Its official – Java goes open source

SANTA CLARA, CALIF., — November 13, 2006 — Sun Microsystems, Inc. (NASDAQ: SUNW), the creator and leading advocate of Java(TM) technology, today announced it is releasing its implementations of Java technology as free software under the GNU General Public License version two (GPLv2). Available today, are the first pieces of source code for Sun ‘s implementation of Java Platform Standard Edition (Java SE) and a buildable implementation of Java Platform Micro Edition (Java ME). Details are available at: at In addition, Sun is adding the GPLv2 license to Java Platform Enterprise Edition (Java EE), which has been available for over a year under the Common Development and Distribution License (CDDL) through Project GlassFish(TM) at

This announcement represents one of the largest source code contributions under the GPL license (under which the GNU/Linux operating system is also distributed) and the open sourcing of one of the industry ‘s most significant and pervasive software platforms. With over 3.8 billion Java technology enabled devices, Java technology is showing explosive growth, appearing in volume everywhere. From mobile phones and smart cards to enterprise applications and supercomputers, Java technology provides a unifying platform for software innovation. By open sourcing Java software, while offering commercial products with indemnity for our customers, Sun expects Java technology to become even more pervasive.

“By open sourcing Sun ‘s implementation of Java technology, we will inspire a new phase of developer collaboration and innovation using the NetBeans(TM) Integrated Development Environment (IDE)and expect the Java platform to be the foundation infrastructure for next generation Internet, desktop, mobile and enterprise applications, ” said Rich Green, executive vice president of Software at Sun. “With the Java Development Kit (JDK(TM)) released as free software under the GPL, Sun will be working closely with distributors of the GNU/Linux operating system, who will soon be able to include the JDK as part of the open source repositories that are commonly included with GNU/Linux distributions. ”

“Everyone has been expecting that one day Sun would open source Java technology, but no one expected just how far they ‘d go – GPL. A bold move, and a great opportunity both for Sun and for free and open source software, ” said Tim O ‘Reilly, founder and CEO of O ‘Reilly Media.

_*Java SE*_

Sun is releasing three significant software components today for the ongoing development of Sun ‘s open source implementation of Java SE in the community: Java HotSpot(TM) technology, the Java programming language compiler (javac(TM)) and JavaHelp(TM) software. Sun expects to release a buildable JDK in the first quarter of 2007, following established free software community practices for licensing virtual machines and their associated libraries. Java HotSpot technology and javac are two of the most important elements of Java SE; Java HotSpot technology is the Sun implementation of the Java Virtual Machine (JVM(TM)) and the core component of the Java Runtime Environment (JRE), which translates Java code to the specific operating system and chip architecture, allowing Java software to run everywhere and javac is the compiler that analyzes Java source code for correctness and generates proper bytecodes for execution. JavaHelp software is the documentation system to complement the JDK.

These first components of the OpenJDK(TM) project will allow developers to experiment with the compiler, try out new language features, learn how a world-class virtual machine is built, port the JVM to new hardware architectures and operating systems, fix bugs and contribute new features. Through the OpenJDK project, developers will be able to directly influence the future of the JDK implementation, participate with their peers in an open community and help take Java technology where it hasn ‘t been before.

_*Java ME*_

Available immediately in the community, is the source code for Sun ‘s feature phone Java ME implementation, the next generation version of the platform that currently enables rich mobile data services in over 1.5 billion handsets. Also available is Sun ‘s source code for the Java ME testing and compatibility kit framework, the foundation for Sun ‘s Java ME compatibility tests. Later this year, Sun will release additional source code including its advanced operation system phone implementation and the framework for the Java Device Test Suite.

Sun is releasing these technologies as free software in order to accelerate the development and evolution of the platform, reduce fragmentation and drive down development costs throughout the Java ME ecosystem. In addition, this move will provide easy access to the latest versions of Java ME platform technologies and, for the first time, enable the whole Java ME community to follow the activities of and participate in the development of these technologies.


Sun Press Release


13.November.2006-Sun believes deeply in creating communities and sharing innovations and technologies to foster more participation. Today in a historic move, Sun is opening the door to greater innovation by open sourcing key Java implementations-Java Platform Standard Edition (Java SE), Java Platform Micro Edition (Java ME), and Java Platform Enterprise Edition (Java EE)-under the GNU General Public License version 2 (GPLv2), the same license as GNU/Linux.

Sun is now the biggest contributor to the open-source community. Already Sun has released open-source implementations of its Solaris Operating System, NetBeans, Project Looking Glass, Project JXTA, Jini, OpenOffice, OpenSPARC, and Java EE technologies and is continuing on its path to open all of its middleware. By adding a second GPLv2 license to Java EE, which was previously available under the CDDL license through Project Glassfish, Sun is now open sourcing all core Java technologies under the same license.

Through this move, Sun is helping to:

Fuel innovation and build broader developer communities by enabling interested Java developers, as well as developers in the GNU/Linux community, to contribute more easily to the evolution of Java technology Drive faster evolution of the Java platform and adoption by new developers and in new markets while ensuring platform quality and flexibility Allow the 5 million Java developers worldwide to leverage platform enhancements and speed time to market for new applications Enlisting the World to Innovate

For the past 11 years, Java technology has enabled developers to Write Once, Run Anywhere. Sun ‘s commitment to compatibility and choice has made Java the most widely deployed application platform. Java technology is currently used on more than 4 billion devices worldwide, and the Java ME platform ships on more than eight of every 10 mobile handsets.

Sun believes Java technology has reached the right level of maturity, adoption, and innovation-with widespread use across enterprises and devices-to move into the next stage of its evolution. In the largest single contribution under the GNU GPL, Sun is releasing all of its key Java implementations under this widely respected free-software license:

Open-Source Java SE: Today Sun is releasing the source code for the Java HotSpot virtual machine, the Java programming language compiler (javac), and JavaHelp online help software. Release of a fully buildable Java SE Development Kit (JDK) based nearly entirely on open-source code is expected in the first half of 2007. Open-Source Java ME: Sun is first releasing the source code for Sun ‘s Java ME Feature Phone implementation based on Connected Limited Device Configuration (CLDC), which currently enables rich mobile data services in more than 1.5 billion handsets, and the source code for the Java ME testing and compatibility kit (TCK) framework. Later this year, Sun will release additional source code for the Advanced Operating System Phone implementation for based on the Connected Device Configuration (CDC) specification and the framework for the Java Device Test Suite. New Developer Communities: Tapping its experience in building dynamic and transparent open-source communities, Sun is launching the OpenJDK Community and the Mobile amp; Embedded Community to support developer participation in evolving the open-source JDK and open-source Java ME implementations respectively. Developers wanting to get started right away can take advantage of the best tool for open-source Java application development: the NetBeans Integrated Development Environment (IDE). The NetBeans IDE provides complete support for the entire Java platform, from Java ME to Java SE to Java EE. To further speed time to market, Sun is also providing pre-built NetBeans projects at for the Java language components being open sourced and is making the Sun Studio development environment available at for the native Java language components.

Open-Source Opportunities

By open sourcing its Java implementations, Sun will open new market opportunities, fuel innovation, and drive broader adoption of this Web 2.0 platform while minimizing fragmentation in the mobile community by delivering a consistent application platform across devices.

Developers and ISVs can build differentiated Java technology-based applications and value-added Web. 2.0 services more quickly through access to the latest Java source code. Developers can improve platform quality and functionality by contributing feature enhancements, bug fixes, and testing results to the open-source Java initiatives. Customers can lower costs and protect technology investments by taking full advantage of open-source business models that allow for free substitution of alternative operating systems, architectures, middleware, and devices on industry-standard hardware. Governments and educational institutions can reap the benefits of open-source Java technologies while ensuring security, privacy, and datacenter control. GNU/Linux distributors can add no-cost Java implementations to their distributions, while customers with stringent open-source requirements can deploy a free, reliable Java software stack on most GNU/Linux distributions. Sun is taking careful and deliberate action as it open sources its Java technology implementations to help ensure that Java remains a central unifying standard for the Internet. Whether developers and customers choose to use Sun ‘s commercial Java platforms or new open-source implementations, Java technology will continue to deliver the compatibility, stability, and quality required to turn Web 2.0 advancements into competitive advantage.

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