Feeds

IBM lobbies Sun in open source Java debate

Letters exchanged, views expressed

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The controversy surrounding the open sourcing of Java continues unabated, writes Bloor Research analyst Robin Bloor. Printed below is an open letter from Rod Smith (VP, Emerging Technogies, IBM Software Group) to Sun, suggesting that it should be made available to the open source community. Officially, the letter was sent to Sun's Chief Engineer Rob Gingell. The text has been very slightly edited:

Hi Rob,

This is an open letter to Sun.

I read a eWeek (February 5th) article in which Simon Phipps (Chief Technology Evangelist at Sun) was quoted on open source Java with quite a bit of interest.

In the article, Simon asked "Why hasn't IBM given its implementation of Java to the open-source community?" I'm sure you recall the discussion we had over dinner in December around open sourcing Java. Simon's comment appears to be an offer to jointly work towards this common goal. IBM is a strong supporter of the open source community and we believe that a first class open source Java implementation would further enhance Java's position in the industry by spurring growth of new applications and encouraging new innovation in the Java platform.

Here is the offer: IBM would like to work with Sun on an independent project to open source Java. Sun's strong commitment to open source Java would speed the development of a first class and compatible open source Java implementation to the benefit of our customers and the industry. IBM is ready to provide technical resources and code for the open source Java implementation while Sun provides the open source community with Sun materials including Java specifications, tests and code. We are firmly convinced the open source community would rally around this effort and make substantial contributions as well.

This would be a very exciting step for IBM and Sun. I am convinced that the creation of an open source implementation of the Java environment would be of enormous importance to the developer community and our industry's collective customers. It would open a whole world of opportunity for new applications and growth of the Java community. In addition, this would accelerate the growth and adoption of technologies that are built on Java and are critical to our customers today, including Web services and Service Oriented Architecture.



The reply from Rob Gingell - again, very slightly edited - reads:

Rod

What this means, according to IBM, is that IBM is willing to discuss open sourcing a subset of the Java language infrastructure, run time, and libraries (but not the whole of WebSphere).

In our view, this is an excellent idea, and something along these lines needs to happen in some way. Java has become the de facto development language of choice and while Sun, IBM, BEA and others need to keep hold of some of their proprietary software development jewels, open sourcing part of the Java platform makes eminent sense.



The problem is that IBM and Sun compete heavily with each other, so an Open Source arrangement that suits them both is difficult to arrive at. Also, once you let the Open Source genie out of the bottle, it will be impossible to get it back in.

The Java issue is particularly difficult for Sun, who, after all, gave the world Java, but had to tread a narrow line to popularize it without giving it away completely. Sun never reaped as much of the benefit that it had hoped for, but it did make Java stick. It will be interesting to see whether Simon Phipps, or anyone else at Sun responds to IBM's challenge.

© IT-Analysis.com

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
China hopes home-grown OS will oust Microsoft
Doesn't much like Apple or Google, either
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
This is how I set about making a fortune with my own startup
Would you leave your well-paid job to chase your dream?
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
Eat up Martha! Microsoft slings handwriting recog into OneNote on Android
Freehand input on non-Windows kit for the first time
Linux kernel devs made to finger their dongles before contributing code
Two-factor auth enabled for Kernel.org repositories
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?