Will You See Open Source J2EE Implementations?
Subject:   Independent Developers Should Get a Free Pass
Date:   2001-10-11 15:57:29
From:   timoreilly
I have long defended Sun's right to release their software under whatever terms they choose, but Mike's points seem quite compelling to
me. Developer adoption of J2EE is key to its success, yet Sun seems to be making the widest adoption difficult by putting roadblocks in the way of open source implementations. Sun may have the right to limit certification of Java-compliant software to those who can pay, but this
"right" doesn't make it a sensible choice. Mike's proposed solution seems like a good one. It might be even simpler for Sun just to waive the fees for a complete open source implementation like JBoss -- unless they are intentionally telling open source developers that they aren't
wanted instead of just failing to realize the problem posed by their current certification process.

I should add that I've also heard privately from
people at IBM that one reason they have cooled to
Java is related to this issue. At least some key people there believe that Sun's real reason for its Java certification and licensing policy is that they still cling to a long term strategy of being able to extract significant royalties if they are able to establish Java as a universal cross-platform VM.

I don't know that any of this is correct. It's easy to Monday-morning-quarterback any company's decisions. I can't really speak to Sun's motivations, but I can affirm that they've needlessly created ill will among developer communities that might well have embraced Java and helped to take it even further than it's already gone. Instead, they've alienated many possible allies by putting in unnecessary roadblocks.