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Java to be Open Sourced in October

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the coffee-in-the-fall dept.

267

thePowerOfGrayskull writes "Sun is now stating that the Hotspot JVM and javac will be open-sourced in October of this year, with the rest to follow by the end of 2007. There is still no word as to which license it will be released under. For those who haven't seen it yet, Sun has previously opened a public developer community site for soliciting feedback and providing updates about the process."

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Delete Java? (-1, Troll)

Alex P Keaton in da (882660) | more than 8 years ago | (#15911176)

Once it is open source, can we delete it from the internet?

Re:Delete Java? (0, Offtopic)

junglee_iitk (651040) | more than 8 years ago | (#15911399)

Mod parent Funny. It is a classic troll.

eh? (3, Insightful)

slummy (887268) | more than 8 years ago | (#15911179)

"Source code for Java already is available and has been for 10 years", said James Gosling. I guess Open Source means they want free developers.

Re:eh? (4, Insightful)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 8 years ago | (#15911417)

It's part of the easing of license restrictions that currently make it difficult to incorporate Java in certain types of Free Software project, and that cause hassle for companies like RedHat and Novell/SUSE who sincerely want to distribute Java but more than that want their operating systems to be 100% Free Software.

It's funny. The prime difference between Open Source and Free Software is that OSS is married to a community based development model whereas Free Software is just the basic principle of it being Free. Everyone keeps using "Open Source" here, but Sun has, actually, been following the community based development model part of Open Source for years without making Java Free Software. If it's not Free Software, it's not Open Source, but Java's certainly proven you can have the advantages of Open Source without actually making your software open source.

So why are they doing this? Well, like I said in my first paragraph, the current license and environment is too restrictive for many significant potential adopters. They're finally recognising people want the freedom, not just an open development model.

Re:eh? (5, Interesting)

FST777 (913657) | more than 8 years ago | (#15911829)

In the long run, this will make Java more portable too. It took the FreeBSD Foundation some serious time lobbying before they could distribute Java as a package. Even from ports (source, for the non-BSDies here), Java is a pain on FreeBSD, because the lack of support, crazy patchwork and the need to download everything by hand, whilst signing agreements.

I really hope that we can look forward to a working, recent Java version on FreeBSD without the old bugs and the trouble with OSS-principles in the near future. Kaffe / Classpath just isn't doing the trick. I wonder what this will do to OpenOffice.org.

It all depends on the license. I do hope this will draw some of the fine folks at Kaffe / GNU / Apache who have done a great job by recoding Java to Java itself. But then, if it isn't the GPLv3, RMS will probably keep screaming for a "real free" reversed engineered version of Java.

Well then, off to Flash... Adobe?

Re:eh? (1)

jesuscyborg (903402) | more than 8 years ago | (#15911991)

> "Source code for Java already is available and has been for 10 years", said James Gosling.
> I guess Open Source means they want free developers.

A trollish comment from Gosling about FLOSS doesn't surprise me; after all, he sold out emacs in the 80's [wikipedia.org] .

Missing question mark? (-1, Flamebait)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 8 years ago | (#15911186)

Summary appears to be missing a qustion mark - should read:

Java to be Open Sourced in October?

FTFS:

There is still no word as to which license it will be released under.

Article is a fluff piece about J2ME disgusied as YAOSJ story. It'll be great when/if it happens, but it, like the '20xx - year of desktop linux' stories, is getting old & tired.

Re:Missing question mark? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15911230)

Whiney, did you even read the summary?!

"Sun is now stating that the Hotspot JVM and javac will be open-sourced in October of this year, with the rest to follow by the end of 2007. There is still no word as to which license it will be released under. For those who haven't seen it yet, Sun has previously opened a public developer community site for soliciting feedback and providing updates about the process."
Not too misleading there.

Re:Missing question mark? (1)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 8 years ago | (#15911377)

Congratulations! That has to be the most redundant post I've ever read!

You asked me if I read the summary, then bolded the part of the summary I'd quoted (and/i? I prefaced it with ftfs [from the fine summary])

Nice italics! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15911593)

In time, Whiney, you'll learn to close your italics tags or did you intend for them to run all the way to the end of your sentence? I'm impressed you remembered to close your parentheses though!

October Revolution (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15911191)

Java to be Open Sourced in October
Hey, it's another October Revolutinon [wikipedia.org] !

Long live the programmer-letariat!

"While the Copyright exists, there can be no freedom. When there is freedom there will be no Copyright."

Re:October Revolution (1)

dolson (634094) | more than 8 years ago | (#15911355)

I thought Nintendo was releasing it in November? Well, let's hope it's October, the earlier this revolution starts, the better!

Re:October Revolution (-1, Troll)

diablovision (83618) | more than 8 years ago | (#15911356)

Particularly telling comment. Will tens of millions have to die for this horrific mistake too?

Five Year Everybody Dies Plan? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15911392)

It depends, will Gosling announce a "Five Year Everybody Dies Plan [theonion.com] "?

Re:October Revolution (1)

pyros (61399) | more than 8 years ago | (#15911685)

Will tens of millions have to die for this horrific mistake too?

Just the Bothans.

Re:October Revolution (0, Flamebait)

JavaLord (680960) | more than 8 years ago | (#15911724)

Slashdot should really have a red layout instead of green.

Re:October Revolution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15912277)

Try http://bsd.slashdot.org/ [slashdot.org] !!

Big deal for OSS (4, Insightful)

andrewman327 (635952) | more than 8 years ago | (#15911194)

Depending on the license that they choose, OSS purists can now utilize Java in their programs. OpenOffice.org ran into some issues [newsforge.com] when it began using Java to power some of its components. Hopefully the license under which this is released will be acceptable.

Re:Big deal for OSS (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15911289)

"Hopefully" it will be open sourced enough to placate the OSS zealots, yet not so open sourced that Joe Six-Pack-o-Jolt can release his own Java interpreter that fuzzes the meaning of the source code, presenting interesting and unintended execution problems. Repeat that for every distro of Linux and Java will be dead.

Re:Big deal for OSS (3, Informative)

silvaran (214334) | more than 8 years ago | (#15911351)

Well Joe can release whatever Java interpreter he wants, there's no guarantee that anyone's going to use it. You could have 500 different forks of the Java code (license permitting), but unless they provide some huge advantage and become mainstream (see egcs/gcc, which turned out to be a good thing from what I've heard), the conformant Java interpreters/compilers/runtimes are going to remain the de facto ones to use. And Joe can sit there and run his modified version of the Java platform all he wants, while everyone else happily sticks to the comformant platforms.

Re:Big deal for OSS (3, Insightful)

nuzak (959558) | more than 8 years ago | (#15911361)

Yeah, look what happened to perl and python thanks to their open license. Incompatible bytecode everywhere.

Why is it only Java is so fragile that it can't withstand openness?

Re:Big deal for OSS (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15911477)

Because it's Java, and it tries to solve everything for everyone.

Java - the current, close source Java - is unstable enough that most commerical Java applications come bundled with a specific JRE that's the ONLY JRE they'll run under. So for every Java application I have installed, I get to waste 50MB on yet another JRE install for whichever patch level of Java is required for that given application.

Sun can't keep their own internal, closed version of Java stable between releases. It's no wonder they don't think anyone else can, either.

Re:Big deal for OSS QWZX (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15911556)

Why is it only Java is so fragile that it can't withstand openness?

Truthfully? Because Java SUCKS in so many ways. There are things that could be fixed at the bytecode level that would improve performance dramatically (having native unsigned data types comes to mind, but that's just for starters). Of course, Sun can't fix it without breaking compatability. But if, say, OpenOffice wanted to create a "Java++" that fixed a lot of the brain damage, I could definitely see them doing it, since it would theoretically be limited to OpenOffice.

But then Java++ is so much better, people will gravitate to it for their own projects. Bingo! We have an incompatible fork.

Why do you think Sun has been so reluctant to do it before now? It's because they KNOW it will happen. They know how much spit and chewing gum is holding the whole house of cards together.

Re:Big deal for OSS (4, Informative)

mrogers (85392) | more than 8 years ago | (#15911483)

There are already free JVMs [kaffe.org] and free Java compilers [gnu.org] . The problem is the class libraries. Java's standard libraries are huge, and free reimplementations are having a hard time keeping up [classpath.org] . Without the libraries, open source versions of javac and the JVM won't bring us significantly closer to the goal of a completely free Java platform.

Re:Big deal for OSS (3, Interesting)

_Swank (118097) | more than 8 years ago | (#15911793)

but the source or the java libraries IS available. i've been able to look at the source for the standard libraries for years (it's available with the Sun SDK). so am i missing something or are you complaining about the license the source is available under? if it's the second, why? why would java need to be under a more GPL like license? what are the real benefits?

Re:Big deal for OSS (4, Interesting)

molarmass192 (608071) | more than 8 years ago | (#15911993)

You can LOOK at the source all you want, but why don't you make a change, say renaming the util package to utility, post your source code, and send Sun an email with a link to your modified source code. You'll be asked to remove your modified code lickity split. The SCSL is open source but NOT redistributable. So why a less restrictive license? Say I have a KDE based distro, I want to package Java with that distro, but there's a bug in java that breaks the clipboard under KDE but not GTK (this is a real life bug) and Sun refuses to address it because they only support GTK. Under the SCSL, you're toast. Under something less restrictive, you can patch the affected class, and distribute your "fixed" rt.jar.

Okay, but what does "open source" mean? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15911246)

Is this "open source" as in "open source"?

Is this "open source" as in Apple's "public source" Darwin project, where they're basically going "you can see and compile all the code, but no way are you going to be redistributing this as any kind of commercial project"?

Is this "open source" as in Microsoft's "shared source" projects, where it's totally not open source at all except in a PR sense?

Is this "open source" as in Sun's Solaris "open sourcing", where it's open source in all technical senses, but it's under an unbelievably elaborate license which exists for no reason except to engender GPL incompatibility and keep Linux from benefiting from the source release, which effectively scares everyone away from the project?

Cuz really, unless "Java to be Open Sourced" really means "Java to be Open Sourced", it won't make a difference, acceptance of Java will continue to be held back by the perceived closedness of the Java language and real linux-unfriendliness of the Java runtime, and languages like C#/Mono will continue to make inroads until Apache finishes their Harmony project.

They Haven't Picked A License YET! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15911304)

In both the summary and the article, they stated: "There is still no word as to which license it will be released under."

Your post doesn't add anything to this discussion, we're all aware of the many different meanings of 'open source' as well as 'free.' This is Slashdot where people nitpick all day, the article clearly says that they haven't released license details yet!

Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15911984)

So they haven't picked a license yet, they say. They haven't really given us any solid confirmation what the license will be, or what it will look like, or what it will contain.

But they say it will be "open source", and we are for some reason supposed to believe them.

You don't see a potential problem here?

Closed Java is worse then closed C# (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15911317)

So explain to me how the C#/Mono project is better for open source purists?

C# is Microsoft's solution to the Java problem and most definately will never be open sourced. There are also potential patent issues (I can't believe that there would be _no_ patents that cover C#.)

So because people hate Java (not open sourced), they're embracing an open source implementation of a different closed source project. That makes sense how?

On wait, this is the open source community and what it does doesn't necessarily make sense, there are just emotional responses because someone does something a little bit differently.

Re:Closed Java is worse then closed C# (3, Informative)

powerlord (28156) | more than 8 years ago | (#15911448)

C# is just a language. There is a specification for it that has been submitted to ECMA, as there are for lots of the pieces that make up MicroSoft's ".Net" initiative. Not all their ideas are bad ones, and anyone is free to implement standards.

To quote Mono's FAQ [mono-project.com] page:

The Mono Project is an open development initiative sponsored by Novell to develop an open source, UNIX version of the Microsoft .NET development platform. Its objective is to enable UNIX developers to build and deploy cross-platform .NET Applications. The project implements various technologies developed by Microsoft that have now been submitted to the ECMA for standardization.

Personally its a rather nice language.

Oh, as far as:
There are also potential patent issues (I can't believe that there would be _no_ patents that cover C#.)

Unless you know something the rest of us don't, this strikes me more as spreading FUD then anything else.

Re:Closed Java is worse then closed C# (2, Informative)

jeswin (981808) | more than 8 years ago | (#15911860)

Mod parent up.

The patent FUD concerning Mono is now dead, and Mono is included in Fedora are Suse distributions. I am sure Novell would have invested considerable effort in analyzing potential issues. Mono is a from scratch implementation. And no surprise, Miguel appeared in the Microsoft Technet Video [technet.com] explaining Mono last week and it was on slashdot.

Here is a nice article by Paul Graham on SW Patents [paulgraham.com] , which was Slashdotted [slashdot.org] earlier. What he says makes a lot of sense: But I doubt Microsoft would ever be so stupid. They'd face the mother of all boycotts. And not just from the technical community in general; a lot of their own people would rebel.

Re:Closed Java is worse then closed C# (1)

SmokedS (973779) | more than 8 years ago | (#15911455)

So explain to me how the C#/Mono project is better for open source purists?

It's released under open source licences. LGPL/GPL/X11 to be exact.

C# is Microsoft's solution to the Java problem and most definately will never be open sourced.

It doesn't need to be. We don't need MS code, just specs. And C# is an ISO standard.

Re:Closed Java is worse then closed C# (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15911557)

So explain to me how the C#/Mono project is better for open source purists?

Well that's easy to answer. Because purists, of any stripe, aren't smart.

Re:Okay, but what does "open source" mean? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15911344)

Is this "open source" as in Apple's "public source" Darwin project, where they're basically going "you can see and compile all the code, but no way are you going to be redistributing this as any kind of commercial project"?

You mean like the GPL?

Re:Okay, but what does "open source" mean? (2, Insightful)

FooBarWidget (556006) | more than 8 years ago | (#15911409)

Uhm no. Have you ever heard of commercial open source software? If not, then you have now. Commercial and open source are not mutually exclusive.

Re:Okay, but what does "open source" mean? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15911412)

The best part about the grandparent troll is that 3 Sun employees responded as AC.

Hahahahahahaha...

Re:Okay, but what does "open source" mean? (1)

Kunta Kinte (323399) | more than 8 years ago | (#15911445)

Is this "open source" as in Sun's Solaris "open sourcing", where it's open source in all technical senses, but it's under an unbelievably elaborate license which exists for no reason except to engender GPL incompatibility and keep Linux from benefiting from the source release, which effectively scares everyone away from the project?

Care to explain this a bit?

Sun Public License [opensource.org] is an official open-source license. What is "unbelievably elaborate" about it?

And what did they do to 'purposely' endanger GPL compatibility?

Should the Berkeley people complain about GPL 'purposely endangering' BSD compatibility?

Re:Okay, but what does "open source" mean? (2, Funny)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 8 years ago | (#15911622)

Should the Berkeley people complain about GPL 'purposely endangering' BSD compatibility?

No, but they do anyway...

Re:Okay, but what does "open source" mean? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15911741)

Right, sure, whatever. The problem is this all sounds very pretty, but no one believes you. Sun's motives are, most of the time, incredibly transparent.

Meanwhile, even a few scant, maybe five years ago you could have distracted someone from nearly anything based on sheer hatred of yon evil elitist GPL-- but that doesn't really work anymore. More and more as the GPL leads to real commercial success in non-desktop areas, even suits now understand the rationale and mechanics of the GPL. There's still a few people who can be incited to blind rage at the mere mention of the GPL's name, but most people can clearly see by now that the open source development model, as exemplified by the GPL, is both more useful and more productive in advancing UNIX culture than Sun itself is. Trying to fragment the open source market is a strategy that works against Sun rather than for them at this point.

Now you can do just that with Java (1)

Uukrul (835197) | more than 8 years ago | (#15911504)

"you can see and compile all the code, but no way are you going to be redistributing this as any kind of commercial project"

From Sun:
Sun also makes the JDK source code available for researchers and others interested in exploring the details of the JDK. Over the past several years, Sun has made the source code available via the Sun Community Source License (SCSL) terms. Sun continues to use SCSL for JDK 5.0. In addition, Sun is also releasing JDK 5.0 under the new Java Research License (JRL) which simplifies access to JDK 5.0 source code. Researchers and universities should find the JRL much easier to understand and work with compared to SCSL.
For Research Use only you can access the source code of the implementation of Java from Sun. If they are going to open source Java, I think that they think on more than that.

So if they are going to open source java, but you can't use it for commercial use, then they are only to change the name of the lincense.

Re:Okay, but what does "open source" mean? (4, Interesting)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 8 years ago | (#15911523)

Some major things in no particular order:

1. Open Source means Open Source. There's a list of approved licenses. Sun are aware of this, they participate in the OSI, they've submitted licenses before for approval. They're not saying "Open Source" when they mean "Shared Source" or anything like that. Who do you think they are, SGI? ;-)

2. Jonathan Schwarz has specifically stated that the GPL is under consideration. (See his blog) It sounds like they're interested in GPL3 but obviously want to see what it has to say first.

3. OpenOffice.org is available under the GPL. Releasing Java with a compatible license would help resolve some of the issues there are in integrating Java code with OOo code, which is a live issue right now.

4. This is a major issue. Right now, the two major enterprise distributions, RedHat, and SUSE, are promoting alternatives to Java, be they attempted workalikes like GCJ or full blown rivals like Mono. Both RedHat and Novell are being clear on this: they don't want Java in its present form because it's not Free Software. Sun has to act. They're saying they're going to act. This is, stategically, one of their most important projects, if not their most important (Solaris wasn't, StarOffice wasn't even close. By comparison, Java is something dear to Sun's heart as the only technology they own that truly does influence the direction the entire computing industry is going in.) So you can't blame them for taking baby steps. But when they say it's going to go open source, I believe them. And when Schwarz talks about the GPL and uses phrases like "Free Software" and "Open Source" with fairly clear deference to their supporter's meanings, it's hard for me to believe they haven't done their homework, that they're not aware of the damage they'll do if they don't follow through, and that they have no intention of following through.

Re:Okay, but what does "open source" mean? (2, Insightful)

mark-t (151149) | more than 8 years ago | (#15912205)

The GPL would be catastrophically inappropriate for Java, due to library linkage issues.

If Java were GPL'd it would require that every single project that use it also be GPL'd.

GPL'ing Java would kill virtually all commercial usage of it.

LGPL'd, maybe....

Re:Okay, but what does "open source" mean? (1)

Elektroschock (659467) | more than 8 years ago | (#15911861)

"Is this "open source" as in Microsoft's "shared source" projects, where it's totally not open source at all except in a PR sense?"

Microsoft also has REAL open source licenses that are free as in free-issimo. [microsoft.com]

opensolaris (1)

asv108 (141455) | more than 8 years ago | (#15911862)

Is this "open source" as in Sun's Solaris "open sourcing", where it's open source in all technical senses, but it's under an unbelievably elaborate license which exists for no reason except to engender GPL incompatibility and keep Linux from benefiting from the source release, which effectively scares everyone away from the project?

Its only been year since the release of OpenSolaris, and there are already many distributions [opensolaris.org] in development. So I don't think the CDDL is everyone away.

While I don't care for the CDDL, Sun's rationale is well documented [sun.com] .

Re:Okay, but what does "open source" mean? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15911952)

Stop complicating things. All they really meant to say was, "Java will be open source, as in closed source."

There, was that so difficult to understand?

Re:Okay, but what does "open source" mean? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15912023)

You don't seem to know anything about the APSL [gnu.org] , troll.

Obligatory Gorbachev quote (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15911256)

He who comes too late is punished by life.
--Mikhail Gorbachev

Re:Obligatory Gorbachev quote (1)

Paco103 (758133) | more than 8 years ago | (#15911653)

and he who comes too early is punished by wife.

Should we begin `digging graves?' (0, Flamebait)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 8 years ago | (#15911268)

Should we begin digging Kaffe's and GNU ClassPath's graves? I hope not. By the way, we shuld not be suprised if we hear OSS zealots saying that this action should have come earlier. Some will even say it is too little too late.

Re:Should we begin `digging graves?' (4, Funny)

3770 (560838) | more than 8 years ago | (#15911328)

Don't use the "d"-word here. ;)

Burying Kaffe and GNU Classpath? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15911482)

Is that a chair in your hand or are you just happy to see me?

Re:Should we begin `digging graves?' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15911540)

Yes we should. Really, those projects may have been nice in the eyes of the OSS people but for your common Java developer it was an utter disaster to no end. How many times I've heard the "it doesn't run on Linux" complaint only to tell people to get rid of this POS Java impersenation and replace it with Sun's JRE for Linux...

I'm not really enthousiast about Java going Open Source simply because the source code has been available for years now and I just don't understand all the fuss. But if this means that it'll put an end to these two projects then I'm a believer.

Re:Should we begin `digging graves?' (2, Insightful)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 8 years ago | (#15911677)

By the way, we shuld not be suprised if we hear OSS zealots saying that this action should have come earlier. Some will even say it is too little too late.

Not sure how stating either of those makes someone a zealot, but, whatever.

It should have been earlier, and it may well be too late. I respect Sun's problems with making the system open, and they've certainly experimented a great deal with different levels of openness, but I think they ended up making the wrong decisions. Not making Java Free Software earlier helped proponents of alternatives such as Mono, and this in turn gave .NET more traction.

GCJ isn't going to go away. It's more than just a JVM, after all, and people are only beginning to see its power. But I can see GNU Classpath disappearing if the official Java libraries are available under a GPL-compatible license.

finally (1)

jboker (990329) | more than 8 years ago | (#15911277)

maybe now someone will port the java plugin to x86_64, i've been waiting a long time.

and for the people that say there is one out there:
blackdown's version crashes too frequently so it's not a viable alternative.

now all that's needed is hope for a flash plugin from macromedia...

Good (2, Interesting)

Espectr0 (577637) | more than 8 years ago | (#15911318)

They better do it fast. Sadly for Java, .NET took almost everything good about Java and fixed lots of its quirks and gotchas. And with Mono, OSS people are giving it a chance too. With dynamic language support being heavily invested in both platforms, having outside contributors is critical.

Now that Java can be redistributed legally (tell that to the slackware guy, he has always included it by default), and will be open sourced soon, it can fight back.

Re:Good (4, Insightful)

cryfreedomlove (929828) | more than 8 years ago | (#15911353)

Do you have any data that shows that Mono deployment in the enterprise is increasing, relative to java deployment? Because, in my experience of 8 years of enterprise java, Mono is not making any strides. It's a backwater that a few people are toiling in.

Re:Good (1, Interesting)

jalefkowit (101585) | more than 8 years ago | (#15911645)

Do you have any data that shows that Mono deployment in the enterprise is increasing, relative to java deployment?

Well, it's not particularly scientific and it speaks more to .NET in general than to Mono specifically, but if you believe Tim O'Reilly's book sales data [oreilly.com] C#/.NET passed Java in popularity/interest over the last year, and is still growing strong (C# sales up 68%, general .NET book sales up 125%; Java book sales are down 6% over the same period).

Of course one could always argue that more .NET books sell because .NET is harder to learn... but having dipped my toe in the Java waters a few times, I find that hard to believe :-)

Re:Good (1)

hclyff (925743) | more than 8 years ago | (#15912085)

Yes, because book sales are perfect signs to base claims about language popularity on.

C#/.NET book sales are high, that means something, sure. It means that .NET is on rise, but not necessary that it has overcome Java. You see, Java developers won't buy books they already own. The same goes for job demand. You can have higher demand for .NET developers, but that only means unequality between skills and actual job demands. Once that settles down, I predict Java will still be the more popular of the two.

Re:Good (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 8 years ago | (#15911691)

Oh, Mono deployment is big, that's for sure. The only trouble is that it's all on Windows, and they call it ".NET" instead.

Re: And Yet More Good News (MS Review Time) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15912056)

One more piece of positive info today:

It's August and so it's annual review time at Microsoft. Which means ~15-20% of MS workforce is being fired - and about to face all the horrors associated with parting ways from MS. Those that have made it to this point of August termination have no doubt already escaped more covert attempts at terminaton such as police stops after leaving bars. But fear not, they still face years of slanderous dissemintations by former colleagues and other participants in these wel-documented nefarious schemes. Suffice it to say that these fired employees will face years of unfavorable "chance circumstances" in specialy constructed MS observation posts they will come to know as jobs - and generally find life to be a house of pain.

Good news indeed!

Re:Good (1)

forgotten_my_nick (802929) | more than 8 years ago | (#15911398)

Do you have any like actual proof to back that up?

In time for 1.6? (1)

mccalli (323026) | more than 8 years ago | (#15911331)

October is the current projected release timeframe for JDK 1.6. I'm pretty sure that's not a co-incidence.

Cheers,
Ian

So all the juicy bits are to be left for later (1, Insightful)

mjrauhal (144713) | more than 8 years ago | (#15911339)

Sure, HotSpot may be a bit faster than free JVMs, but the free ones do function well enough. Also, free Java compilers are already readily available. For a long time, the main issue has been the maturity of free class libraries (particularly their Swing/AWT implementations), and now Sun says they'll be getting around to releasing that around the end of 2007. Almost smells like timing the release to a date when they think Classpath will have most of it nailed anyway.

And then there's the license bit, but I shan't speculate on that uninformedly.

Better and smaller class libraries (5, Interesting)

kherr (602366) | more than 8 years ago | (#15911431)

It's definitely the class libraries that make Java "java". The language is straightforward and there are decent JVM workalikes, but developers write their code around the class libraries. The problem I've always found with Java is the bloat of the class libraries, so I'd like to see open source distributions make lean and mean Java variants.

A perfect Java distro would maybe drop all the deprecated methods (will Sun ever do that? Java 1.6 is a good opportunity...) and unbundle some of the least-used stuff like the CORBA and RMI stuff. Heck, even Swing and AWT should be optional packages. Why couldn't Java be structured sort of like a Java Web Start install, pulling in libraries only if needed. Almost everything is connected to the internet these days and good caching of libraries from trusted sources would be a decent way to get full functionality with a smaller initial footprint.

Re:Better and smaller class libraries (1)

Paco103 (758133) | more than 8 years ago | (#15911726)

Of course dropping all the deprecated methods entirely would break backwards compatibility with older software that uses it. Write once, run anywhere (as long as you have the same old version it was written in). I personally don't want 10 versions of the same software and having to deal with which version it was written in and what to run it in.

Re:Better and smaller class libraries (2)

TypeC (975677) | more than 8 years ago | (#15911729)

A perfect Java distro would maybe drop all the deprecated methods (will Sun ever do that? Java 1.6 is a good opportunity...)
This question was asked again a JavaOne last summer and Gosling himself said they'll never remove deprecated items because of backward compatiblity.

Re:Better and smaller class libraries (2, Insightful)

Kunta Kinte (323399) | more than 8 years ago | (#15911767)

A perfect Java distro would maybe drop all the deprecated methods (will Sun ever do that? Java 1.6 is a good opportunity...) and unbundle some of the least-used stuff like the CORBA and RMI stuff. Heck, even Swing and AWT should be optional packages.

And the fragmentation begins...

Re:Better and smaller class libraries (2, Insightful)

zlogic (892404) | more than 8 years ago | (#15911934)

Lean and mean Java implementations is all we need. "Works on Sun's, IBM's and XYZ's Java but not on gjc and others. And Kaffe needs some hacks and updates in order to make this app work". We are already seeing this kind of problems with .NET and Mono: you can either write simple apps that work in both, or advanced apps that work in Mono (and need GTK# in .NET Framework), or advanced apps in .NET Framework (and hope that it will work in Mono, although will look ugly on Linux and won't support Windows Native calls).
As for deprecated stuff, it should be avaliable as an easy-to-install packages that aren't installed by default. It's a real shame that some of Sun's own demos in Java Tutorial designed for an old VM don't work on 1.5 (maybe they've fixed this now, I don't know). One of the strong points in Java is that it's abstracted so that if you write an app you're sure it will work pretty much the same after ~5-10 years. If an OS's API changes, Java's classes can be rewritten so that older apps still work. That's why many educational stuff is written in Java (or Flash) - because if you buy an encyclopedia or dictionary (things that don't change over time and don't need to do any platform-specific stuff), you won't be buying upgrades every year just because some library is "deprecated"; after all, these things are pretty much like music and videos, platform-independent and not changed every year.

Re:Better and smaller class libraries (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15912027)

...and that is precicely why Sun fears open-sourcing Java. Java has so far been immune to the dependency hell of other OSes--all you have to be concerned about is the version of one thing: the JVM. It's manageable that way. I'd like to see more effort put into fast unloading of the pack200 format instead.

Re:Better and smaller class libraries (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15912241)

The problem I've always found with Java is the bloat of the class libraries, so I'd like to see open source distributions make lean and mean Java variants.

I do hope you realize that when compiling a Java program only java.lang.* becomes "part" of the program by default.

Re:So all the juicy bits are to be left for later (3, Insightful)

Jason Earl (1894) | more than 8 years ago | (#15911524)

Exactly. Free Software has plenty of JVMs and compilers. Heck, the Free Software world has too many JVMs and compilers. What's needed are Java compatible class libraries under a license that is both amenable to proprietary and Free Software developers.

At this point Sun is simply trying to draw support away from the various Free Java implementations. Sun knows that if the Free Software implementations ever become popular that its chances of controling Java long term are essentially flushed down the toilet. Sun reacted too late with Solaris, and it is desperate to keep Java from suffering a similar fate. So it is doing everything in its power to keep people away from Free Software Java-alike systems.

If Sun were serious it would A) concentrate on releasing the Java class libraries, and B) it would have given Java developers some guidance on the license that it will be using. Everything else is just fluff.

Does it still matter? (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 8 years ago | (#15911346)

I don't mean this as a troll at all. It's just the main thing that enamored me with Java 8 or 9 years ago was that I found myself getting projects done much faster in Java than in C++. Since then, however, I've found Python, which I'm even more productive in. For big projects, where strongly defined interfaces help control complexity, C# is now an option.

So given that we have Python (for fast code) and C# (for big systems), do people really prefer Java for new projects anymore?

Re:Does it still matter? (4, Insightful)

John Courtland (585609) | more than 8 years ago | (#15911418)

Apache seems to be banking pretty hard on it.

Re:Does it still matter? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15911461)

good joke. You mean a big project, or a big system. A big project doesn't mean a big system with hardcore availability and concurrency requirements. A big project could just mean a big GUI, which would make sense to use C# instead of Swing. C# doesn't work on Unix or Mainframes, so the only choice is to get a big SMP windows box, which by most accounts is rare. Of course HP, NEC and IBM all offer large SMP windows servers, but I'm not aware of people buying them in quantities. I do know several banks that have several large mainframes. Most windows servers don't use more than 4 CPU, which doesn't count as big SMP. try 12 or more CPU's. Though 12 isn't considered big either by people who actually build big systems. 18+ CPU's with 20GB of RAM with hundreds of concurrent transactions is what I consider big. Your definition may not.

Re:Does it still matter? (2, Informative)

ahmetaa (519568) | more than 8 years ago | (#15911462)

well.. yes, java is still the most used platform in business and it is getting bigger. who is "we" you are talking about anyway? "we" here use java in all big applications and very happy about it.

Re:Does it still matter? (1)

zlogic (892404) | more than 8 years ago | (#15911965)

Mobile phones and custom, in-house developed apps that must work no matter what OS the company is using *still* need Java. Show me a popular Python app that works on Windows, Mac, Linux (and doesn't look alien in either system) and I promise I'll throw away all my Netbeans CDs.

Re:Does it still matter? (1)

UtucXul (658400) | more than 8 years ago | (#15912109)

Show me a popular Python app that works on Windows, Mac, Linux (and doesn't look alien in either system) and I promise I'll throw away all my Netbeans CDs.
PySol [pysol.org] maybe.

Re:Does it still matter? (1)

stuntpope (19736) | more than 8 years ago | (#15912301)

C# may be an option, but you don't explain what it is about C# that makes you prefer it over Java (or why others would, either). After all, you say your productivity went up with Java vs. C++, why wouldn't you continue using Java for "big projects" unless C# gives you clear gains over it?

What of IBM (1)

diablovision (83618) | more than 8 years ago | (#15911382)

And the masses calling for open sourcing IBM's production desktop and embedded VM?

*crickets*

Exactly. This has always been and will always about looting Sun microsystems or [insert OSS bogeyman in possession of valuable technology here].

This is what I don't understand about Sun... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15911410)

If they had done this right 5 years ago, .NET would have been stillborn and Sun would be the worlds leading application platform vendor. That's a desirable and advantageous position for a hardware vendor to be in. Instead we're 2 months before a release and we still don't have enough details to consider java for future projects. With the benefit of hindsight, the best business decision Sun could have made back in 2001 would have been to relicense the java source code like they were being asked to.

Re:This is what I don't understand about Sun... (3, Insightful)

jeswin (981808) | more than 8 years ago | (#15911709)

If they had done this right 5 years ago, .NET would have been stillborn and Sun would be the worlds leading application platform vendor.

There is a truth in what you are saying. The real problem with Java is the lack of pace, and the locked Java Community process, which locks the platform and language. Also, since Sun was keen to hold on to the Enterprise space, the platform became too focused on Enterprise applications, while the language was stagnating. It took C#, Python and Ruby to finally get some new language additions.

Had it been Open Source, a lot more (free)wisdom would have gone into the core language.

Maybe now... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15911432)

Maybe now it won't take 8 years to get in some simple functionality like finding how much disk space is free for a given pathname.

Re:Maybe now... (1)

ahmetaa (519568) | more than 8 years ago | (#15911544)

you are a fool if you think it is easy to find the exact amout of empty disc space in a netwroked-clustered environment in a platform independant matter..

Re:Maybe now... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15911679)

And you are a fool if you think that this feature is unimportant in a modern language framework. It's important to marry portability with real world pragmatism.

It's easy to do now (1)

Reverend528 (585549) | more than 8 years ago | (#15911986)

Process child = Runtime.getRuntime().exec("df")

Java's Garbage Collection, FP Routines (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15911466)

Interesting, another toy programming language gets open-sourced, as it should have been from the beginning. Maybe some java enthusiasts can fix the poor, non-IEEE floating point performance, fix the non-deterministic garbage collection algorithm, and repackage it as the next 'turing', another language fit to be used for students, and teaching only.

In short, over the whole garbage collection debate, java should technically garbage collect itself, as thats where it belongs.

who cares? (1, Insightful)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 8 years ago | (#15911474)

Why are people clamoring for open java? As an application developer, I don't use Java, and it has nothing to do with it being open-sourced. It has to do with a bloated framework that I'm not supposed to distribute with my application, an inconsistent UI, and speed issues. If I could compile a native executable that Just Worked(tm) then I would love it.

Java is still only good for simple embedded web applications, or server-side applications. From an application developer's stand point, Java grew out but never grew up. Open sourcing doesn't fix any of this.

Mono is still a better option.

Re:who cares? (4, Interesting)

0xABADC0DA (867955) | more than 8 years ago | (#15911969)

What is this "native executable" you speak of? To quote morpheus, "Do you think those are instructions you are running?" Pretty much every so-called native program you run is passed through the ld.so interpreter that relocates the binary and loads shared libraries. Grep the kernel sources for "ld.so".

The only reason you have to ship a JVM with your app is because a) Microsoft intentionally sabotages compatibility (by strong-arming Dell, etc not to ship Java) and b) because Linux distros can't legally ship it because of license restrictions. Java apps work fine on a Mac without shipping their own JVM.

With a JVM installed as a standard system component you run your Java programs just like any other program. You just double-click or ./ it.

Mono has convenient language syntax with C#, but that's it. The CLR bytecode cannot be interpreted well, so hotspot like optimizations are far harder to do. It's a VM trying to be everything to everybody, so it's not really great at anything. It's startup time is far slower than a gcj'd Java program and it's throughput is much less than a hotspot'd one. The only real benefit is that it is oss.

Re:who cares? (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 8 years ago | (#15912177)

because Linux distros can't legally ship it because of license restrictions. Java apps work fine on a Mac without shipping their own JVM.


Thank you. That was the missing link for me. Why can't you ship Java with Linux? Is this a GPL thing? Or something Sun is doing? I don't think it matters if Sun open sources Java. But modifying their license so that people can actually get it on their systems might be a big improvement.

Cross-platform JVM Incompatabilities? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15911500)

One of the biggest complaints about Java I see is the "lie of write-once-run-anywhere". But I've not seen a single post with concrete evidence about a Java function that is not compatible across JVMs. Does anyone have a link to list of such incompatabilities? Or even a simple example? (I'm not particularly interested in minor graphical/presentation differences).

We're going to do it.. NEXT YEAR! (1)

sudog (101964) | more than 8 years ago | (#15911510)

Sweet! Next year! Damn.. that's close.

More open isn't always better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15911549)

I'm happy that Sun is deciding to open their JVM and compiler sources, but at the same time its risky business... Sun is afraid that doing so could cause incompatible Java JVMs/Compilers to emerge. James Gosling (creator of Java):

"I lived through the Unix wars...I love Linux to bits, but they've got the same problem all over again. They've got all these distributions, and they're really close, but they're just different enough to be a pain in the butt."

So, the GPL (and certainly the BSD) license may not be a good option for Sun.

This is an exciting time for Java developers though... Java SE 6 is almost out with some cool new features and major performance updates:

http://java.sun.com/developer/technicalArticles/J2 SE/Desktop/mustang/beta2.html [sun.com]

One of my favorite updates being double-buffering for Swing apps... the speed difference is night and day.

Also the upcoming MVM in the distant future could be one of the biggest things for Java since JIT and Generics:

http://java.sun.com/developer/technicalArticles/Pr ogramming/mvm/ [sun.com]

JVM Incompatabilities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15911610)

Some say that JVM incompatabilities already exist and that "write-once-run-anywhere" is a lie. (Of course, those people never say why they think this.)

Alpha Port? (1)

LinuxFreakus (613194) | more than 8 years ago | (#15911727)

Maybe now someone will be able to do a full fledged port to Alpha. I've used Alpha (Linux mostly) systems for many years and I'm never going to give them up until I can't make them run anymore. Yes, I know there are other 64 bit options these days, but I just like Alpha.

The only thing I've really found that is lacking on the Alpha is Java support. There are a few little projects out there which offer limited support, but not since compaq stopped its implementation at JRE 1.3 has there been a real Java environment for Alpha.

Since Java is one of my all time favorite languages to work with, I really hope this could lead to a complete, up to date, stable JRE for Alpha/Linux.

Open source changes... (2, Insightful)

ClockworkSparrow (995531) | more than 8 years ago | (#15911801)

How long until some enterprising hacker adds all the features to Java that people miss, such as operator overloading? I personally would use Java far more if I could avoid code such as this:
result = x.add(y.multiply(BigInteger.valueOf(7))).pow(3).ab s().setBit(27);
(Example stolen frome Jamie Zawinski's "Java Sucks" rant.)
Add operator overloading (and I mean PROPER operator overloading, not some find-and-replace garbage) to the JDK v6, and you've got a language that (despite being slower than C++ in some cases) towers over C++ in so many ways - garbage collection, easy exception handling, a huge standard library...

Re:Open source changes... (2, Interesting)

RetroGeek (206522) | more than 8 years ago | (#15912260)

result = x.add(y.multiply(BigInteger.valueOf(7))).pow(3).ab s().setBit(27);


My goodness, what a perfect example of why NOT to use operator overloading.

What would you use for an operator? The +, *, /, or what?

How would operator overloading make the code more readable?

And you could always wrap the whole thing inside one of x's methods, and give it a reasonable name.

Applying open-sourcing to the real world (1)

sjonke (457707) | more than 8 years ago | (#15911802)

If Colonel Sanders would open-source those eleven herbs and spices, we could finally know with certainty how many of them are salt.

Cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15912071)

Good news

But Sire, the train has left the station (2, Insightful)

jeswin (981808) | more than 8 years ago | (#15912081)

I doubt if this will change anything:

1. In the application space, there are much more productive languages and tools. Think Ruby, Python. And extreme performance has never been a Java forte either.

2. Core language capabilities are obsolete now. Bruce Eckel's famous piece The departure of the hyper-enthusiasts [artima.com] captures this nicely. And looking at the C# 3.0 spec, with lambdas, automatic type inference, monadic comprehensions and lots of functional programming goodness, Java is left way behind. MS is also way ahead in adding dynamic languages support to the platform (Microsoft supported IronPython v1 for .Net Fx due out this month.)

3. I think Gosling needs to move on. After he said Ruby/PHP are just scripting languages, and they just generate web pages, and lack the "power" of Java. [Which "power"?]

4. With Vista MS would have finally killed Java's Run Anywhere promise. It will still run, but it will look totally out of place. The new eye candy, and the good communication foundation (WCF) is better and easier accessed through .Net.

The only reason to have Java is for compatibility in a "Legacy" Java environment. Kind of the same reason why we still have mainframes. These days I cannot think of a single reason why someone would go with Java, other than interop.
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