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From Stefano Mazzocchi <>
Subject Re: [wanna laught?] Microsoft invented XML
Date Thu, 18 May 2000 11:17:31 GMT
Brett McLaughlin wrote:
> Ben Laurie wrote:
> >
> > Stefano Mazzocchi wrote:
> > >
> > > wrote:
> > > >
> > > > Niclas Hadhman wrote:
> > > > >
> > > > > Write-Once-Run-Everywhere is THE THING, and anyone who doesn't get
> > > > > should go back and hack C++ on  a dozen Unices.
> > > >
> > > > I agree.
> > > >
> > > > However, I for one don't buy into the dire consequences that many predict
> > > > would occur if Java were open sourced.  Nor do I believe that open source
> > > > is quite the panacea that some would seem to believe.
> > >
> > > I agree, anarchy != freedom
> > >
> > > > But I do believe that Java would be available more places, and the JDKs
> > > > themselves would have a few less bugs, if the JDK itself was open source.
> > > > In my mind, these are the two biggest impediments to "WORA".
> > >
> > > And I heard some rumors floating around that say JavaONE keynote will
> > > present big surprises on this...
> >
> > Tut! You aren't supposed to spoil surprises (and why haven't I heard
> > these rumours? :-)
> I think what is more accurate is that you will hear talk (not
> neccessarily a keynote) of what is going on. You have to realize that
> there is a *lot* of pressure being put on Sun by major players like IBM
> and the like; however, Sun does not /want/ to open source Java. They may
> have to, they may have to compromise, there may be all sorts of things
> they /will/ do. So before we all go cheering, let's be careful. We've
> all seen the "revised" JCP, and the SCSL, which aren't nearly as great
> as they /sound/ when you hear Sun talk about them.
> I'm not saying I won't be the first to explode - I will. Heck, I work
> for an open source company now. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't all
> very /very/ careful when listening ;-) Just a clarification before
> someone quotes Stefano saying Java is going open source ;-)

Easy people.

Don't quote me on anything and don't sell this to slashdot or I'll be
crucified forever!

I _never_ said that Java is going open source for this JavaONE.

I said: "I heard rumors about Sun doing something about open source and

But Sam told me he heard the exact opposite rumors.

Who's right? we'll see.

Anyway, Sun is starting to understand that if platforms fragment on the
JVM versioning (solaris, linux, win32 on 1.2, all the rest on 1.1) WORA
goes down the drain anyway, even under their titianium legal umbrella.

Also the biggest voted bug on bugparade is FreeBSD 1.2 support.

These are facts.

But what they are going to do to "fix" this bug is not known. Many
propose open source as a solution, and Tomcat showed it may not happen
right away, but it's the right path to follow to make a technology

Would they reuse the Jakarta deal for the whole JVM? I don't know, but I
hope so, like many of you.

They said they were going to make NetBeans open source but
is registered but not operational.

Sun lawyers are sure freaking out in front on open source, I can tell
you that. No open source license has never been tested on court and
writing a license that allows some freedom but restrict some other is a
legal engineering effort. And I very hard one, I would assume.

The problem is that open source dynamics are understood only by insiders
and there is no Raymond's paper on open source dynamics (yet?). Patterns
like "community forking prevention", "geographically and timezone
distributed collaboration", "project evolution/involution/revolution"
and so on are _NOT_ easy to understand for people that never had contact
with them.

For example, Linux is not Linus only, but he _knows_ what gears to put
grease on. I hope I'm doing at least part of the same awesome job that
he does on this project.

Sun knows that to avoid legal troubles later down the road, you have to
create a _solid_ community and engineer it right from the beginning
(stuff that many java/open-source advocates are completely failing to

For Tomcat, the step was easy: Apache is already a very solid community
with paradigms and knowledge about community engineering and cooperation

But for the entire JVM, how do you make such thing work without wasting
_years_ to develop such community?

Look at Mozilla: most of the people think that Mozilla if failing to
provide an alternative to IE because "open source is slow"! Nothing can
be far from the truth.

If you see at their code, I was _amazed_ to see how _good_ their whole
intrastructure is, not only their software infrastructure but also their
community tools and community ideas. It took so long because Netscape
dropped the ball (a ball with millions of dirty lines of code) on top of
a dozen of developers with no ideas about how open source had to be

It is amazing for me the project is still alive and actually producing
good code, and I'm sure they will keep on doing a better and better job
as we go along....

... but it took more than two years!!!!

Can Sun make the same mistake with the JVM?

True, there would be _major_ differences between Mozilla and an OpenJVM
project, mostly due to the fact that Sun is already facing open source
(unlike Netscape) and Sun has examples to learn from...

.... but even if I could make -that- decision, I'll still have doubts on
_how_ to do it to make it happen soon and with enough "friction
releasers" to maintain consistency.

Maybe I should write a paper like Raymond did to show Sun my concerns
and possible solutions...

.. oh well.. at least, I don't need a signature that says "Please, open
source Java" :)

Stefano Mazzocchi      One must still have chaos in oneself to be
                          able to give birth to a dancing star.
<>                             Friedrich Nietzsche
 Missed us in Orlando? Make it up with ApacheCON Europe in London!
------------------------- http://ApacheCon.Com ---------------------

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