Java is Now Open Source

/java-is-now-open-source 2006-11-13T10:40:01+00:00

Java LogoAfter a lot speculation and demands from the public, today Sun Microsystems will announce the release of ALL of the key Java implementations - Java Standard Edition (J2SE: traditionally run on desktops), Java Micro Edition (J2ME: traditionally run on phones and embedded devices) and Java Enterprise Edition (J2EE: traditionally run in business infrastructure) - using the Free Software Foundation's GNU General Public License (GPLv2), the license at the centre of the GNU/Linux community.

Short of it's release over tem years ago, this has got to be one of the biggest moves for Java and should rapidly increase it's popularity, especially with those that have always have viewed Sun as an outsider (due to the closed nature of Java).

With this move, Sun is no longer an outsider, they are the world's largest contributor to both the free software and GPL communities. Sun is now the free software movement's most significant benefactor.

Now some people may be wondering What the hell is Sun doing? It's giving away all it's software. How's it going to make any money now? Yes, Sun is giving away it's software, however there's very good sense behind it - the more developers, devices and new services on the internet - the more demand there is for the network innovation Sun sells to the marketplace.

Open sourcing Java is a bold move that's good for Sun's business, Sun's customers and the community , because:

  • Volume Drives Value. By open sourcing Java, Sun drives down the barriers to adoption of the most innovative platform the Internet has ever seen
  • Sun becomes the leading contributor to the opensource movement. By using the Free Software Foundation's GPL license, Sun are amplifying the Linux community's efforts, and stepping in to support them in a time of need. This firmly positions Sun as a friend to the open source movement, and as its single biggest benefactor. No one can dispute that.
  • Sun will continue to offer commercial products and services, with full indemnity for our customers. This act refutes the recently introduced idea that open source isn't safe, or that customers owe Microsoft a royalty for using free software. That's now clearly debunked.
  • Open sourcing Java meets the requirements of a growing set of customers who require open source, such as governments and universities.
  • Open sourcing Java gives all developers, not simply those involved in the Java Community Process, the freedom to participate in the future of Java.
  • Open sourcing Java - with a license common to linux and it's worldwide supporters and distributors - will dramatically enhance the adoption of the technology.

Mark Sun's words in a Wall Street Journal article last week:

5 years from now, this [move to free Java] will be seen as the single most important technical shift ever to have occurred on the internet.

So go on, download the Java Developers Kit and get developing. Oh and before you start going on about how ugly it is and that it doesn't fit in with common desktops, check out the release candidate for Java SE 6. It's pretty awesome.

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