Welcome!

Java IoT Authors: AppDynamics Blog, William Schmarzo, Scott Allen, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: Java IoT

Java IoT: Article

Java: Money, Freedom and Open Source

Trademarks, licensing agreements, branding, and other fundamental product issues remains unchanged

The current polemic with Java and Open Source boils down to two important issues: money and power.

Money
In 1996, Sun created Java and the terms under which it is distributed. Since then, the Java Community Process (JCP) has emerged, allowing companies to participate in shaping language changes, but the ownership of trademarks, licensing agreements, branding, and other fundamental product issues remains unchanged. One is reminded of this fact every time the Sun MicrosystemsTM trademark appears alongside the Java coffee cup logo, or when one is greeted with the message "brought to you by Sun Microsystems" at www.java.com. For anyone to use the Java-compatible logo on a product requires verification against the test compatibility kit (TCK), for which one has to enter into negotiations with Sun. Java, the technology, the trademark, and the language, are owned by Sun.

The current licensing agreements for Java generate revenue for Sun in two ways; one is through direct fees to its licensees, and the other is through indirect revenue generated off the back end of Java's success.

When asked how much income is generated from Java, Jonathan Schwartz, CEO of Sun, replied, "about $13 billion." He went on to explain that this figure is calculated from many sources, highlighting the revenue generated by licensing products that sit on top of the Java runtime stack. www.forbes.com/work/management/2006/05/04/sun-microsystems-schwartz-cz_ec_0504schwartz.html This demonstrates a mind shift on the part of Sun senior management regarding how Java income should be generated, with a move from direct to indirect revenue streams.

Power
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, "power" is "the possession of control or command over others; authority; ascendancy."

For Open Source to succeed power, must be relinquished and transferred. One of my favorite essays on the subject was written by Simon Phipps, the chief Open Source officer at Sun. www.webmink.net/free/Free-ix.htm In it, he discusses how the word "free" in Open Source means much more than giving away something for nothing; that "'free' in this context is not about the price; it is about the liberty. `Free' here is as used in the phrase `free speech'."

One of the perceived problems of Open Source often focused on by its naysayers, is that, with disparate groups of individuals, each with separate agendas, paymasters, and self-interests, the effort will collapse under the weight of its own entropy and confusion. Simon's counter to this argument is that a "`community of code' maintains a code base of Open Source components or elements, using the behaviors and principles of the Open Source movement. These inherently lead to better code being created, debugged and documented faster, not least because of the scrutiny of the community."

I am fortunate to be part of the Eclipse project which allows me to witness such dynamics on a daily basis, so I concur that Simon's vision of what defines a truly free Open Source project definitely works in practice. Within Eclipse, I work with companies that are fierce competitors in the marketplace with my daytime employer, however, together we shape and build the common codebase for the benefit of the greater good: our collective community of customers. Examples of the "freedom" that Simon talks about are that the Eclipse.org web site does not provide disproportionate links to any of its member companies' commercial products, the Eclipse codebase has large and diverse representation of code committers across its member companies, and EclipseCon conferences are not dominated by marketing speeches from CEOs of any of its member companies. It is the perfect implementation of Simon's vision for how Open Source flourishes when practiced well.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words
Jonathan Schwartz understands how commercial offerings that sit on top of the Open Source stack are key to Java's indirect revenue. Simon Phipps understands the dynamics of how successful projects operate, writing in his freedom essay, "Open Source is not just about the code; it is about the community. You don't make a project Open Source simply by publishing the source code."

When we are told that Java has finally become Open Source, we can judge its success or failure by its meeting the following criteria:

  • Use of the Java trademark is equal among all community members, so that no one community member can brand a product at "Java XXX" while dictating that another cannot.
  • The image of Java in the marketplace is of a community of companies. The Java logo and Java branding are owned by the community, and not by any one of its member companies. Websites such as java.com or java.net cannot carry trademarks specific to member companies disproportionately. Links and marketing stories about commercial products do not favor one member company over another.
  • Content and material for conferences like JavaOne are selected in a way that benefits the attendees, rather than benefiting any one community company's marketing agenda.
  • The number and affiliation of committers to the core codebase is diverse and representative of the participation of the member companies.
  • No rhetoric exists in the Java community, so for parts of the language that are outdated legacy, the community decides what to do for the greater good.
  • "Java" certification for one's own implementation of the language, on any hardware or operating system platform, can be obtained by having access to the TCK at no cost
I just hope for the future of Java that behind all of the current discourse on the subject from Sun, it won't become another case of "do as I say and not as I do."

More Stories By Joe Winchester

Joe Winchester, Editor-in-Chief of Java Developer's Journal, was formerly JDJ's longtime Desktop Technologies Editor and is a software developer working on development tools for IBM in Hursley, UK.

Comments (1) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
JDJ News Desk 09/28/06 05:54:36 PM EDT

In 1996, Sun created Java and the terms under which it is distributed. Since then, the Java Community Process (JCP) has emerged, allowing companies to participate in shaping language changes, but the ownership of trademarks, licensing agreements, branding, and other fundamental product issues remains unchanged. One is reminded of this fact every time the Sun MicrosystemsTM trademark appears alongside the Java coffee cup logo, or when one is greeted with the message 'brought to you by Sun Microsystems' at www.java.com. For anyone to use the Java-compatible logo on a product requires verification against the test compatibility kit (TCK), for which one has to enter into negotiations with Sun. Java, the technology, the trademark, and the language, are owned by Sun.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Eighty percent of a data scientist’s time is spent gathering and cleaning up data, and 80% of all data is unstructured and almost never analyzed. Cognitive computing, in combination with Big Data, is changing the equation by creating data reservoirs and using natural language processing to enable analysis of unstructured data sources. This is impacting every aspect of the analytics profession from how data is mined (and by whom) to how it is delivered. This is not some futuristic vision: it's ha...
Silver Spring Networks, Inc. (NYSE: SSNI) extended its Internet of Things technology platform with performance enhancements to Gen5 – its fifth generation critical infrastructure networking platform. Already delivering nearly 23 million devices on five continents as one of the leading networking providers in the market, Silver Spring announced it is doubling the maximum speed of its Gen5 network to up to 2.4 Mbps, increasing computational performance by 10x, supporting simultaneous mesh communic...
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, will provide an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data profes...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Men & Mice, the leading global provider of DNS, DHCP and IP address management overlay solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The Men & Mice Suite overlay solution is already known for its powerful application in heterogeneous operating environments, enabling enterprises to scale without fuss. Building on a solid range of diverse platform support,...
One of the bewildering things about DevOps is integrating the massive toolchain including the dozens of new tools that seem to crop up every year. Part of DevOps is Continuous Delivery and having a complex toolchain can add additional integration and setup to your developer environment. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Miko Matsumura, Chief Marketing Officer of Gradle Inc., will discuss which tools to use in a developer stack, how to provision the toolchain to minimize onboa...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Avere Systems, a leading provider of enterprise storage for the hybrid cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Avere delivers a more modern architectural approach to storage that doesn’t require the overprovisioning of storage capacity to achieve performance, overspending on expensive storage media for inactive data or the overbuilding of data centers ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 ad...
Companies can harness IoT and predictive analytics to sustain business continuity; predict and manage site performance during emergencies; minimize expensive reactive maintenance; and forecast equipment and maintenance budgets and expenditures. Providing cost-effective, uninterrupted service is challenging, particularly for organizations with geographically dispersed operations.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
SYS-CON Events announced today that VAI, a leading ERP software provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. VAI (Vormittag Associates, Inc.) is a leading independent mid-market ERP software developer renowned for its flexible solutions and ability to automate critical business functions for the distribution, manufacturing, specialty retail and service sectors. An IBM Premier Business Part...
With an estimated 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020, several industries will begin to expand their capabilities for retaining end point data at the edge to better utilize the range of data types and sheer volume of M2M data generated by the Internet of Things. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and President of Infobright, will discuss the infrastructures businesses will need to implement to handle this explosion of data by providing specific use cases for filte...
Cognitive Computing is becoming the foundation for a new generation of solutions that have the potential to transform business. Unlike traditional approaches to building solutions, a cognitive computing approach allows the data to help determine the way applications are designed. This contrasts with conventional software development that begins with defining logic based on the current way a business operates. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Judith S. Hurwitz, President and CEO of Hurwitz & ...
Fortunately, meaningful and tangible business cases for IoT are plentiful in a broad array of industries and vertical markets. These range from simple warranty cost reduction for capital intensive assets, to minimizing downtime for vital business tools, to creating feedback loops improving product design, to improving and enhancing enterprise customer experiences. All of these business cases, which will be briefly explored in this session, hinge on cost effectively extracting relevant data from ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies adopt disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advanced analytics, and DevO...
As enterprises work to take advantage of Big Data technologies, they frequently become distracted by product-level decisions. In most new Big Data builds this approach is completely counter-productive: it presupposes tools that may not be a fit for development teams, forces IT to take on the burden of evaluating and maintaining unfamiliar technology, and represents a major up-front expense. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Warfield, CTO and Co-Founder of Coho Data, will dis...
With the Apple Watch making its way onto wrists all over the world, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a staple in the workplace. In fact, Forrester reported that 68 percent of technology and business decision-makers characterize wearables as a top priority for 2015. Recognizing their business value early on, FinancialForce.com was the first to bring ERP to wearables, helping streamline communication across front and back office functions. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kevin Roberts...
SYS-CON Events announced today that iDevices®, the preeminent brand in the connected home industry, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. iDevices, the preeminent brand in the connected home industry, has a growing line of HomeKit-enabled products available at the largest retailers worldwide. Through the “Designed with iDevices” co-development program and its custom-built IoT Cloud Infrastruc...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Fusion, a leading provider of cloud services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Fusion, a leading provider of integrated cloud solutions to small, medium and large businesses, is the industry's single source for the cloud. Fusion's advanced, proprietary cloud service platform enables the integration of leading edge solutions in the cloud, including clou...
Most people haven’t heard the word, “gamification,” even though they probably, and perhaps unwittingly, participate in it every day. Gamification is “the process of adding games or game-like elements to something (as a task) so as to encourage participation.” Further, gamification is about bringing game mechanics – rules, constructs, processes, and methods – into the real world in an effort to engage people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Endo, owner and engagement manager of Intrepid D...