Feeds

Java will go open

It’s all just a question of how

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then
It CANNA do it, captain.They DON'T have the POWER!
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
NSA SOURCE CODE LEAK: Information slurp tools to appear online
Now you can run your own intelligence agency
Post-Microsoft, post-PC programming: The portable REVOLUTION
Code jockeys: count up and grab your fabulous tablets
Twitter App Graph exposes smartphone spyware feature
You don't want everyone to compile app lists from your fondleware? BAD LUCK
Microsoft adds video offering to Office 365. Oh NOES, you'll need Adobe Flash
Lovely presentations... but not on your Flash-hating mobe
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
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.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.