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Sun To Choose GPL For Open-Sourcing Java

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the open-'er-up dept.

407

An anonymous reader writes, "Sun is about to announce its plans for open-sourcing Java SE and ME, according to CRN — and they're going to use the GPL, not their own CDDL or another less-restrictive license."

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407 comments

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w00t! (2, Insightful)

T3hFish (943693) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762571)

great! i'll believe it when it happens, though...

Re:w00t! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16762741)

Exactly...

Re:w00t! (5, Insightful)

DittoBox (978894) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762767)

Is it just me, or has every article now been treated to the "itsatrap" tag? Getting annoying, and it's a flagrant abuse of the tagging system. Come on people, this isn't digg.

No, wait, it's Slashdot!

Re:w00t! (5, Funny)

NosTROLLdamus (979044) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762935)

If the editors stopped posting traps, this wouldn't be a problem.

Re:w00t! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16763013)

Assuming people cut it out soon, I personally think it's an effective commentary on what I see as /.'s overeagerness to label every single freaking MS story with "itsatrap."

Re:w00t! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16763023)

I never use Java, because it sucks (the language, not the platform, which is ok).

Java's license has never been an issue to me... until now.

Goodbye Java. There's no way in hell I'll use your gpl crap ever.

You grossly misunderstand. (4, Insightful)

Ayanami Rei (621112) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763289)

Java (the VM), class libraries, etc. will still have the same distribution restrictions they always have (effectively none). But implementations of the VM, and changes to it, are now free for anyone to make, and integrate into projects that are GPL compatible.
A static VM obtained from Sun will not require source distribution when included in your product, since Sun maintains that. So anyone using Java now won't notice the difference.

It's open source, and there's no way it can be used AS THE BASIS of a 3rd-party product that isn't open source without Sun's permission, which is how they want it.

Who loses? If you want sole modification/closed distribution rights, you can get a source license directly from Sun, just like you do right now.

Re:w00t! (5, Funny)

The_Wilschon (782534) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763325)

great! i'll believe it when it happens, though...
And on Java Liberation Day, crow will be the main course!

Yesssssss........ (5, Funny)

Divebus (860563) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762579)

Another thing Microsoft can't own.

Re:Yesssssss........ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16762819)

Don't you mean another thing not even MS would want to own.

Re:Yesssssss........ (4, Insightful)

cibyr (898667) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763049)

MS wishes they owned java, .NET is trying to compete with java!

Re:Yesssssss........ (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763303)

If MS wanted to own java, they would have bought it already.

Re:Yesssssss........ (1)

Shados (741919) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762837)

Funny, but to some extent, makes sense. Imagine if it was open sourced under a license that doesn't force you to redistribute the source of he derived products. Microsoft would take half the code within 5 minutes, have its own implementation, etc.

Re:Yesssssss........ (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16762901)

Another thing Microsoft can't own.


Nope, but they can fork it, break it, have people blame "java" and adopt .Net.

Microsoft p0wns you again!

Re:Yesssssss........ (5, Insightful)

miyako (632510) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763091)

I'm not sure it could happen quite that simply. From what I understand, Sun still retains the trademark for Java. Microsoft could fork the language, but they couldn't call it "Java". Basically, it should be much the same as it is right now - anyone can make a compatible VM (though now they can build it off the original code) - but it has to meet up with Suns standards before they will give the go-ahead to call the thing Java.
Given Sun and Microsoft's past history I would imagine sun would test anything that came out of Redmond wanting to be called "Java" very carefully.

Re:Yesssssss........ (1)

deadlinegrunt (520160) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763131)

How so? If Microsoft actually forked Java rather than create something like, oh say, C# - any forks would have to be just as available. Myself I can't see Microsoft advancing a technology that will help competitors so the flip side would be to dilute the pool of choices with worse options. Either way the forks would be incorporated into other projects if they are of merit and have actual value or they would be dropped and "wither on the vine" so to speak.

RIP Java (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16762581)

Now that the dirty hippies have access to the code - it is theirs to destroy much like the numerous number of projects they already have.

GPL2 or 3? (5, Interesting)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762843)

Next fight: which version?

Re:GPL2 or 3? (3, Insightful)

jsantos (113796) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763163)

Well, since the GPL 3 is not going to be ready until January 15, 2007 [fsf.org] at the earliest I guess the question is if the licensing is going to include the "either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version" part [gnu.org] of the copyright notice for GPL 2. My guess would be that they won't include it, so that they can know exaclty how it's going to be licenced in the future. Once the GPL 3 is out, thay may change it.

Re:RIP Java (1)

eclectro (227083) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762995)

Now that the dirty hippies have access to the code - it is theirs to destroy much like the numerous number of projects they already have.

Thankfully to my future java-controlled shower to accurately control water pressure and temperature, I will soon be a clean hippie. And because it's java, I'll be able to be clean anywhere!

Thanks Sun! you rock!

RMS says: (-1, Offtopic)

theMAGE (51991) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762583)

First POST!

Re:RMS says: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16762841)

first idiot...

Netcraft confirms it (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16762585)

fp

Re:Netcraft confirms it (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16762927)

ty

Re:Netcraft confirms it (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16763027)

yw

Re:Netcraft confirms it (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16763121)

np

Re:Netcraft confirms it (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16763337)

cu

Re:Netcraft confirms it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16763381)

brb

Delivery Status Notification (failure) (1)

GET THE FACTS! (850779) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762589)

This is an automatically generated Delivery Status Notification

Delivery to the following recipient failed permanently:

        morlana@jcarrinc.com

Technical details of permanent failure:
PERM_FAILURE: SMTP Error (state 9): 550 5.2.1 ... Mailbox disabled for this recipient

    ----- Original message -----

Received: by 10.78.160.2 with SMTP id i2mr9180570hue.1162955498520;
              Tue, 07 Nov 2006 19:11:38 -0800 (PST)
Received: by 10.78.128.8 with HTTP; Tue, 7 Nov 2006 19:11:38 -0800 (PST)
Message-ID:
Date: Tue, 7 Nov 2006 22:11:38 -0500
From: "Get the facts!"
To: "Ctibor Sheaffer"
Subject: Re: new 671
In-Reply-To:
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: multipart/alternative;
              boundary="----=_Part_20955_3843314.1162955498247"
References:

------=_Part_20955_3843314.1162955498247
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
Content-Disposition: inline

On 11/7/06, Ctibor Sheaffer wrote:
>
> Hi,
> Approved PHxxARMACYhttp://www.sadefuntionkdetinjdas.com
>

    ----- Message truncated -----

Let someone clarify... (4, Insightful)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762603)

Is the reference on everything *Java*, when pundits talk about Sun and its impending change of the Java license...or is it only what we Joe Users download in order to play games and read real time stock chart information which is the Java Runtime Environment (JRE)? A slashdotter seeks clarification. Thanks.

Re:Let someone clarify... (5, Informative)

TrappedByMyself (861094) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762817)

It only affects people who would use the Java source code itself. Does not affect people who develop applications in Java or people who use Java applications. So...a prime example of someone who would be affected would be Microsoft. They have their Java implementation in .NET. If they were to replace their implementation with Sun's, by hooking into the actual source code, they would also be bound by the GPL. I really think this is a good use of the GPL. Something as high profile as Java would be a huge target for "embrace and extend", and this protects

Re:Let someone clarify... (5, Insightful)

kelk1 (660671) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762963)

Well,
It also affects all the regular users of ready-made distributions who only package and distribute GPL software.

MOD PARENT INSIGHTFUL (0, Redundant)

d3matt (864260) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763243)

My thoughts exactly

Re:Let someone clarify... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16763093)

Yeah, but does this include the libraries? There are tons of open source implementations of the Java tool chain (VM/compiler). No one cares about Sun open sourcing the Java tools. It's the libraries that has everyone excited, since it's the libraries that Sun continuously bloats that makes being 100% compatible with Sun's Java practically impossible.

Of course, if they are GPLing the libraries, then as a Java developer, that means I'll have to start learning C#. Sorry, but I have to make a living, and if I can't make it off of creating Java software, then I'll move to the competitor. GPLing the libraries would be a certain way to kill Java dead.

So - which is it? The Java VM/compiler, which is useless, or libraries, which will kill all commercial Java development?

Ironically, if they do GPL the libraries, it will also kill off all the open source work I do with Java, since all of that is under the Apache 2.0 license, which is incompatible with the GPL. So this isn't just a commercial versus free thing, GPLing the libraries will also kill off a LOT of open source Java work [apache.org] .

How does GPL'ing the Sun libraries... (1)

Ayanami Rei (621112) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763349)

... kill off any related library development?
I mean, doesn't that just cover sun.* and java.*?

Re:Let someone clarify... (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763105)

You mean MS, who recently fought tooth-and-nail to not include Sun's Java in Windows, is some sort of threat to "embrace and extend" it in the future? MS flirtation with Java was over years ago and pure Java would be a very poor choice of a programming language for .NET.

Re:Let someone clarify... (1)

newhoggy (672061) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763237)

It only affects people who would use the Java source code itself.

I imagine it will affect fewer people than that. If Sun retains the copyrights to the code and existing licensees do not wish to publish their source code under GPL, Sun can continue to license the source code to them under different terms for a fee. For those licensees, the arrangement wouldn't be any different to how it is now.

This is very much a good thing for Sun.

Wow, that's surprising.. (1)

Spikeles (972972) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762607)

FTA:
"Wow, that's surprising," said one developer when asked about the potential impact of a move by Sun to put Java under the GPL.
That was my first reaction too..

Holy crap.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16762611)

I need to find my socks.. It feels like the ground all of a sudden got cold.

Almost as if hell itself has frozen over.

Hmmm... Java and KDE4?

QT, another propriatory software product with GPL release.. And one that is aiming for commercial use in embedded devices.

QT and Java SE for KDE?
Qtopia and Java ME for your next cell phone?!

Seems like a marriage made in heaven to me.

Er... (4, Insightful)

gaijin99 (143693) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762613)

Is that a typo? "and they're going to use the GPL, not their own CDDL or another *less*-restrictive license."

I mean, I know some people have a mad on against the GPL, but it ain't what you'd call restrictive. The only thing it does is mandate that all derivitve works also have to be GPLed.

Re:Er... (4, Insightful)

glwtta (532858) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762655)

I mean, I know some people have a mad on against the GPL, but it ain't what you'd call restrictive. The only thing it does is mandate that all derivitve works also have to be GPLed.

Out of the most popular Free licenses, GPL probably is the most restrictive - many others don't have the restriction you mention.

Not to say that I don't think the GPL is a good choice for this.

Re:Er... (4, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762683)

It will seem restrictive to those would like to tweak the JVM and then use it to compete against Sun. Personally I think Sun made a great choice.

Re:Er... (2, Insightful)

kjart (941720) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762823)

It will seem restrictive to those would like to tweak the JVM and then use it to compete against Sun. Personally I think Sun made a great choice.

Just because the GPL isn't terribly restrictive doesn't mean there aren't alternatives that are less restrictive. The BSD license comes to mind.

Re:Er... (1)

molarmass192 (608071) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762909)

BSD license == zarro protection against MS taking the Java sources and releasing an MS only version of Java again, the GPL will prevent this since it's so against their DNA to truly release code.

Re:Er... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16763199)

BSD license == zarro protection against MS taking the Java sources and releasing an MS only version of Java again, the GPL will prevent this since it's so against their DNA to truly release code.

Which has "zarro" relevance to the current discussion. The current discussion started with someone saying that the GPL isn't restrictive (wrong by OSS standards), then someone said that BSD is less restrictive.

This is completely not debatable.

EVERYTHING you can do with GPL'd code, you can do with BSD'd code. There are things that you can do with BSD'd code that you can't do with GPL'd code. Therefore the BSD license is a less restrictive license.

Now, you're absolutely right that that doesn't mean that it's automatically a better license, or that it promotes Free software, or whatever, but fact is, that the GPL is more restrictive than BSD. Period.

Re:Er... (1)

neurojab (15737) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762689)

The only thing it does is mandate that all derivitve works also have to be GPLed.
That makes the GPL one of the most restrictive "open source" licenses out there. MIT, Apache, BSD, and others do not have this restriction, allowing that code to be incorporated into non-GPLed works.

Well... (1)

Ayanami Rei (621112) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763387)

...the MPL and CDDL are more restrictive than GPL, and those two licenses are the ones I would have immediately associated with Sun.

Apache, BSD, Artistic, and others don't give Sun enough control to ward off competitors trying to pull a fast one. At least GPL makes the core relevant to GPL-related projects (which is a large universe, currently devoid of official Java).

Lesson of Trolltech (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762739)

If they use a different licence there will be people that will bitch about it without ever reading it and then hold a grudge for years afterwards.

Wow! (1)

randallman (605329) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762627)

I'm shocked! I don't like Java much, but this is great! I think Java on GNU/Linux will really take off now and take the lead on .NET. Just wonderful news :)

Re:Wow! (1)

ezh (707373) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763123)

The problem is... they should have done it years ago, when the whole .NET thing was in its roots... Now it might be too late.

And in other news tonight: (4, Funny)

linguae (763922) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762645)

  • Hell is seeing record low temperatures today.
  • Cats and dogs are living with each other.
  • Duke Nukem Forever will be released in December 2007, just in time for the holidays
  • Microsoft will abandon Vista and release a new version of Windows with a BSD foundation
  • Libertarians and Greens will defeat the Democrats and Republicans in most election races today

I'll believe this when I see it.

Re:And in other news tonight: (0)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762943)

Duke Nukem Forever will be released in December 2007, just in time for the holidays
Psst, don't give them any ideas... don't want the game to be rushed or something!

Re:And in other news tonight: (1)

sankyuu (847178) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763085)

Microsoft will abandon Vista and release a new version of Windows with a BSD foundation

Oh... I was under the impression they were gonna base it on Novell linux with .Net running on Mono.

/just kidding.. maybe. What is the world coming to?

Will this lead to better desktop Java? (3, Insightful)

Salvance (1014001) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762661)

Hopefully the release of the Standard edition code under a GPL license will incent more developers to make the platform better. J2EE is great, but are there that many people who still write Java desktop apps or web Java applets? Even the better Java apps appear to be ridiculously slow and cumbersome, particularly under Windows (but even on Linux boxes).

On the other hand, is this Sun's way of wiping their hands clean of everything besides their only Java moneymaker (J2EE)? They must realize that desktop Java has seen its day, and this might be a way to save some development resources while they continue to restructure in light of recurring market share losses.

C++ will soon kick its ass. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16762903)

The next C++ standard will include support for garbage collection. For many, automated memory management is the only benefit that Java offers over C++. Once C++ offers such functionality, it is likely that we will see a transition from Java back to C++. C++ is similar enough in syntax and semantics that the transition will be quite painless for most competent Java developers who do not know C++.

Many open source C++ libraries these days are cross-platform to a degree that Java will likely never achieve. Most open source XML parsing libraries written in C++ support platforms as varied as Linux, OpenVMS, Windows, Mac OS X, and BeOS. Java does not offer such widespread coverage.

When it comes to desktop development, Java is about to get creamed. Once libraries like wxWidgets, which allows for cross-platform GUI development, support the garbage collection of C++, Swing will be history.

Best of all, C++ offers extreme performance benefits over Java in most cases. This is important for a wide range of applications. Desktop Java applications have traditionally been found to be extremely slow and non-responsive. C++ applications, on the other hand, have performed far better.

Sun knows that C++ is coming back. They know that many parts of Java will be, in effect, obsoleted overnight. It's in their best interest to divest themselves of Java as much as is possible, while still reaping what benefits they can from it before its growth really starts to stagnate.

Re:Will this lead to better desktop Java? (1)

BiggerIsBetter (682164) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762957)

I think Java was an accessible OO lanugage for people who were scared of C and therefore C++. These days, C++ has so many great toolkits that it's (relatively) easy to write desktop apps in, and Microsoft has made some good inroads with C# and .NET (ouch, that hurt me to say that). JEE is still big because the frameworks and so own are all there already, because it lets vendors write OS agnostic server platforms, and of course, because it doesn't use a GUI so avoids the big Java performance hit (which SWT mostly avoids too). JME is still big because it doesn't care which phone or device it runs on.

Leaving the desktop aside for a moment, JME and JEE are the real future of Java. Open Sourcing those is a great way to encourage its use against other programming environments, and yes, leverage the development resources of those who really need to keep using them.

Re:Will this lead to better desktop Java? (1)

Doctor Memory (6336) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763167)

it lets vendors write OS agnostic server platforms

And this is the thing that blows me away to this day. I don't know how many good-sized projects I've seen[1] (e.g., division-wide CRM) that get originally proposed for .NET implementation, only to founder when someone points to the hardware requirements and says "I have to buy $50K worth of new Windows servers? Why can't we run it on the Oracle server? That thing's huge and cost us a mint." Said Oracle server (naturally) running on either HP-UX, Solaris or AIX. So, rather than throw all their analysis and high-level design away, the team decides to write it in Java. I can't believe MS hasn't moved more aggressively to port .NET to Unix. Oh, I'm sure they've thrown the Mono project a bone or two, but without a branded version, they're looking at a very uphill battle to get into a lot of big shops. I'm guessing they're trying to go the other direction and get Windows into more big shops, but I don't think that's the quickest way to do it.

[1] More than one, probably less than five. Still...

Re:Will this lead to better desktop Java? (5, Insightful)

afidel (530433) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763087)

The funny thing to me is that almost every large scale Java desktop app I have used is slow and a memory hog, yet J2ME apps run well on slow mobile chips with limited memory. Obviously it's not the Java language itself that creates the bloat but rather the mindset around Java desktop apps.

Not obvious at all (3, Insightful)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763165)

Isn't it much more likely that the difference in performance between a J2SE app and J2ME app has to do with the differences between the J2SE platform and the J2ME platform, rather than the "mindset" of developers.

Re:Will this lead to better desktop Java? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16763215)

wurmonline.com It's a semifree MMORPG built entirely (server side and client side) in Java.

It's not very slow, really. I love that game too ^_^

This is a great move...even for the anti-GPL (4, Insightful)

rdean400 (322321) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762669)

The thing is that we're not talking about Java "the Platform" here. We're talking Java the "Reference Implementations". Basically, anything derived from Sun Java will need to be GPL, which will keep the GPL crowd happy. It fills a niche that currently has no viable contenders.

When you look at the other Java implementations, you have the Apache-licensed Harmony, and commercial implementations from IBM and BEA.

Java can only be helped by this because it removes one of the major objections Linux backers have against using Java.

Thats not what its about (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16762931)

Major contributions would not come to Java if it wasn't GPL. IBM doesn't want anybody (read Microsoft) to take any VM technology and put it into .Net. The GPL prevents this from happening so IBM can contribute to Java. Same thing happened with Linux. Much of the stuff that companies contributed to the kernel would not have happened if it was BSD licensed, but MS could use it commercially.

IBM Java is going away.

only one word comes to mind... (-1, Offtopic)

llZENll (545605) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762675)

itsatrap!

Doesn't make sense (not just grinding an axe) (1)

istartedi (132515) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762679)

This won't be embedded in a lot of things because of that. It seems like LGPL makes more sense for this, since Java is often embedded in other apps. Firefox isn't GPL. Can they mix and match without changing the license? Maybe, maybe not; LGPL would have made the question unambiguous.

Re:Doesn't make sense (not just grinding an axe) (1)

Shados (741919) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762785)

Its probably gonna be dual licensed, QT style, IMO

Re:Doesn't make sense (not just grinding an axe) (1)

Psycosys (886125) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762973)

Uhm, Firefox is GPLed [wikipedia.org] .

But what tag to use? (0)

Frogbert (589961) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762693)

I don't really trust Sun to do what they are saying they will. I have an ominous feeling about this, as if I were walking into an ambush of sorts. Does anyone have any suggestions on what tag I should use for this story?

Re:But what tag to use? (1)

Evanisincontrol (830057) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762917)

Does anyone have any suggestions on what tag I should use for this story?


freecandyyesiwouldlovesome

Re:But what tag to use? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16762979)

fud?

... notfud?

If it's not one of those two, I'm stumped.

Finally... (1)

d3ik (798966) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762723)

Now we can clean up some of the garbage that's in the jdk. I've been developing Java for a few years now. I was really interested in Java 6, so I downloaded the source from dev.java.net. I was shocked at how hacked together some of the classes are. Specifically I was interested in the new "standard" ORM classes in java.sql. The code was error prone, inefficient (for Java geeks, it had repetitive reflection calls all over the place) and just plain bad design. After writing my own implementation of most of the new java.sql classes for my own use (and using the supposedly new standard java.sql.DataSet interface) they apparently pulled all the new java.sql classes from Java 6. Hopefully they get a better community process to go along with their new license.

Are they trying to limit forks? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16762731)

It would seem that the GPL was chosen so as to try to dissuade those who might want to fork the source code. While commercial, closed-source forks are out of the question now, it's also unlikely that we will see a separate, open source fork.

Prominent GPL'ed projects have rarely been forked. One major case was that of GCC (forked into EGCS), but that was a rather severe situation. The development of the FSF's GCC branch had stagnated to a horrible extent before the fork was made. This likely won't be the case with Java, since Sun will likely update it on a contining basis.

Had they chosen a far less restrictive license, such as the BSD or MIT license, we likely would have seen several prominent forks. As we can see from FreeBSD and Dragonfly BSD, and NetBSD and OpenBSD, the BSD license promotes forking. The same is true for the MIT license, as shown by the X.org and XFree86 split.

A forked version of Java would likely have been the most beneficial thing to have happened. Java needs a branch that has the cruft removed, both from the VM and from the class library. A new class library is needed, taking full advantage of generics and the other Java 1.5 features. The VM needs some major upgrades, notably in the area of garbage collection, memory usage reductions, and speed improvements. The backwards compatibility requirements currently forced on Sun seem to have prevented this from happening.

Re:Are they trying to limit forks? (2, Interesting)

fimbulvetr (598306) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762895)

Java needs a branch that has the cruft removed, both from the VM and from the class library. A new class library is needed, taking full advantage of generics and the other Java 1.5 features. The VM needs some major upgrades, notably in the area of garbage collection, memory usage reductions, and speed improvements. The backwards compatibility requirements currently forced on Sun seem to have prevented this from happening.

Amazing you guys say this now. Yesterday someone would have argued java is clean and fast and nothing could beat it. Now that, of course, it's happening, you're all for cleaning it up and admitting it's downsides.

Sort of reminds me of Apple's switch to intel. For years powerpc was the best processor for the mac. The g5 was a super computer. The day they switched? Oh the yohan is going to be so powerful! I can't wait for the dual core!

Re:Are they trying to limit forks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16763077)

First off, Sun did update the API for Java 1.5. I'm not sure what you're calling "full advantage," but as far as I know adding generics does not break backwards compatibility. Maybe you mean fully enforcing Java 1.5 conventions? Even then I'm not sure what that would even mean.

As for garbage collection, memory usage, and speed improvements I think you need to realize that Sun's Java VM is by far the fastest interpreted VM implementation worth mentioning. It compares very favorably to .NET, which entirely JIT compiled. Implementations like cpython or ruby just suck wind in comparison. Sun's Java implementation is not perfect, that's for sure, but in many areas it's really scary how well it performs.

There is only one possible result of this: GNU Classpath is dead. Apache Harmony is dead. Nobody will spend time trying to reimplement the Java API anymore. But there will be a huge surge of new and novel Java VMs. Things like a realtime VM, fault tolerant VM, 8-bit or 16-bit embedded VMs, orthogonal persistence VMs, massively parallel VMs. Things that make absolutely no sense for use on desktops and webservers, but they are things that interest some very smart people.

GREAT PUN!!!!! (1)

anoddfeller (1024357) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762749)

"Sun Set" Haha. Sunset. That's funny. (ftfa)

its a trap? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16762775)

Hey guys, nice going with the tags, there's still an article that isn't marked as tagged "itsatrap" yet!

http://it.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/11/07/161 7214 [slashdot.org]

Re:its a trap? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16763191)

at least come up with a new cliche to use ya lazy retards

This is great (5, Insightful)

br00tus (528477) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762801)

Until I installed Debian I didn't even know there was no good free Java. I think this is great.

For those who have already started complaining about the license in this thread - why don't you spend a few years writing your own Java clone, and giving it away under BSD or whatever?

Better late than never (1)

gtada (191158) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762835)

It's great that Sun is finally doing this, but can you imagine where Java could be if Sun would've done this a LONG time ago? With the rising popularity of .NET, it seems a little late.

Are they going to pull a "sun4m stunt" with Java? (1)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762859)

Looking closely at this bunch, they'll probably cut something quite valuable out from Java as done with Opensolaris and sun4m, where they cut that one just because they couldnt run dtrace. Never mention that it's been adapted to other architectures, or that it could be simply cut out. KCF is another matter. Never mind that only their competitor carried support for machines of longer timeframes and only recently dropped support, leaving something usable for those machines.

Interesting, if true (5, Insightful)

starseeker (141897) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762893)

OK, first remark - I want to see this as an official press release on Sun's website, with a link to the code. Then I'll be confident it will really happen.

Second remark - I think the GPL is a good choice for this. Consider what Sun might gain from open source Java under any license:

1) Excellent integration with Linux, *BSD, and any other platform out there they haven't integrated into fully yet (except maybe Windows). They would get all the work done for free, too - distributions would be chomping at the bit to work long and hard on making everything work Just So.

2) Much better realization of cross platform "write once, run everywhere" goals. Well integrated Java everywhere can only help this.

3) Possible improvements as people get a chance to fix anything that's been annoying them for the last several years.

All very logical reasons to open source, IMHO - Java is already freely downloadable. Sun owns the Java trademark, so they have no fear of forks which mean anything in terms of threatening Java mind share - Java has to be one of the most publicly recognizable programming language brand names in the world. Sun will always provide the "only" Java, whatever else out there might run Java programs.

Now, what does GPL do for them, that other licenses might not?

1) Credibility - rather than inventing Yet Another License, making things simple using already established (and I think functional for this purpose) licenses.

2) Prevents commercial forking. Whatever open source Java becomes, it is unlikely that someone would try and compete commercially against Sun when Sun has the commercial code base and original developers. Any work any commercial developer did in competition (that they want to distribute anyway) would have to be offered free to the world under GPL, and even if Sun can't use it directly the ideas alone would be enough to allow them to keep up and maybe get there first in some cases.

3) Allows maximal code sharing in the open world. GPL has its own momentum, as a sort of "logical end point" - free except for the ability to become non-free. That would seem to make a lot of sense to me for Java, particularly since I would expect (like OpenOffice) that most of the best code would come out of Sun and be copyright Sun. Sun can put out what it wants, and still license commercially if they so choose.

Downsides for Sun primarily seem to be the "radical" image associated with GPL in some circles (yes that's a disadvantage if you want to look like a reasonable, sane business to some PHBs) and the inability to combine developments based on GPL Java back into their commercial Java without discussing it with the author. But since this very restriction is also a reassurance to the community in some ways, it might not be all bad.

Anyway, I will watch developments with interest and look forward hopefully to the day when Java on Gentoo can be well integrated and smooth.

GPL is BAD (-1, Troll)

fprog26 (665694) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762971)

You cannot GPL Java, if you do, then ***ALL*** the business applications
that are created using Java will have to ***PAY*** a license fee to use it.
PERIOD.

That's BAD news..... REALLY BAD NEWS!

Think ***Trolltech Qt***.

The LGPL license would be much better.

Re:GPL is BAD (1)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763341)

That's not how most Java developers interpret the GPL. But unfortunately, Sun will never be able to educate everyone about how they interpret the GPL, so this misunderstanding will live forever.

Re:GPL is BAD (1)

Louis Guerin (728805) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763353)

---
You cannot GPL Java, if you do, then ***ALL*** the business applications
that are created using Java will have to ***PAY*** a license fee to use it.
PERIOD.
---

Put the crack pipe down and go back and read the fucking license. You're full of shit and there's a danger that some of the more gullible slashdotters might believe you.

L

Re:Interesting, if true (0, Flamebait)

ezh (707373) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763159)

Given Debian's obsession with renaming everything that is trademarked, I think Java will be known there as Mocha.

Hell yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16762929)

Great news.

Balls (1)

overtly_demure (1024363) | more than 7 years ago | (#16762933)

If they do, even the most red-blooded Sun/Java-bashers would have to admit that this is close to the ballsiest thing Sun Microsystems has ever done. It isn't clear what's in it for them, unless they are now 100% confident that they can offer an extremely compelling Java platform on which they can make money.

But can they? Do they? How much of their income is highly Java-related?

Hell froze over? (1)

swbrown (584798) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763009)

I wonder what the angle will be - maybe they'll GPL the class libraries without a linking exception and claim you can't use GPL-incompatible software with the GPL version of Java? Or maybe they'll limit it to GPL2 to attempt to drive a wedge in the community? Or not open the class libraries at all? If it's really an honest 'GPL2 or greater' of the runtime and class libraries without any tricks, it will be a really amazing step by Sun, and to me, make up for their funding of the SCO attack. I can't imagine this happening though, so I'll have to wait for the actual announcement. If it does happen, the first order of business will likely be to port Beagle and F-Spot to Java to avoid Novell's implied claim that Mono is patent encumbered and Microsoft will be suing.

J2SE then J2EE and Glasfish to follow (2)

dircha (893383) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763039)

This is great news! I hope people realize just how much Sun is doing for Free Software in particular by taking these steps. It will soon be possible to run a complete enterprise-class Java development or production environment on a Free Software stack on a Free Software system. No more fiddling with GNU Classpath and GCJ.

The complete package is almost - if not - on the same level as projects like GCC and GNOME.

Not to mention, it is very exciting to consider what this new truly democratic "Java Community Process" will produce in advances in JVM technology and the Java language itself.

This is such awesome news for all of us... (3, Insightful)

Drunken Priest (940846) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763045)

For some reason a lot of people diss Java... but other modern languages simply don't compare when it comes to implementing distributed enterprise apps. This is my bread and butter; so I'm a big fan (the only competition, really... is .NET).

Sun was making some missteps... for instance how badly EJB sucked up to 2.1.

Now we have POJO's implementing enterprise beans in 3.0. We have strong standardized support for security and cryptography (ala JCA/JCE, JSSE, JAAS). JDBC is a snap. We have excellent documentation and books available from J2ME to J2EE....

Between Britney Spears being available again and the Repubs losing House and Senate... I'd say it was a good day.

Re:This is such awesome news for all of us... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16763249)

It doesn't look like the "Repubs" are losing the Senate after all. Morning will tell. So will we have a split Congress and nothing will get done at all.

New License (2, Insightful)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763135)

Their big concern is forking, right?

They have no qualms of people seeing the code, submitting code, compiling on their own, etc? They want to port to all systems, etc.

There seems to be a huge void here. We need a license that covers this scenario and specifically prevents unauthorized forks. Change the code on your own machine. Submit upstream if you wish, but you can't distribute unofficial builds, or fork the code.

If such a license existed, it might be considerably more likely to see more open-source codecs, open sourced Flash players, plugins, video drivers, etc.

Sun has said forever that the code is basically out there already, and they had no qualm making it open-sourced over than the fork issue, and the only reason for this lengthy delay was coming up with an appropriate license. So why just settle on the GPL?

I'm confused.

Re:New License (1)

dido (9125) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763359)

Sun still owns the Java trademark. If you try to fork Java, then their lawyers will say to you, either you stop calling your fork 'Java' or we sue you for trademark infringement. They don't need to actively prevent people from making forks in this case. Besides, a license of the kind you describe would neither qualify as a Free Software license by the FSF's definition nor an Open Source license by the OSI's definition. Besides, historically, forks of major projects are extremely rare, and are most commonly the result of either stagnating development (e.g. the short-lived GCC/EGCS split) or license issues (e.g. XFree86/Xorg), but only very rarely disagreements over design (e.g. the continuing Emacs/XEmacs split). I doubt that Sun will allow either of the first two to happen, and with a project as large as Java, it is extremely unlikely that people will want to quibble over the kind of issues that would result in a fork of the third kind.

Forking is an essential right (4, Insightful)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763393)

A no-forking license would not meet the Open Source Definition, so many developers would shun it. Forking provides an important check against mismanagement; some prominent projects have only survived due to forks (GCC comes to mind).

How will this affect code written in Java? (1)

miyako (632510) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763149)

For me, this is a really good thing. I use Java quite a bit for my own hobby programs - which I release under the GPL if I release them at all (most of them are just once-off utilities or quick hacks to test out an idea for an algorithm and wouldn't be much use to anybody else) so this isn't going to really cause me any grief at all. What I'm curious about though is that there were some questions about GPLed programs written in java, because of some ambiguities in what constituted linking, a derivative work, etc. due to the nature of the way Java goes about compiling byte code. I'm not sure if this was ever resolved, but if not, couldn't we be facing the same sort of situation wherein Java applications would be considered a derivative work of the GPLed JVM and therefore have to be released under the GPL?

What exactly are they open sourcing? (1)

jonwil (467024) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763157)

If its the class libraries (i.e. java.*) this is VERY good news.
If its just the virtual machine and not the libraries, its less usefull (since the libraries would remain non free)

Um set to move? (1)

Tweekster (949766) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763213)

How about these authors stop with the inane articles about what might happen when they honestly have no clue.

let me be among the first to say (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16763229)

holy fucking shit

Oh, heck. (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763251)

I was in an I-hate-Sun mood again this week. Ah, well, now I'm feelin' the GPL love - props to the boys.

What happens to GCJ and Fedora now?, I wonder.

This will be super cool. (3, Interesting)

WhiteWolf666 (145211) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763259)

Imagine Java not as a plugin, but as part of your browser.

Better; part of your browser that _cannot_ be integrated into non-GPL browsers. They still have to run it as a plugin.

This has mind-boggling implications in terms of patents that apply only to browser plugins (ahem---Eolas).

I've always wished for a Firefox with Java + Flash integrated (does that even make sense?). I don't feel that plugins give as good of an experience as native browser controls.

If true... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16763365)

... then this will be one of a few good moves Sun has done in many years. Hope it's true.
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