Open Source Java-- doh not yet

by Rick Jelliffe

I've previously called for Sun to Open Source at least the unprofitable parts of Java in this blog. Sun announced some kind of intention to do something last week, and they have been moving in this area for a time, for example with the various projects at Tim Bray wonders why there has been some hostile reaction. I wouldn't call Richard Stallman's The Curious Incident of Sun in the Night-Time hostile, but I did have much the same feeling that the Linux announcement (though really great, three cheers for all concerned and Sun!) was not the thing we want to pop our corks for.

It is not surprising we are economical with our enthusiasm. Simon complains that Sun are "not pretending it was open source Java yet", but Tim Bray calls it an "OSS license". I suppose in the sense of a license to make Java easier to run with OSS operating systems, not in the sense of an license that makes Java itself OSS. A little confusing.


2006-05-25 09:53:16
Argh. When I said "OSS license" I was talking about the announcement that the actual real open-sourcing of our Java implementation was "How, not whether". The short-term thing, DLJ for linux distros, is *not* real OSS and since Rick thought that's what I was talking about, obviously I was being unclear. -Tim
Simon Phipps
2006-05-25 17:35:01
Simon complains that Sun are "not pretending it was open source Java yet", but Tim Bray calls it an "OSS license".
The confusion comes from the fact that you are conflating two different announcements. I was talking about the Distro License for Java, which is not a F/OSS license, and which corrects the distribution terms of the Java SE binaries to allow them to be packaged and shipped with GNU/Linux and OpenSolaris distributions if the choose to. Tim is talking about the plan Jonathan Schwartz announced at JavaOne to release Java SE under an OSI-approved F/OSS license some time soon. Seems you have committed exactly the error Stallman is complaining about.
Rick Jelliffe
2006-05-25 21:58:38
The point of the blog is that for many of us a muted reaction to the DLJ for Java indicates a desire for the real-soon-now F/OSS license for Java to be worked out rather than hostility. I am not remotely hostile to Java, I use it and enjoy it and contribute OSS code and my company's desktop products are written with it! I am not your enemy marching around conflating things left right and center but your customer and champion :-)

Even my misreading of Tim's blog, which he then kindly clarified, didn't conflate anything but merely pointed out a possible confusion. You don't need to be so sensitive, we love the DLJ as a great advance, we love Java, we love you, we love Tim. But F/OSS Java is such a distracting carrot, we want it now (or in stages starting soon) rather than any lengthy dangle.