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Sun Opens Java

The rumors have been confirmed by Sun: Java is going to be released in full under the GPL v2. The initial plan is to release Hotspot and the javac compiler under the GPL v2, with the rest of Java to follow in the first half of 2007. Java EE will also be opened under the GPL, as well as J2ME. The Java specification will remain under the control of the JCP. The GPLed components will be hosted in the JDK communities on dev.java.net. Initial components (javac and Hotspot, as well as Javahelp) are from the Java 7 codebase, as Java 6 is almost entirely finished; Java 6 will eventually be put under the GPL as time permits.

The key behind moving to the GPL is to drive more volume and more adoption for the platform. The GPL helps get Java into some markets that it hasn't served as fully as it should - such as educational markets, governments in the developing world, and some commercial customers - as well as, obviously, some distributions of Linux which insist not on Linux-friendly licenses but on actual GPL licensing. GPLv2 was chosen over GPLv3 for fairly obvious reasons: GPLv3 isn't finished yet! Sun is, they said, working with the FSF on defining GPLv3.

So! The cat's out of the bag: Sun's promise to open Java is well underway to being fulfilled. The GPL should help protect Java from malicious forks, while providing access to the code for the community to port or apply changes at need. What do you think of Sun's plans? What do you hope for Java's future with this development?

Here is an announcement in Sun.com that says : "13.November.2006—Sun believes deeply in creating communities and sharing innovations and technologies to foster more participation. Today in a historic move, Sun is opening the door to greater innovation by open sourcing key Java implementations—Java Platform Standard Edition (Java SE), Java Platform Micro Edition (Java ME), and Java Platform Enterprise Edition (Java EE)—under the GNU General Public License version 2 (GPLv2), the same license as GNU/Linux."

Source: theserverside.com
Tags: Java Computers
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