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Sun Open Sources Java Under GPL

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the it-really-happened dept.

Open Source 535

prostoalex writes "The embargo is off, and Associated Press is reporting on Sun releasing Java under GPL. Sun is hoping that this step will attract more developers, as well as extend the lifespan of Java. The article notes that this is 'one of the largest additions of computer code to the open-source community', and that Java is currently being run on something like 3.8 Billion devices worldwide." From the article: "Rich Green, Sun's executive vice president of software, said the company hopes to turn more developers into Java programmers, who may then create additional software to support Sun products. 'The open-sourcing of this really means more — more richness of offerings, more capability, more applications that consumers will get to use,' Green said. 'The platform itself will become a place for innovation.' All the Java source code is expected to be released by March 2007, Green said. The move covers all Java technology, which includes software that runs on handheld devices, personal computers and servers."

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535 comments

Java sucks (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16821430)

I want a GPL'd latte :-(

BitTorrent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16821434)

Anyone got a BitTorrent link to a source tarball?

Java is End of Life-ed? (1, Interesting)

nietsch (112711) | more than 7 years ago | (#16821872)

Sun may have had other motives than that, but some people will interpret this move as Sun has written off java and is now giving their inventory away. Yes that is a croocked argument, but I am sure some bonehead CTO's or MS-salesdroids will make it anyway.

In Ur Face, Novell (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16821436)

Too bad java is just as slow as Mono though.

Shouldn't it have been LGPL? (4, Interesting)

Mr. McD (166893) | more than 7 years ago | (#16821442)

While I'm psyched about the fact that they went whole-hog and went GPL, there are a number of commercial Java Applications out there. The fact that they have this "Classpath Exemption" makes it sound more like the LGPL.But at any rate, it good that Java is now suitable for Linux.

Re:Shouldn't it have been LGPL? (5, Informative)

milton.john (604556) | more than 7 years ago | (#16821606)

From what I have read, it seems that Java will be dual-licenced, so anyone that do not feel good about GPL can use commercial licence. It seems like a win-win situation to me...

GPL for all? (2, Interesting)

Lauritz (146326) | more than 7 years ago | (#16821444)

Will they use the GPL for all the components? That is the compiler, the class libraries and the runtime? Then it will still be easier licensewise to use mono.

Re:GPL for all? (4, Funny)

molnarcs (675885) | more than 7 years ago | (#16821494)

Then it will still be easier licensewise to use mono.

And patent-wise? [slashdot.org] I mean for non-Novell customers, obviously.

Re:GPL for all? (3, Insightful)

moro_666 (414422) | more than 7 years ago | (#16821510)

If you choose mono, you choose an indirect control of microsoft all over your code. Good luck & god speed.

FUD (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16821856)

That's like saying if you code C++, Bjarne Stroustrup has indirect control over your code. It's a ridiculous argument and the reason it gets any weight here at Slashdot is because it plays into that "Star Wars" mythology of the battle between good (FLOSS) and evil (Microsoft). And I'm sorry to say this but Star Wars isn't real.

Re:FUD (4, Funny)

Zigg (64962) | more than 7 years ago | (#16821892)

And I'm sorry to say this but Star Wars isn't real.

That's what the Empire wants you to think!

Re:GPL for all? (1)

Lauritz (146326) | more than 7 years ago | (#16821536)

Which patents would cover mono but not java? Are you saying that java is a patent disaster waiting to happen and the only reason sun is releasing it now is to distance itself from java?

Re:GPL for all? (2, Interesting)

molnarcs (675885) | more than 7 years ago | (#16821624)

Perhaps some Microsoft patents? But that is of course, speculation - without having all the facts of the Novell-MS deal at hand, I don't want to imply anything... except that whenever mono comes up, there is always talk of patents. These might be legit concerns, or not... I don't really know. But the fact that this always comes up might be considered bad enough by some (that's why I linked Perens's post). Not to mention this recent deal between the two companies, that gave legitimacy to MS's patent claims. Mono stands out in this respect from the application stack Novell distributes... if there is any single piece of software that may have patent concerns, it must be Mono (really, what else? eDirectory?, linux? perhaps Samba..)

Oh, and I put my comment in evil-comment tags, but ./ erased that ... so don't take it too seriously...

Re:GPL for all? (1)

Lauritz (146326) | more than 7 years ago | (#16821894)

> Perhaps some Microsoft patents?

You didn't answer the question as to why those patents wouldn't cover java.

Re:GPL for all? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16821666)

You mean patent-stupid.

/ducks

Re:GPL for all? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16821576)

Java Standard Edition libraries will be licensed with GPL2 + Classpath Exception which permits linking with non-GPL applications. So there isn't any problem if you don't want to use GPL compatible license for your Java SE programs, you can still use and distribute GPL Java with it.

Holy Shit! (5, Informative)

MostAwesomeDude (980382) | more than 7 years ago | (#16821450)

Well, on a more practical note, this means that within a few months, I should be seeing a real, complete, working JRE sitting in the main repositories for Debian and Ubuntu. Sweet. We no longer have to go and fetch it ourselves or experiment with incomplete toolkits.

For the ideologues, knowing that there's one less piece of non-free software on your system is a real comfort. For me, personally, all that apparently remains are ATI drivers and Flash Player.

Yay!

Re:Holy Shit! (2, Interesting)

smilindog2000 (907665) | more than 7 years ago | (#16821484)

It's great to have this in the GPL domain, but it's just gotta PO all those open-source developers who have built a GPL version of the same system. Why the heck didn't Sun do this 10 years ago? It would have save the world a LOT of grief.

Re:Holy Shit! (3, Insightful)

marcello_dl (667940) | more than 7 years ago | (#16821542)

I think we must thank microsoft and its C# initiative, er... plan for world domination, for convincing Sun to open up. That couldn't be done 10 years ago when Java was the only player, and it being free as in beer was already a step forward compared to other environments.

Re:Holy Shit! (1)

molnarcs (675885) | more than 7 years ago | (#16821754)

Hah, I'm also into conspiracies :) But seriously, this is very good timing - The Novell-MS deal, which is in large part about the "protection" of Mono, and an effort to position it as the cross-platform effort of Microsoft. HAHA - that's the laughter you hear from Red Hat's headquarters right now, with their Jboss purchase and all. Their response to the MS-Novell deal was not simply hot-air it seems... they might have known this was coming. Question is: for how long? Did they know this when they bought Jboss?

Time to invest in some RH shares while they are down?

Re:Holy Shit! (5, Insightful)

LarsWestergren (9033) | more than 7 years ago | (#16821558)

Why the heck didn't Sun do this 10 years ago? It would have save the world a LOT of grief.

Because 10 years ago, before Java had built up the momentum it has today, a certain company deliberately embraced, extended and corrupted the core libraries with their own OS specific extensions, and shipped this version with their operating system until they were forced by court to stop. Had they succeeded Sun would have lost control of the language to the other company, or it would have been forked to irrelevance. This understandably made Sun a bit paranoid about having total control over Java for quite a while.

MOD PARENT WAY UP! (n/t) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16821770)

moderators!

Not if it is GPL (1)

nietsch (112711) | more than 7 years ago | (#16821832)

GPL does not prevent forking (and some forks will develop due to $$$)but if the forker abides by the GPL he has to publish his code for the forks, so Sun could have incorporated those changes making Sun java compatible with MS-J.

Re:Holy Shit! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16821612)

He he he, I have already started compiling Java.

Of course, I am on Gentoo... :)

You sure on that? (2, Interesting)

glesga_kiss (596639) | more than 7 years ago | (#16821678)

Remember the "Ice Weasel" nonsense? That was because the Debian team did not want to use a copyrighted Firefox logo. Isn't Sun's Java going to have the same problem?

Re:You sure on that? (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 7 years ago | (#16821742)

Not because they didn't want but because Mozilla didn't want them to.

Re:You sure on that? (1)

quigonn (80360) | more than 7 years ago | (#16821870)

Bullshit. The source package provides a mechanism to build trademarked-asset-free versions of Firefox. That's what projects like OpenBSD do.

Re:Holy Shit! (1, Interesting)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 7 years ago | (#16821768)

... working JRE sitting in the main repositories for Debian and Ubuntu. Sweet.

On practical note, can you share what kind of application you use Java for?

I've removed last traces of Java from my WinXP office PC (and never had it on Linux at home) and nothing had ever complained about the absence. (I'm rather curious what had installed it in first place.)

I am long term Java skeptic. Yet would appreciate any hints on why people would want Java - especially under Linux.

Re:Holy Shit! (1)

mebollocks (798866) | more than 7 years ago | (#16821896)

Well for me there's websites like instantchess.com [slashdot.org] that I use quite a bit, also my company's citrix portal uses Java implemented Citrix program neighbourhood to enable me to run almost any MS app on linux, seamlessly.

Re:Holy Shit! (1)

markdavis (642305) | more than 7 years ago | (#16821844)

For the ideologues, knowing that there's one less piece of non-free software on your system is a real comfort. For me, personally, all that apparently remains are ATI drivers and Flash Player.
Nvidia core, certain wireless drivers, Quicktime, Windows Media, etc.

There is still a handfull of important non-GPL stuff out there, although it does seem to be getting better all the time. The only major dark cloud for open OS's will be DRM (and of course, the ever threating and horrible software patent nightmare).

Flash *might* make it to the GPL zone, eventually... hard to say.

This is good, but... (-1, Troll)

kihjin (866070) | more than 7 years ago | (#16821452)

Seriously, what makes java special? Besides having "something like" 3.8 billion devices worldwide.

This is good, but I'll stick with python, it's already open.

Re:This is good, but... (2, Insightful)

Ksempac (934247) | more than 7 years ago | (#16821486)

Come on, you dont do the same kind of applications with a script language like Python and a lower level, general purpose language such as C, C++ or Java.
Script languages are good for small applications but when it comes to big and/or commercial software you need something else. Java is probably one of the most used language (with C and C++) in commercial applications. So yes it is important.

Re:This is good, but... (4, Interesting)

MostAwesomeDude (980382) | more than 7 years ago | (#16821526)

I love how easily you just shrug off that number.

Java is an embeddable language at the hardware level. So-called "Java chips" provide a very real platform for deployment on handheld devices. It's easier to develop applets in Java than in, say, C, since Java is higher-level. The fact that there is low-level support for such a high-level language makes it popular with cell phone developers.

Your point of Python is a good one. After all, Python is high-level, intelligent, and permits object-oriented development. It's my favorite, and I'm writing a few programs in it right now. However, Java still has a few advantages. First, it's ported more places, the most obvious off the top of my head being that Java's Mac OS X GUIs are far more robust and less buggy than Python's. Second, it's compiled and then byte-interpreted, giving it a fairly good speed compared to Python's interpretation. Python also has structures that, while easier to read, definitely don't execute as fast. (I do concede, however, that Java is no speed demon.)

Also, Java is embeddable as a web applet. Only a few other languages can do that. You can't exactly drag'n'drop a Python application into a web browser, hook it up to a frame, and project it to the world.

Of course, since this is Slashdot, I'll finish up with a low-blow bit of rhetoric. If Python is superior to Java, then why is the leading Bittorrent client, Azureus, written in Java if the original Bittorrent client was written in Python?

Re:This is good, but... (1, Informative)

gomoX (618462) | more than 7 years ago | (#16821726)

Python is byte-compiled and executed too. That's what all the .pyc files are.

Java is as low level as PHP, and I don't know what the parent poster was referring with it being "more low level and general purpose". True, it is one of the big 3 with the 2 C's, but i'd say it's more specialized than Python. Few things make Java worthwile and console programs ain't one of them, for example. And more low level? Than what? Java is pretty much as high as you can go.

Azureus is the leading resource client because people really *must* have all the flashy graphics that show how much of a file is done in 47 shades or yellow, orange and green.

Re:This is good, but... (1)

krelian (525362) | more than 7 years ago | (#16821760)

If Python is superior to Java, then why is the leading Bittorrent client, Azureus, written in Java if the original Bittorrent client was written in Python?

Simply because the Azureus has far more features and is easier to use than the original client (this could have changed since I haven't used the original one in a while).

Re:This is good, but... (4, Insightful)

OldBus (596183) | more than 7 years ago | (#16821812)

You make some good points about Java being more widely available than Python, but then tail off.

Python is also compiled and byte interpreted. It is certainly not interpreted in the same fashion as a shell script. Python even keeps the bytecode versions around and wil use them later to save recompilation. Any speed difference betwen the 2 will not be due to interpreation.

It is likely that Java will be a bit faster because there has been more resources thrown at and therefore more people able to do optimisation.

However, the big reason is that Python is a dynamic language (similar to Perl) and the compiler cannot make the same optimisations that a more staic language, such as Java and C can. It also tends to mean an extra layer of pointer redirection (hidden behind the scenes). When you have the ability to tie ('tie' is the Perl-speak way of talking about this - not sure if they use another word in Python) variable to external resources, you can't take any chances even with consecutive reads of the same variable. This all adds time.

As you say, you last shot is a low blow. Just because something is 'leading' does not make it the best - is Windows the best OS or IE the best browser? Maybe, maybe not - but I htink on Slashdot we'd agree there is more to it than just 'leading'. I've not used either client, but maybe Azureus is simply a better program with a better interface, maybe it is more widely available for different platforms? I have no idea - but it says nothing about the relative merits of the 2 languages as such.

Re:This is good, but... (2, Insightful)

juhaz (110830) | more than 7 years ago | (#16821830)

Second, it's compiled and then byte-interpreted, giving it a fairly good speed compared to Python's interpretation.

Python is compiled and then byte-interpreted, just like Java. If you have to bring the speed argument to the table, at least bother to verify WHY it's slower before spouting nonsense.

Also, while Python maybe be slower objectively, especially in number crunching, the significantly faster startup times and generally smaller memory usage often make it seem much snappier, which is at least as important for many if not most applications. Java GUI toolkits other than SWT are also universally regarded as slow, and Python is significantly easier to extend with C so you can speed up the parts that really need it.

Also, Java is embeddable as a web applet.

In theory, in practice Java applets never worked well, and have been going the way of dodo pretty much since their inception, you rarely see one these days - fortunately, painful as they were.

Re:This is good, but... (3, Interesting)

julesh (229690) | more than 7 years ago | (#16821868)

Second, it's compiled and then byte-interpreted, giving it a fairly good speed compared to Python's interpretation.

Python is bytecode-compiled also, although to be fair I believe Python's bytecode is substantially higher level than Java bytecode. There is also a native-code just-in-time compiler (psyco) for x86 platforms that works reasonably well.

IMO, the main problem with Python, performance-wise, is that a variety of operations it supports are defined by the commonly-accepted understanding of the language to be atomic. This includes modifying lists and dictionaries. Because of this, these structures must have all accesses synchronised, which the standard Python implementation achieves by only allowing one thread to execute at once. I don't think I need to point out how horrible this is for scalability to multiprocessor systems.

Re:This is good, but... (2, Interesting)

FrostyCoolSlug (766239) | more than 7 years ago | (#16821590)

Java is an easy to learn, fully cross platform (and by fully, i don't mean pseduofully like most languages, if you code a GUI in Java, you don't need to install stuff like GTK+ to make it work in windows / linux), with a 'one class file fits all' attitude. You don't need to spend time making sure that your code is compatible with every OS that java runs on, you also don't have to waste time compiling for each system, It's fast, complete and as i say, easy to use. I'm primarily a C++ programmer, but my current occupation requires that I code java most of the time, and to be honest, i don't mind, it's much less of a problem making sure everything doesn't segfault, and with a true OO nature, it's just a joy to use. The only real quibble i have is with the way the Java VM behaves and handles memory. As far as open sourcing goes, i welcome it, although i doubt it's going to effect anyone really at least for years to come, the only real advantage is that it may (as stated) be shipped 'as default' in some linux distros, which is a good start

bravo (5, Insightful)

molnarcs (675885) | more than 7 years ago | (#16821456)

I don't think the Mono folks are rejoicing ;) With this step, SUN has became the largest commercial contributor to the free and open source software pool. OpenOffice.org, OpenSolaris, now JAVA - well, kudos!

Re:bravo (2, Informative)

Tim C (15259) | more than 7 years ago | (#16821500)

Sorry to pick on you, but you're the first person I've seen do it and there aren't too many comments on the article yet, so I thought I'd get in quick:

Java is not an acronym, its name should not be capitalised.

It's a minor thing I know, but I'm picky and pedantic enough* for it to irk me every time I see it.

(* goes with the territory; I'm an ex-physicist who moved over to programming. Equations and computers do not know what you mean, only what you say)

Re:bravo (1)

molnarcs (675885) | more than 7 years ago | (#16821574)

Well, thanks for the correction. I always have problems with these (and english is not my native language). I knew it wasn't an acronym, but I didn't know if I should write Java or java, so I capitalized it all :) I always forget how you write names of languages in general :)

Re:bravo (1)

smilindog2000 (907665) | more than 7 years ago | (#16821522)

How true... we're all benefiting from Sun's work. I especially love OpenOffice, as it allows me to single-boot instead of dual-boot with Windows. With all their software open-source, and with their hardware falling way behind cheap PCs, how will Sun stay alive? I'm rooting for them...

let's see who's the first one (3, Funny)

cucucu (953756) | more than 7 years ago | (#16821472)

to post a link to a forked java

GPL makes forks irrelevant (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 7 years ago | (#16821862)

Since the GPL forces everybody to publish the source code to their improvements under the same GPL, there's little motivation to fork anything. If the fork introduces significant improvements, they will be back-ported to the original branch. I think the only good reason to fork a GPL project is if the original team loses interest in the project and it becomes more or less "abandonware".

Huzza! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16821482)

This will remove, at a stroke, one of the largest issues of licence trouble in the *nix world. Fully Free server offerings can now be broader, and the Free desktop gets access to one of the three major ways of bundling sophisticated apps into web pages(Not that I like the practice much; but if Flash, Java, and ActiveX have to exist, I'd rather that more be Freely supported than less).

I'm really impressed with Sun on this one.

Great news for Java apps running on GNU/Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16821488)

Sun is hoping that this step will attract more developers, as well as extend the lifespan of Java.

I totally agree. It will also make it easier to distribute AND maintain Java apps with GNU/Linux distros, such as Debian.

Great news, indeed. Thanks Sun!

GPL/Open Source benefits Too! (5, Interesting)

N8F8 (4562) | more than 7 years ago | (#16821490)

I work for a LARGE government contractor and have had a hard time getting management to realize Open Source in general and the GPL in particular aren't bad for business. Open source here has the same connotation as red communism. Can't get many of them to stop calling it freeware. With Sun making Java GPL they won't have the choice of sticking with that attitude anymore. Many of our existing projects use Java already!

Re:GPL/Open Source benefits Too! (1)

spellraiser (764337) | more than 7 years ago | (#16821640)

Open source here has the same connotation as red communism.

Hey, if Ballmer [theregister.co.uk] says so, it must be true, right?

Re:GPL/Open Source benefits Too! (1)

joshier (957448) | more than 7 years ago | (#16821820)

Peace loving hippies, this man works for the government, quickly, get out your fruits of justice and pelt him with your mighty bananas and pears...

We have no time to pussy foot around when there are such vulnerable targets at stake.

Re:GPL/Open Source benefits Too! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16821828)

Open source here has the same connotation as red communism.

You gotta love it when they compare a volunteer project built entirely out of free will to government which of course is founded on the principle of coercion.

Really, are these people off their rockers? Open source wouldn't be open source if everybody was forced to contribute -- it would be just another subsidy of organized coercion. What makes open source remarkable is that is founded on and depends on people contributing voluntarily -- they want to do it for themselves, not because some government is threatening them with prison or worse.

More articles (5, Informative)

LarsWestergren (9033) | more than 7 years ago | (#16821506)

Some more articles I have found, with some substance to them:
InfoQ [infoq.com], also mentions Glassfish.
eWeek [eweek.com].

There is also going to be a official webcast [sun.com] about this by Jonathan Schwartz and Rich Green 9.30 a.m. PT.

In related news, apparently Project Looking Glass [sun.com], the 3d desktop, is likely to be included in the Ubuntu Feisty [java.net] release.

Technical Details (2, Informative)

digitaltraveller (167469) | more than 7 years ago | (#16821518)

Linux Devices [linuxdevices.com] has a fairly comprehensive list of just what technologies 'GPL Java' encompasses. The std libraries are GPL with the classpath extension.

Re:Technical Details (1)

Argon (6783) | more than 7 years ago | (#16821756)

Thanks for the link. What do you mean by "the std libraries are GPL with the classpath extension"? I didn't see any information about the class libraries in the linux devices site.

Time to blow off the dust (2, Informative)

Djatha (848102) | more than 7 years ago | (#16821540)

I really appreciate this. I like the Java Platform, but as a advocate of free software, I never felt quite happy with using Java. Now it is time for me to blow off the dust of all those Java related books I own and start coding in Java once more.

Furthermore, Trolltech has released (new) Java Qt bindings, so I can even use one of the best toolkits around with a free java to create my apps. (Maybe there will be good KDE(4) bindings too) I am kind of enthusiastic now about all these developments, I hope this will give free software an extra impuls.

What about J2EE (1)

Max Romantschuk (132276) | more than 7 years ago | (#16821544)

It is my understanding that we're talking about the Java language compiler and virtual machine here, right? Which libraries will be GPL'd? What about the Java code for the J2SE libraries and the J2EE framework? The article is a bit short on details...

Re:What about J2EE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16821584)

They are opensourcing everything, including libraries. Just the timeline is a bit streched, HotSpot (VM) and javac (bytecode compiler) And Micro Edition are going out today, with rest of the stuff following shortly, with last pieces promised for March 2007.

Re:What about J2EE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16821610)

They'll release the compiler first, but everything will be opened.

I think some modules will be released in binary form, because Sun isn't their owner, but it's expected that these few exceptions will be reimplemented in full open source asap.

This sucks (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16821548)

It should at least be licensed under LGPL for commercial use

Sun is also planning to open source SOA & IdM (1)

dpandaboy (991662) | more than 7 years ago | (#16821554)

This story here on SDA India [sda-india.com] quotes Robert Brewin as saying that Sun is also planning to open source the remaining 30% of their software suite, which is made up of their SOA and Identity Management portfolio.

Re:Sun is also planning to open source SOA & I (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16821674)

What I'd like to see open sourced is the Sun C/C++ compiler, wouldn't it be nice to give GCC a run for it's money? Besides, giving OpenSolaris it's very own compiler would make it an even more self-contained and complete project than the BSD's which all rely on a number of "third party" GNU tools.

Anyone?

But its 10 years late! (1, Insightful)

Captain Kirk (148843) | more than 7 years ago | (#16821564)

I am grateful to Sun and so is everyone who uses free software. Its just heartbreaking to think of the amount of effort that has been made obsolete by this decision been taken now instead of 10 years ago. A huge opportunity was wasted.

Just think if Sun had done this in the 90s. There would never have been a GTK/Qt appliactions split because all software would have been written in Java. Assuming the deveopers allowed open source fixes to the performance, Linux, Mac and Windows users would all be using the same free applications and the desktop OS would simply be a JRE support system. A huge investment of volunteer time in GTK apps, in Qt apps, in Mono apps, in the now obsolete ClassPath project - all that work could have been productively spent developing Java applications. .Net would never exist as why would anyone bother? Sun has lost huge amounts of money over the last decade on software and subsidised it with hardware sales. As a GPL project, Java will be considerabley less expensive to them.

Its great that Sun have finally released Java. Its instructive to see that all they achived by 10 years of keeping it under a restrictive license is huge financial losses for themselves, the emergence of .Net as an alternative and the waste of the volunteer labor of developers who should be Sun's greatest allies.

Re:But its 10 years late! (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16821634)

Well, it is not so simple, Java 10 years ago was nothing in comparation with Java today (I wouldn't actually call it usefull). Also, there was all that MS J++ fiasco, then a patent ligitation and deal MS and Sun had two years ago....lots of stuff happened, and it is really hard to tell how would things played out if Sun OSed Java 10 (or even 5) years ago.

I personally think timing is great. Java6 is a great piece of software, lets start from that point and see if we can make it better.

Re:But its 10 years late! (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 7 years ago | (#16821686)

Just think if Sun had done this in the 90s. There would never have been a GTK/Qt appliactions split because all software would have been written in Java.

You know, the reason why few desktop applications are written in Java has little to do with licensing issues. I mean, Qt was much more commonly used than Java, even when its license was just as bad as Java's was until now.

The point is: Java on the desktop sucks. I blame poor toolkit design, myself, as I've seen some Java apps with alternative toolkits that work really well.

Re:But its 10 years late! (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16821690)

You have to be fucking joking!

Sun has had the thankless task for the past decade of standing alone against Microsoft in their all out assault on the Java platform. Even to this day Microsoft is making absurd decisions like trying to support a dead format like HD-DVD just because of the Java part of BluRay. And all the while they were protecting Java from every possible sleazy trick in Microsoft's playbook, they still managed to keep Java as close to a true community based open source project as possible.

And all through those years fucks like you acted like infants and threw tantrums over Java and ran off and played with garbage like mono despite the endless warnings of the more grownup members in the open source world.

Bravo Sun! You have done a thankless and most likely forever underestimated effort for open source software development.

Interesting facts (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16821566)

Interesting facts

- there are something like 3.8 billion Java devices in the world
- there are more Llamas on Earth than grains of sand on every beach on Earth
- for every person in the world there are exactly 7.98 telephones
- a Beagle can jump as high as 19.3 metres

Sun Puts The Final Nail In Mono And Miguel (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16821598)

Perhaps the open source community will finally learn to stay the fuck away from the foaming at the mouth Microsoft fanboy Miguel and his attempts to fuck Linux over - finally.

With Java now GPL we can start to repair the damage the little fuck has done to Linux application development. Distros already making moves to purge all mono tech is a good start.

future of GCJ/Kaffe (2, Interesting)

xianp (1026524) | more than 7 years ago | (#16821630)

I'm wondering what is going to happen with free Java compilers/virtual machines like GCJ and Kaffe?

An appropriate response (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16821632)

I would like to encourage everyone to send a nice thank you letter to Mr. Schwartz at SUN, applauding the GPL release so that he can see how many people actually have taken notice of thir effort.

RMS (1)

leomekenkamp (566309) | more than 7 years ago | (#16821644)

I am really interested to hear what RMS is going to say about this. And I wonder a certain artice [gnu.org] of his as had any influence at the Sun top.

Re:RMS (4, Informative)

Tpenta (197089) | more than 7 years ago | (#16821710)

I have quoted two soundbites on my blog [sun.com] from videos that will be shown at the announcement tomorrow (the quotes are from the information that was (I believe) given to the press.

"I think Sun has well, with this contribution have contributed more than any other company to the free software community in the form of software. It shows leadership. It's an example I hope others will follow." RMS

"Sun's policy of GPLing java which we are celebrating now is an extraordinary achievement in returning programming technology to that state of freely available knowledge that people can share and improve together. It's a crucial step in the process of turning the technology today into knowledge that people can use freely to make the technology of tomorrow." Eben Moglin

I've seen the video shorts (well some of them) that will be shown at the announcement. I think some folks will be surprised. RMS also makes reference to the java trap.

Tp.

Make? (1)

Yuioup (452151) | more than 7 years ago | (#16821654)

So am I going to be able to get the sources from somewhere and build Java from scratch?

How is this going to work?

Y

Re:Make? (4, Informative)

Torne (78524) | more than 7 years ago | (#16821764)

So am I going to be able to get the sources from somewhere and build Java from scratch?

How is this going to work?

You've been able to do that for years - just not under an Open Source licence. Sun have provided the entire JDK source (including the VM code) under their own Sun Community Source Licence (see http://www.sun.com/software/communitysource/j2se/j ava2/download.xml [sun.com] for the current 1.5 code). There are various restrictions imposed by the SCSL which prevent free redistribution of changes unless you comply with certain conditions, and thus it's not considered to be an OSS licence.

You need a bunch of binaries to get it bootstrapped (i.e. it requires Java to build Java) but the result is entirely compiled from the source you can get from the above site. ;)

GPLing it is a change of licence terms, not a change in the actual availability of the source.

Re:Make? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16821884)

Can it be bootstrapped using GCJ?

Java and JBoss on RedHat (1)

zrq (794138) | more than 7 years ago | (#16821662)

Did RedHat know this was in the pipeline when they bought JBoss.

I look forward to seeing Fedora ship with the Sun JDK and JBoss installed as part of the system.

Before the official announcement? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16821668)

I wonder how some websites and newssites claim to know the truth even before Sun's Official statement [sun.com] in this matter ? Perhaps they work different on different timezones but for me as well as a few friends in the states the cat (or Duke) isn't out of the bag yet.

Personally I'm very sceptical by all this. Especially since the whole project was already open sourced in some way (meaning: the sourcecode has always been freely available) and it was only due to some fanatics (IMO) that the need is deemed more important than it might actually be. Still, if I put on my hat of sceptism +10 then I have to wonder... Is this done to please the OSS fanatics or perhaps to cut down on development costs on Java itself?

Towards to a one platform (2, Insightful)

Iloinen Lohikrme (880747) | more than 7 years ago | (#16821682)

I'm very happy that Sun is going to bring Java -platform to Open Source and under GPL license.

I believe that this move by Sun will increase development speed of Java and more importantly it will make Java more common. By having Java as a GPL, there is no reason left why Linux distributions wouldn't include Java in default installation. By becoming a standard part of Linux installations, it will gather more mind share from developers, both open source and commercial, and make developing of Java based applications more lucrative. It's interesting to see if this move will bring Java over a tipping point in desktop environments and lead to a situation where more and more applications are based on Java, leading to a total commodization of desktop.

When Java will become more standard part of a desktop, I believe that it will change deeply on how we build our applications. I think that the future is for applications that have desktop application component that is integrated to a server application. Already it's quite easy with Java to develop server software that works via multiple interfaces, ie. web and desktop. The only question for now has been, do all clients have Java, maybe in the future there is no need to ask this question.

GPL linking exception for class libraries? (1)

Argon (6783) | more than 7 years ago | (#16821708)

Wow! Despite all the rumours, I never really believed Sun would release Java under GPL instead of CDDL. Hats off to Sun. I assume the class libraries are also under GPL. The question I now have is, have they explicitly given a GPL linking exception for the class libraries to avoid GPL tainting Java code? Rather than implicitly saying there's no problem, I hope they make an explicit exception similar to the one given for FSF's libgcc or libstdc++.

Re:GPL linking exception for class libraries? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16821736)

Yes, "classpath" exception is there

Re:GPL linking exception for class libraries? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16821790)

Yes, Java Standard Edition libraries are licensed with GPL2 + Classpath Exception [gnu.org]

Couldn't come at a better time (1)

Espectr0 (577637) | more than 7 years ago | (#16821718)

After the Microsoft-Novell deal, this couldn't come at a better time.

And Java 1.6 (6?) is coming really soon now.

My only worry (1)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 7 years ago | (#16821728)

is that we'll see applications built on custom versions of Java that aren't compatible with each other or have fixed bugs differently to how someone else has fixed them.

Hopefully Ubuntu, Debian and Fedora will just take the current version of Java, compile it with all the bugs still intact (I'm not kidding!!) and stick it in the repositories.

GCJ, Kaffee, GNU Classpath (2, Insightful)

Espectr0 (577637) | more than 7 years ago | (#16821734)

I wonder what is going to happen to these three projects?
Let's hope now Java integrates all the good features of C#, like true generics.

Thank you, SUN (1)

g253 (855070) | more than 7 years ago | (#16821776)

That's all I have to say really, but I had to say it. Thanks. You did the Right Thing.

I see a problem here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16821796)

Where I work, we use Java a lot but we have corporate rule that says "no open source software".

Thank you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16821822)

While I think OpenSolaris was a shot accross the bow, this is most welcome, if long overdue. If Sun had done this 10 years ago, they'd now have the de-facto cross platform runtime.

The VM war on linux was just won by Java, the sooner distros rid themselves of Mono, the better.

GPL? Not LGPL? (0)

argent (18001) | more than 7 years ago | (#16821874)

This isn't like GCC, where the runtime is negligable and easily replaced.

Releasing Java under the GPL rather than the LGPL may hurt more than it helps.

CONGRATULATION EVERYONE ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16821880)

There is no more excuses to use java anymore :-)
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