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Finally, Sun Open Sources Java!
Techtree News Staff
Nov 13, 2006

Seems Sun Microsystems has finally relented under pressure to open source its Java programming language and associated software.

Today, the company will be releasing the first Java code under version 2 of the General Public License (GPLv2), which governs Linux and other open source products.

According to Sun, this move will promote Java and make it easier to bundle with Linux.

The Sun-hosted Web site will offer access to Java Platform Micro Edition (Java ME) software for mobile phones and Java Platform Standard Edition (Java SE) software for desktop applications.

Commenting on the development, Rich Green, Executive Vice President of Software, Sun, said, this is a milestone for the whole industry, and that not only are they making an influential and widely-used software platform for the Web available under open source, but that they are paving the way for a paradigm shift in how software is enhanced and developed.

While additions to software available under GPL have to also use the license, Sun is making an exception in the case of Java Standard Edition (Java SE). Meaning, programmers creating applications using Java SE will not be required to use the GPL license, and can instead opt for any other license for their applications.

Also, Sun will continue to offer commercial licenses that give other software vendors legal indemnification and official standards certification.

All in all, Sun’s move comes as a pleasant surprise, considering the company has continually resisted calls to open source Java, citing fears that such an action would cause incompatibilities among “forked” versions of the code.

[Added by me:] After SUN opened the Solaris x86 edition, now SUN make the JAVA, another weapon on its left hand open. It’s the winning of the Open Source Movement, and of course we can anticipate a more stable GCJ in the next year. Now everyone can redistribute Java with Linux and other GPLed code. We can anticipate that Python+Java will be the two most popular programming languages in the future based on the *nix platform including MacOS. I can also image that Jython and other combinations of Java+Python will flourish again. Java can never be so powerful as it is now.