and whispers "fork me"

E;Px?! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15345057)

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