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Open-Source Java? "The Debate is Still Going On, Fast and Furious," Says Gosling

Open-Source Java? "The Debate is Still Going On, Fast and Furious," Says Gosling

  • Sun Will Open-Source Java "Today, Tomorrow or Two Years Down the Road"
  • Breaking News - Sun: "Make No Mistake, We Will Open Source Solaris"
  • "Let Java Go" - ESR Writes an Open Letter to Scott McNealy
  • "Letting Java Go" - James Gosling in 2003 on Open-Sourcing Java
  • "Let's Collaborate on Open-Sourcing Java": IBM Writes Open Letter to Sun
  • Sun's Schwartz: IBM's Request "Seems a Little Bonky"
  • McNealy to IBM: "Go Open Source with DB2 and Then You Can Tell Me What To Do with My Assets"


    James Gosling has now joined the discussion about whether or not Sun will be open-sourcing Java any time soon.

    It sounds as if they won't be doing it in a hurry. No decision has been taken, Gosling says, "despite any of the articles," a reference to the widespread media speculation over the past 48 hours that Jonathan Schwartz's Shanghai announcement about open-sourcing Solaris would inevitably be followed by a corresponding announcement from Sun about Java.

    This is in line with Gosling's earlier statements on the issue. At JavaOne last June for example, he said:

    "I am certainly one of the people who would love to make it open-source. But it's hard for two reasons. One is that open-source ways of dealing with software work really well so long as you get this sort of collegial atmosphere. If you happen to have a bully on the block who is really strong, it really doesn't work. We have this history of having been victimized, and there are lots of people who are nervous about that."

    Scott McNealy, when last asked about open-sourcing Java, memorably quipped that Sun would open-source Java only when IBM did the same with DB2.

    Here is what we reported at the time, back in March, when McNealy expressed concerns that open-sourcing Java might "fork" it:
     

    [McNealy] rejected Eric Raymond's call to "Let Java Go" and noted Sun's longtime experience with the open source community.

    "We've been around the block many times on open interfaces, open systems implementation, compatibility. Nobody has more experience on community development," McNealy said.

    As he has done before, McNealy pointed to what he considers to be the fractured nature of Linux, where a Red Hat distro can have features not compatible with another flavor of Linux.

    But he saved his most combative tone for IBM itself. Speaking to IBM through the assembled reporters in Washington, DC, he said:

    "Go open source with DB2 and then you can tell me what to do with my assets."

     

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