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How Sun Could Help Even Without OS'ing Java

How Sun Could Help Even Without OS'ing Java

Tom Tromey, for example, has this to say:

IMO, while it would be helpful if Sun opened their source, we don't really need it.

What we do need is 3 things:

  1. Access to the TCK on acceptable terms,
  2. Involvement in the JCP without contamination or other unacceptable constraints, and
  3. Easing of the requirements on subsetting. The free software community doesn't work well with the "one big perfect release" model that Sun seems to want. They could lift these restrictions for free implementations only. I think we all recognize compatibility as a major benefit of the Java platform; we differ only on how to get there.

The free Java implementors and Sun would make good allies if these things were done.


To which Per Bothner commented:

On the other hand, I'm sure Red Hat would rather spend their development resources on *not* having to re-implement Swing, or all the new features of JDK 1.5 ...

It seems a waste to duplicate Sun's work, but of course Sun is under no obligation to us.

 
Jens Lehmann chipped in with an anecdote:

A Sun member recently said to me: "We can't make the tests free because they are labor intensive but we *DID* endow a number of grants top cover the costs of such tests for important open source projects. If someone has a good open source VM implementation and all they were missing was the funding to get it tested so it could be called Java, then they should approach Sun with it and I would be willing to bet a weeks salary something could be worked out."

This means that, if any of the free VMs believes it is 1.x compatible, it would be worth a try to contact Sun and ask politely what they can do. Having a certified Java implementation would be a huge step forward.


Dalibor Topic was adamant:

The only thing that's going to make Sun open source any part of Java, is going to be the appearance of better, open-source solutions for those parts. And they'll probably use GNU Classpath ;)

C. Brian Jones offered a brief report of an encounter with Sun's Simon Phipps:

I was recently in a small room with this man. He makes some fair points in response to Eric [Raymond] who really should have come here first before firing off his open letter.

Rather than the rise of free software alternatives for Java I think the thing which could push Java along the path of openoffice, netbeans, etc. would be a wildly successful C# conversion of older Java software resulting in significant declines in the Java rank and file.

I think Classpath isn't really looking to be branded 100% Java as much as we'd like to know that some combination of Classpath and JVM can pass the TCK with flying colors, in fact that the GNU Java platform can pass all applicable TCKs and our own tests. There is still a system integration project left to be done, to pull together the compilers, the tools, the JVM, the standard libraries and extensions and to make them work together using similar naming and arguments for programs, etc. and make the whole thing installable in one go instead of pulling bits and pieces together from across the globe.

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