Jonathan Schwartz: Java goes open source by the end of this year

Yesterday, speaking at Oracle OpenWorld conference Sun Microsystem ‘s President/CEO Jonathan Schwartz said that Sun will announce the open-sourcing of the core Java platform in 30 to 60 days. This will be done under an Open Source Initiative license ndash; the same one as it was used for open-sourcing of the Solaris OS.

I do not know why people make such a big deal out of the open sourcing Java. I do not know who started this “Freedom to Java rdquo; movement, but Sun decided to respond. Fine. I like IT news and I never hesitate to express my opinion on any of them, but this one is just a boring subject to me. I “ll drag this blog for another couple of paragraphs, but honestly, I do not care. Sun Microsystems was reaching out to the Java community trying to ask their opinion on the subject. I was invited to participate in the conference calls on how to open source Java, but never accepted the invitation. I do not believe that open sourcing Java is good for the community as now we “ll face new issues such as how to deal with forked version of the language. Is your Java really Java or its Java++? Are you Sun Certified Java programmer? By the way, which Java are you certified in? Or, you are XYZ Certified Java Pprogrammer! What version of Java Swing do you use?

James Gosling kept saying, that Java was always free, the source code was available to anyone, and he was absolutely right. Having the source code of any language or tool available usually serves two goals:

1. Learn the tool from inside just by looking at the code. See how the creators of the language did it, try to extend their classes as good as them or better, if you can.This was always available with Java.

2. Fix the bugs in the language without waiting for years until the creators of the language will do so.

Speaking of the bugs hellip;Sun has so called bug parade where you can Java developers can vote for particular bugs so Sun would prioritize the fixes properly. This site has proven to be ineffective, because Sun was ignoring this list. The top voted bug here is five years old. Finding a workaround by yourself was your main option . If you can ‘t find a workaround yourself, Sun sells Developers Expert Assistance for $99 a case (not as in beer).

It remains to be seen if open sourcing Java will lead to quicker turnaround in bug fixes. I do not have anything else to say. I “ve read the news, expressed my absence of opinion on the news, and will move one with my morning routine. Another day, another dollar.


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