Welcome!

Java Authors: Lori MacVittie, Roger Strukhoff, Esmeralda Swartz, Trevor Parsons, Sandi Mappic

Related Topics: Linux

Linux: Article

Linux Viewpoint: Sun Shows Its True Colors, Says Groklaw's "PJ"

Linux Viewpoint: Sun Shows Its True Colors, Says Groklaw's "PJ"

If you are still in doubt as to Sun's plans for the future, particularly its relationship with Open Source and the GPL, you will find an eWeek interview with Jonathan Schwartz helpful. Here's part of what he said:

"Should we license technology from Microsoft, it would clearly advance the interests, for example, of the Java Desktop System, and if that's running on Linux, then that obviously helps the underlying Linux community as well as the overall growth and viability of open-source technology.

"Just remember, ....RealPlayer's not open-source, but its availability certainly enhances the value of our Java Desktop System.

"There is work done in the open-source community to advance StarOffice, but certainly Sun stands behind and indemnifies StarOffice. To the extent that we license protocols from Microsoft, we would be including them in StarOffice-and not obviously distributing them free of charge-just as we do today with RealPlayer.

"There is nothing that precludes us from taking the protocols we license from Microsoft and incorporating them into our products. Now, where those products run is up to Sun. So, if we take a license from Microsoft, there's nothing that precludes us from incorporating that technology into our Java Desktop System. "

So there you have it. It looks like Sun is indeed going to re-run Caldera, right down to creating a Linux distro (Java Desktop) with lots of proprietary addons in an attempt to enforce per-seat/per-employee licensing. Deja vu all over again. And it hopes we will all be foolish enough to not care about the GPL and thus forsake Red Hat and SuSE, etc. Dream on, Sun, dream on. The real question is, when that fails, then what will Sun do?

Schwartz attacks Red Hat:

"It's a naive analysis of the open-source community that says it's all about forking over source code. It's not—it's about building community, about making investments in marketing, in developing technologies that run on, with and through the open-source community. We have a very long history of working with the open-source community.

"Despite some of our peers in the industry who hire people with titles like evangelist, our folks have titles like developer and architect, and they go work with the open-source community to build technologies and solutions that solve customers' problems.

"I would point back to the Java Desktop System as evidence of the work we've done with the GNOME community, the Mozilla community and the Linux community to really bring products to market that don't just add more lumps of source code into the source tree but deliver value to customers so that they want to inject money into an ecosystem and make it self-sustaining and profitable."

Sick to your stomach yet? He doesn't mind Novell, he says on page two, because he and Microsoft share a common view, and he thinks competition is a good thing:

"Novell's participation in the market is a good thing, because it validates the market as creating an opportunity for more than simply one company. So, I welcome the competition. To us, it's really emblematic of the nature of the relationship we have with Microsoft, which is a deeply held belief that a rising tide lifts all boats, and that interoperability between Sun and Microsoft grows the overall market for both of our products rather than advantages one company versus another."

Microsoft? That Microsoft? The one twice found guilty of antitrust violations? That Microsoft believes that a rising tide lifts all boats? Is Sun in for a shock someday.

He is totally into DRM, and authentication, and autoupdate, and it's all about market share. Here is a hint as to how to block them, should you care to:

"So, with interoperability and a focus on ease of use, we're trying to use both StarOffice as well as Java Studio Creator to create a broader market opportunity and add interoperability to that mix. It's about growing the largest market possible, trying to help build the biggest tent atop all the developers in the world rather than forcing people to go make choices that may preclude their opportunities. . . .So, I am very convinced, with Steve, that he who has the most customers—and I would just add developers into that—is ultimately going to be the long-term winner. "

They don't have the biggest tent if developers stay away. And if you are in the mood to throw up, here's a couple of sentences that just might do it:

"We're going back to pub-sub, and we're moving away from a concept of 'I'm going to go to a Web site and pick up content.' The pull model of computing—the days are numbered. . . . At the end of the day, that's great [Sun's competition with Microsoft] for customers. The fact that we're committed to interoperability means either choice is a safe choice. We're very bullish on the future of the network and very bullish on the future of intellectual property in open source as well as in open standards to continue to drive that opportunity."

Excuse me? The "future of intellectual property in open source"? We certainly can't complain that they were confusing or schizo here. It's plain as day. It's going after Red Hat. It doesn't support the GPL. It will push open standards as being what you really want, not open source. Sun thinks  that we won't care, as long as it's easy and fun. Itintends to be the substitute for free/open source software. Here you go: Brand X Linux. And it intends to destroy the Internet. If you think that sounds wonderful, stop and consider that if Sun gets its way, there would never be a Groklaw. Microsoft never did get the Internet. It thinks all we want to do is buy stuff. So, that's their plan, Stan.

I had a chance to take a look at Sun's Java Desktop evaluation CD, thanks to a friend who used to be a Java developer, until he got the CD and noticed the same thing I noticed when I tried it. First, there isn't any sign on the cover that there is anything GPL inside, even though there is plenty. It does mention Linux and the GPL VERY briefly in the command window during bootup, but it is so brief, unless you were paying very close attention, you could easily miss it. There is also a rather draconian EULA as you boot into the system that mentions absolutely nothing about the GPL anywhere and expressly forbids you from making copies of the CD. There is a brief mention of a third-party licenses directory in the EULA text. You really could get the CD and run it without ever knowing it had anything GNU/Linuxy in it or that the GPL provides you with guaranteed freedoms that Sun would like you not to know you have. My friend tells me he will no longer do any Java development. He was about to recommend to his boss that they do some Java Desktops, but now he intends to recommend only a distro that acknowledges its roots.

Are you convinced yet, all you folks who send me e-mail about how Sun really is supportive of the Open Source community? Not yet? Then how about this article in eWeek, where Schwartz calls Red Hat a "proprietary" Linux? He says they forked and now CIOs are noticing that "Red Hat has pretty much forked the distribution" so now they realize "open source does not equal open standards. Open standards, which Sun has always supported, are better. Proprietary open source [like RHEL] can come back and bite you."

Naturally, Red Hat responds, and so does Linus and neither agrees with Sun:

"Informed of the comments, Red Hat spokesman Leigh Day offered that 'Red Hat Enterprise Linux is licensed under the GPL, and we're totally open source.'

'"[Red Hat is] not proprietary,' Day continued. 'We are fully committed to open source and our code reflects that. Red Hat has no proprietary software built in our distribution. Our core strategy is built on open source and we will not deviate from that strategy.' . . .

"In addition, Linus Torvalds, Linux's founder, considers Red Hat Linux to be Linux. 'Sure, RH definitely has their own vendor kernel, but it's not proprietary, and a number of the top Linux kernel contributors are Red Hat employees,' Torvalds said."

Time to think about OpenOffice and Sun pulling a SCO someday, gang. Remember that patent they put into their Linux distro, Mad Hatter? Time to think. It is thinking, but in old-fashioned ways, about mo' money, and it will fail there too, of course. Sun has made its choice and opted for The Way Things Used To Be. It's a new world, and Sun is not in it.

More Stories By Pamela Jones

Known to millions of online readers as "PJ," Pamela Jones is the editor and moderator of Groklaw. They also know her as the heart of the open-source community's legal battle against litigation aimed at the Linux kernel and other free and open-source software.

Comments (80)

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.


@ThingsExpo Stories
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, will discuss how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money! Speaker Bio: Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, has spent 16 years as a marketing, product management, and busin...
Samsung VP Jacopo Lenzi, who headed the company's recent SmartThings acquisition under the auspices of Samsung's Open Innovaction Center (OIC), answered a few questions we had about the deal. This interview was in conjunction with our interview with SmartThings CEO Alex Hawkinson. IoT Journal: SmartThings was developed in an open, standards-agnostic platform, and will now be part of Samsung's Open Innovation Center. Can you elaborate on your commitment to keep the platform open? Jacopo Lenzi: Samsung recognizes that true, accelerated innovation cannot be driven from one source, but requires a...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Red Hat, the world's leading provider of open source solutions, will exhibit at Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Red Hat is the world's leading provider of open source software solutions, using a community-powered approach to reliable and high-performing cloud, Linux, middleware, storage and virtualization technologies. Red Hat also offers award-winning support, training, and consulting services. As the connective hub in a global network of enterprises, partners, a...
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Robin Raymond, Chief Architect at Hookflash Inc., will walk through the shifting landscape of traditional telephone a...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Matrix.org has been named “Silver Sponsor” of Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Matrix is an ambitious new open standard for open, distributed, real-time communication over IP. It defines a new approach for interoperable Instant Messaging and VoIP based on pragmatic HTTP APIs and WebRTC, and provides open source reference implementations to showcase and bootstrap the new standard. Our focus is on simplicity, security, and supporting the fullest feature set.
BSQUARE is a global leader of embedded software solutions. We enable smart connected systems at the device level and beyond that millions use every day and provide actionable data solutions for the growing Internet of Things (IoT) market. We empower our world-class customers with our products, services and solutions to achieve innovation and success. For more information, visit www.bsquare.com.
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic • Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happens, where data lives and where the interface lies. For instance, it’s a mix of architectural style...
From a software development perspective IoT is about programming "things," about connecting them with each other or integrating them with existing applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Yakov Fain, co-founder of Farata Systems and SuranceBay, will show you how small IoT-enabled devices from multiple manufacturers can be integrated into the workflow of an enterprise application. This is a practical demo of building a framework and components in HTML/Java/Mobile technologies to serve as a platform that can integrate new devices as they become available on the market.
SYS-CON Events announced today that SOA Software, an API management leader, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SOA Software is a leading provider of API Management and SOA Governance products that equip business to deliver APIs and SOA together to drive their company to meet its business strategy quickly and effectively. SOA Software’s technology helps businesses to accelerate their digital channels with APIs, drive partner adoption, monetize their assets, and achieve a...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Utimaco will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Utimaco is a leading manufacturer of hardware based security solutions that provide the root of trust to keep cryptographic keys safe, secure critical digital infrastructures and protect high value data assets. Only Utimaco delivers a general-purpose hardware security module (HSM) as a customizable platform to easily integrate into existing software solutions, embed business logic and build s...
Connected devices are changing the way we go about our everyday life, from wearables to driverless cars, to smart grids and entire industries revolutionizing business opportunities through smart objects, capable of two-way communication. But what happens when objects are given an IP-address, and we rely on that connection, sometimes with our lives? How do we secure those vast data infrastructures and safe-keep the privacy of sensitive information? This session will outline how each and every connected device can uphold a core root of trust via a unique cryptographic signature – a “bir...
Internet of @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley announced on Thursday its first 12 all-star speakers and sessions for its upcoming event, which will take place November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in California. @ThingsExpo, the first and largest IoT event in the world, debuted at the Javits Center in New York City in June 10-12, 2014 with over 6,000 delegates attending the conference. Among the first 12 announced world class speakers, IBM will present two highly popular IoT sessions, which will take place November 4-6, 2014 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, Calif...
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity.
WebRTC defines no default signaling protocol, causing fragmentation between WebRTC silos. SIP and XMPP provide possibilities, but come with considerable complexity and are not designed for use in a web environment. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Matthew Hodgson, technical co-founder of the Matrix.org, will discuss how Matrix is a new non-profit Open Source Project that defines both a new HTTP-based standard for VoIP & IM signaling and provides reference implementations.

SUNNYVALE, Calif., Oct. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Spansion Inc. (NYSE: CODE), a global leader in embedded systems, today added 96 new products to the Spansion® FM4 Family of flexible microcontrollers (MCUs). Based on the ARM® Cortex®-M4F core, the new MCUs boast a 200 MHz operating frequency and support a diverse set of on-chip peripherals for enhanced human machine interfaces (HMIs) and machine-to-machine (M2M) communications. The rich set of periphera...

SYS-CON Events announced today that Aria Systems, the recurring revenue expert, has been named "Bronze Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Aria Systems helps leading businesses connect their customers with the products and services they love. Industry leaders like Pitney Bowes, Experian, AAA NCNU, VMware, HootSuite and many others choose Aria to power their recurring revenue business and deliver exceptional experiences to their customers.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is going to require a new way of thinking and of developing software for speed, security and innovation. This requires IT leaders to balance business as usual while anticipating for the next market and technology trends. Cloud provides the right IT asset portfolio to help today’s IT leaders manage the old and prepare for the new. Today the cloud conversation is evolving from private and public to hybrid. This session will provide use cases and insights to reinforce the value of the network in helping organizations to maximize their company’s cloud experience.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is making everything it touches smarter – smart devices, smart cars and smart cities. And lucky us, we’re just beginning to reap the benefits as we work toward a networked society. However, this technology-driven innovation is impacting more than just individuals. The IoT has an environmental impact as well, which brings us to the theme of this month’s #IoTuesday Twitter chat. The ability to remove inefficiencies through connected objects is driving change throughout every sector, including waste management. BigBelly Solar, located just outside of Boston, is trans...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Matrix.org has been named “Silver Sponsor” of Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Matrix is an ambitious new open standard for open, distributed, real-time communication over IP. It defines a new approach for interoperable Instant Messaging and VoIP based on pragmatic HTTP APIs and WebRTC, and provides open source reference implementations to showcase and bootstrap the new standard. Our focus is on simplicity, security, and supporting the fullest feature set.
Predicted by Gartner to add $1.9 trillion to the global economy by 2020, the Internet of Everything (IoE) is based on the idea that devices, systems and services will connect in simple, transparent ways, enabling seamless interactions among devices across brands and sectors. As this vision unfolds, it is clear that no single company can accomplish the level of interoperability required to support the horizontal aspects of the IoE. The AllSeen Alliance, announced in December 2013, was formed with the goal to advance IoE adoption and innovation in the connected home, healthcare, education, aut...