+ Post New Thread
Results 1 to 2 of 2
IT News Thread, Java released under the GPL in Other News; http://news.zdnet.co.uk/software/0,1...9284674,00.htm Rumours that Sun was poised to make Java open source emerged last week, but there may still be surprise ...
  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Thank Post
    Thanked 1,032 Times in 812 Posts
    Rep Power

    Java released under the GPL


    Rumours that Sun was poised to make Java open source emerged last week, but there may still be surprise over its choice of licence. Simon Phipps, Sun's chief open source office, told ZDNet UK that a final decision was only made a fortnight ago. Sun's own Community Development and Distribution License (CDDL) was another option.

    Sun's server-side Java Platform Enterprise Edition software is already open sourced under the CDDL, through the GlassFish project. This enterprise edition will now also be available under GPLv2.

    Phipps believes that the GPL is the best choice of licence, and should boost the take-up of Java around the world.

    "The objective is to grow the Java market" explained Phipps. "In countries such as Brazil and Chile there is a requirement to only use free software in government, so it's not been possible to use Java in these deployments."

    Sun is also hoping that Linux distributions such as Debian and Fedora will now include Java. At present they don't, because it has not been freely available.

    Sun has chosen to employ the so-called "classpath exception," a licence addition that allows the company to place limits on the software that the GPL covers.

    Rich Green, Sun's executive vice president of software, told News.com that this means that programmers who create applications using Sun's open-source versions of Java can use choose a different licence for their applications, he said.

    "In the case of Java SE (Java Standard Edition), we're enhancing (the GPL) with the classpath exception," Green said. "So when you're working on top or shipping applications with the (Java) libraries and virtual machine, you're not affected by the Java license."

    In addition, Java creator Sun will continue to offer a commercial proprietary licence, a "dual-licence" structure that gives other software vendors legal indemnification and official standards certification. Phipps explained that Sun has spent many months going through every line of Java code, checking that it owned the intellectual property for each one. When it didn't, it has attempted to negotiate with the relevant rights holder. In some cases, agreement couldn't be reached so Sun pulled in alternative code from other sources This included some of the projects which have sprung up to create open-source versions of Java. Phipps revealed that some technology companies had refused to reach an agreement, but declined to name them.

    Sun has been under pressure to make Java open source for several years. In 2004, free software advocate Richard Stallman claimed that software developers should beware of Java because it was not offered under a free licence.

    "If your program is free software, it is basically ethical--but there is a trap you must be on guard for. Your program, though in itself free, may be restricted by non-free software that it depends on. Since the problem is most prominent today for Java programs, we call it the Java Trap," wrote Stallman. Stallman recommended only using a free Java development environment.
    In a development that could shake up the software industry, Sun is releasing the Java programming language under the General Programming Language (GPL).

    Both Java Platform Micro Edition (Java ME), which is used on mobile devices, and Java Platform Standard Edition (Java SE) software, used for desktop applications, are being released immediately under GPLv2. The Java class libraries will be released over the next six months.

    Sun's move comes just weeks after Linux vendor Novell signed a controversial patent protection deal with Microsoft. Under this deal, Microsoft has promised not to sue Novell over any alleged patent infringements in Linux.

    Phipps claims that this deal indicates Novell is concerned that its Mono project — an open source implementation of Microsoft's .Net platform — may infringe some patents.

    "It's interesting that Novell suggests Mono is encumbered by patent problems just a week before we free Java," said Phipps. "The timing couldn't be better."

    Sun will announce further details of its plans on Monday, with a live webcast scheduled for 5.30pm GMT.

  2. #2

    Geoff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Fylde, Lancs, UK.
    Thank Post
    Thanked 583 Times in 504 Posts
    Blog Entries
    Rep Power

    Re: Java released under the GPL

    I guess MS beating them with .NET was getting their goat. Seems to be more an act of desperation rather than a consistent strategy. It'll be interesting to see what happens though. My prediction is that GNU Java starts picking up the pace and Sun Java disappears into obscurity.

+ Post New Thread

Similar Threads

  1. Why does Java turn the screen off
    By ITWombat in forum *nix
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 22nd November 2010, 09:34 AM
  2. Java Deployment
    By steelrazor in forum How do you do....it?
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 20th February 2008, 07:30 PM
  3. Java Problems
    By Ste_Harve in forum Windows
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 23rd March 2007, 01:22 PM
  4. delprof broke java HELP
    By spacemanvic in forum Windows
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 14th December 2006, 10:58 PM
  5. Updating Java Runtime
    By ITWombat in forum Windows
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 18th May 2006, 12:44 PM

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts