Telling Stories at JavaOne
Subject:   Criticism for its own sake
Date:   2006-06-01 02:53:27
From:   jwenting
Response to: Criticism for its own sake

You also need to decide WHAT is open sourced.

If the language specs, JVM specs, and TCK are open sourced and released to the masses (together inevitably with the brand name) that's the end of Java, it will quickly degenerate into a miriad of mutually incompatible versions all released under the same name.

If the source of the JDK/JRE is released under an OSS license (and one that does not prevent code compiled with it from having a more restrictive license, so definitely NOT the GPL or similar viral licenses) while control over the language definition and brand name remains centralised with Sun (or given over to an international standards body like ECMA), that danger is far less (but not quite zero).

In the current environment there is effectively no restriction to people wanting to release an open source JDK/JRE, except of course the amount of effort that would be involved in creating it.

Any argument that Java won't be accepted and used unless and until it's open sourced is of course fundamentally flawed from the beginning. There are probably millions of people using Java professionally, I'd call that acceptance... In contrast the vaunted open source languages like Python, PHP, and Ruby have hardly any professionals using them at all, certainly not anything on the scale Java has. And that success is in large part brought about by Java NOT being open source but tightly controlled, which brings a stable environment which is something companies desire (and often require) rather than chaotic change and constantly changing language specs which means you can't run or compile the code you wrote last week with this week's compiler.