Feeds

Open source Java - one year later

Plus ça change

Security for virtualized datacentres

Was open sourcing Java worth the pain? Java's transition to open source has offered some positives for Sun - especially in the increasingly important mobile applications market. James Gosling - the creator of Java who took over Hamilton's role at Sun - said back in May he was pleased with the progress of Java as an open source project. This was echoed in August by Sun's software executive vice president Rich Green.

More recently, Terrence Barr, Sun's mobile and embedded systems evangelist, gave a positive spin on the history of Java's progress in the last year. He also said that Java could appear on Apple's iPhone in 2008.

Added to this, Google's enthusiasm for Java and talk of Sun working with Samsung on a Java phone to rival the iPhone could put Java in a strong position in this emerging market.

And, Red Hat's announcement last week that it would work closely with Sun on open source projects - and Java in particular - adds some weight to Sun's strategy.

Even before it became open source, though, Java already occupied a strong position in open source development with hundreds of Java-based projects under way. However, Sun's decision to remove most of the encumbrances that had confused the licensing of Java applications has undoubtedly helped further the Java cause among open source developers. Sun said by the end of October there had been close to 12,700 full downloads of the open source Java Development Kit (JDK) since its release in May.

The real question remains, though, whether the move to open Java has helped - or will help - Sun attract developers and close the gap on Java developer tools and middleware rivals that opened up in the 1990s.

Despite the return to profit this year and vague mumblings about open source Java is helping it sell hardware in "emerging" markets, it is far too early to say whether slipping the leash from Java will contribute to Sun's success or make it any more relevant to software developers - which today, is not very relevant at all.

Sun is vague on Java customer numbers, talking in guarded terms of "strong" or "positive" figures, but it's been either unable or unwilling to share these figures. And, we're still waiting for Sun's software to make the kinds of numbers that will allow the CEO to finally break out revenue, to see how things are really doing.

When explaining his departure from Sun in the CIO panel session last week, Singer revealed, perhaps, more than he ought to have done about Sun's problem with making money from open source software. Asked why he fell out with Schwartz over Java he replied: 'Because he open sourced everything, and I had talked to some people at Oracle who were looking at trying to buy us, and they decided that our software was worth nothing anymore, so what the hell do you value the company at?'®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
PEAK APPLE: iOS 8 is least popular Cupertino mobile OS in all of HUMAN HISTORY
'Nerd release' finally staggers past 50 per cent adoption
Microsoft to bake Skype into IE, without plugins
Redmond thinks the Object Real-Time Communications API for WebRTC is ready to roll
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
Mozilla: Spidermonkey ATE Apple's JavaScriptCore, THRASHED Google V8
Moz man claims the win on rivals' own benchmarks
FTDI yanks chip-bricking driver from Windows Update, vows to fight on
Next driver to battle fake chips with 'non-invasive' methods
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
Ubuntu 14.10 tries pulling a Steve Ballmer on cloudy offerings
Oi, Windows, centOS and openSUSE – behave, we're all friends here
Was ist das? Eine neue Suse Linux Enterprise? Ausgezeichnet!
Version 12 first major-number Suse release since 2009
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
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.
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.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
Simplify SSL certificate management across the enterprise
Simple steps to take control of SSL across the enterprise, and recommendations for a management platform for full visibility and single-point of control for these Certificates.