Feeds

Java will go open

It’s all just a question of how

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

JavaOne Java will be going open source, Sun’s new vice president of Software, Rich Green, announced at JavaOne in San Francisco. “It is not a question of whether,” he said, “but a question of how.” The only real question on many lips, of course, was `when?’.

The answer to that is still very indistinct, with the closest Green getting being “as soon as possible.” What is holding up the timing is an issue that remains to be resolved. “There are two forces in play here,” he said. “One is to open up, and the other is the fact that compatibility really matters. We don’t want to see divergence.”

His first job since rejoining the company, therefore, will be to find a way to manage and control the potential for divergence that could be possible in an open environment. “It has to be done as a group to ensure that compatibility is maintained,” he added. “Open may be news, but a lot of developers consider it as potential bad news.”

So the time will be taken at examining a number of options in moving to open source. One possibility that has been suggested, moving Java to an independent body similar to the model adopted with Eclipse, is already being touted, and it is within Green’s thinking on the issue. But he suggested it might not be the best model for Sun to follow in this case. Another suggestion that will be scrutinised in this process is the idea of Sun licencing key elements of Java technology to other vendors so that compatibility can be maintained across niche platforms that are not of immediate interest to Sun itself.

The change in Sun’s position on open sourcing Java has a lot to do with the views of new president and CEO, Jonathan Schwartz, who acknowledged that the revenue growth in services surrounding Solaris, following the five million free licences of the operating system issued in the last year, had been an implicit factor.

“There are those companies that will not use Java without an OSI licence and they can now consider it,” he said. “It simply grows the tent.” And the key to this growth, he suggested, is the maintenance of compatibility. “Compatibility is why Java is so big, so the last thing we want to do is affect that. We have been approached by many companies to produce non-compatible versions of Java, but we are committed to compatibility. It grows the market.”

He also pointed to the fact that compatibility is about one word, `substitution’ and a lot of vendors don’t like that idea at all. “But substitution is the driver of competition,” he said. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Intel's Raspberry Pi rival Galileo can now run Windows
Behold the Internet of Things. Wintel Things
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
Time to move away from Windows 7 ... whoa, whoa, who said anything about Windows 8?
Start migrating now to avoid another XPocalypse – Gartner
You'll find Yoda at the back of every IT conference
The piss always taking is he. Bastard the.
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
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.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.