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"We Have Not Sold Our Soul to the Dark Side" - Gosling on Sun/MSFT Pact

"We Have Not Sold Our Soul to the Dark Side" - Gosling on Sun/MSFT Pact

James Gosling, CTO of Sun's Developer Products Group, has a lot to say about what he calls "rampant speculation echoing back and forth over the net" since the announcement of the Sun/Microsoft settlement. In his blog, Gosling tries to set the record straight.

Answering Rick Ross's concerns expressed in Where is Java in this Settlement? , James says Sun has not sold out the Java community. "We have not sold our soul to the Dark side. We haven't overnight turned into mindless lap dogs. We've had a lot of experience with Microsoft over the years, and it has made us very cautious."

Gosling also reports that, far from leaving Sun in disgust, as stated by the Register and also by Ross, Rich Green "worked very hard to make this agreement happen. He left in relief, happy that things were settled in a way that left him with a clear conscience and a sense of closure."

James agrees with Ross on an important point: that the settlement proceeds and the win of the court cases should result in strengthening independent, standards-based efforts to advance Java.

Responding to Richard Stallman's Free but Shackled: The Java Trap, James comments, "When you have platform software like Linux or the JDK, the platform interface (in the case of Java, the VM and API specifications) divides the world of developers into two groups: those who work under the interface to implement it, and those who work above the interface and build applications based on it. ... a blanket freedom for developers under the interface, to do whatever they damn well please, is incredibly disruptive and damaging to developers above the interface. The catch in the Sun Java source license is all about defending the needs of developers who work above the interface. This ends up being constraining to folks who work under the interface, but in a way that is hugely beneficial to those who work above. We believe that for a developer who has built a Java application they have a right to trust that when some other developer says 'I have a Java VM for you to use.' that their application will work."

"We're not a bunch of moronic secret subversive Microsoft lapdogs," Gosling assures us of Sun's intent in reaching the settlement with Microsoft. "We've worked very hard over the years to fairly balance the needs of all the various communities. Relax. Have a little faith."

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