Feeds

Open source Java SE by year end

'Lawyers finish job' – well, nearly

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

There is now a timescale in place for the Standard Edition of Java, Java SE, to go open source.

Sun chief open source officer Simon Phipps said licence changes would occur in a sequence of updates to the code starting towards the end of this year.

As outlined here, making Java open has been something of a mare's nest of legal investigations and research, but now enough of the work has been done to start introducing open source-licensed code.

"We are still working on who owns what," Phipps said. "It is a problem that particularly stems from company acquisitions over the years, where it is difficult to ascertain whether we explicitly own the rights to change the licences."

He indicated that there are still some areas of the Java SE code base where the company is not certain it has sufficient legal rights to move the code to open source licensing, and the company may resort to using either its own engineering muscle to work round the problem areas, or work with others such as the Apache Harmony Project Group.

The company has been working with the Harmony and GNU Projects to build a greater Java SE community, and has already launched a portal as a community resource.

One of the markets where Java has been particularly successful has been in embedded systems, particularly in the mobile devices area, and Phipps noted that open source was now also having a significant impact in that marketplace.

With that in mind, he said the mobile edition, Java ME, is also expected to be launched with open source licensing at the end of this year. The next target after that will be Sun's extensive portfolio of middleware.

The primary issue with a switch to open source licensing is, of course, the fundamental change this brings in the way software vendors monetise their products. Phipps sees the change as a move to monetise at the point of value to the user and away from the point of acquisition from the vendor. He calls it the move from Software Model Version 2 to Version 3.

This still raises some unresolved questions, however, for he admitted that Sun execs are still deliberating over what mechanisms will be needed to determine what constitutes a "point of value" for a user, what happens when that point is reached, quantifying that value, and billing for it. In practice, Phipps sees monetising coming down to two main factors: the componentisation of products and the sale of expert services.

The former simply takes a previous "product", sold as a complete package, and breaks it down into components that can be purchased as required, so if you don't want the documentation you don't buy it. The latter is based on Sun gaining revenue from selling the expertise of its development staff to users, as and when they need it.

Phipps' own take on the background to the arrival of open source Java SE can be found in his blog. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
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
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
Microsoft adds video offering to Office 365. Oh NOES, you'll need Adobe Flash
Lovely presentations... but not on your Flash-hating mobe
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
HTML5 vs native: Harry Coder and the mudblood mobile app princes
Developers just want their ideas to generate money
prev story

Whitepapers

Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
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?
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.