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From "Geir Magnusson Jr." <ge...@apache.org>
Subject Re: Sun lashes out at open source J2SE
Date Tue, 24 May 2005 10:27:52 GMT

Lets just keep to our purpose and message of compatibility and  
openness.  I'm familiar with getting misquoted, or pieces taken out  
of context, and I hope this is the case here.


On May 23, 2005, at 5:51 PM, Brad Cox wrote:

> http://www.infomaticsonline.co.uk/2135503
>    Sun lashes out at open source J2SE
>            Apache plans dubbed 'destructive'
> Sun Microsystems has expressed "serious doubts" about the  
> usefulness of the latest Apache Foundation project to create an  
> open source implementation of the Java 2 Standard Edition (J2SE).
> In an interview with *vnunet.com* <http://www.vnunet.com>, James  
> Gosling, Java creator and Sun vice president in charge of the  
> programming language, explained that he did not understand why the  
> open source consortium was undertaking the project.
> "I would never do that," he said about Apache's Project Harmony.  
> "There are so many more interesting things to do with my life."
> The Apache Foundation announced the project *earlier this month*  
> <http://www.infomaticsonline.co.uk/2127323>. The organisation aims  
> to collect a group of developers and create an open source  
> implementation of the J2SE, which is needed to run Java code on a  
> desktop computer.
> Sun requires J2SE implementations to pass rigorous testing  
> requirements before they can call themselves Java compliant. While  
> this ensures compatibility between the different J2SEs, it also  
> means that the functionalities of the final product are identical  
> to Sun's existing offering.
> Sun put the detailed requirements in place to prevent "forking", a  
> fragmentation of the language that would force software developers  
> to certify their code for each fork.
> A similar development with Linux allowed Red Hat and SuSE to become  
> the de facto standards. Major software vendors, such as Oracle and  
> Computer Associates, now certify their software only for these  
> Linux distributions.
> Sun welcomes contributions from outside the company to the source  
> code, and has a Java Community Process in place to foster  
> discussion within the developer community and encourage input on  
> the future direction of the language.
> The inability to fork Java is the only major difference between the  
> software licence that Sun uses for Java and the GPL-like licence  
> that the Apache Foundation will use, according to Gosling.
> "[Apache] says a lot of words about why they want to do it. Exactly  
> why is it critical to have a delta between our source licence and  
> the source licence that they think is appropriate?" he said.
> "I understand why they would like it to be different. From our  
> point of view that would actually be more destructive than helpful.  
> It boils down to forking: they believe that the ability to fork is  
> an absolutely critical right."
> Gosling claimed that Java developers of enterprise software support  
> Sun in its refusal to open the source code of Java. But they are  
> eclipsed by more vocal open source advocates.
> "If we could get the enterprise software architects to be as vocal  
> as the Slashdot crowd, it would be a really interesting  
> discussion," he said.
> Sun will not contribute to the project, Gosling said, revoking a  
> comment that another Sun vice president made on his blog earlier.
> "We hardly have the energy to work on our [J2SE implementation].  
> We'll be glad to get co-operative and helpful, but there is only so  
> much energy that is free and donatable," Gosling told *vnunet.com*  
> <http://www.vnunet.com>.
> In response to Gosling's remarks, Geir Magnusson, an independent  
> software developer with the Foundation, told /vnunet.com/ that  
> Apache does not aim to fork Java.
> An open source J2SE implementation could allow the software to  
> spread to new devices, according to Magnusson, who pointed out that  
> Sun's J2SE only supports Solaris, Linux and Windows.
> "This is about producing a J2SE implementation that can be taken  
> and ported and used in more places," he said.
> "If I am building a device that uses Java and I could get a  
> complete J2SE implementation from Apache, then we would have a new  
> place for Java.
> "It would be nice if every Linux distribution came with Java. Java  
> should be like a dial-tone."
> Magnusson added that current J2SE providers, such as IBM, BEA and  
> Sun, all have to build and test their own software. An open source  
> implementation would allow them to share that work.
> He is not surprised by Sun's lack of enthusiasm about his latest  
> project, however. Magnusson has spoken with the company about  
> Harmony and has invited it to participate. "Sun is a little  
> sceptical that we are able to do it," he said.
> Sun has provided Magnusson with a slot at the upcoming Java One  
> conference from 27-30 June in San Francisco.
> The development of the open source J2SE software is expected to  
> take several years.

Geir Magnusson Jr                                  +1-203-665-6437

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