From JavaWorld.com, I saw this “Sun says open-source Java possible in ‘months’: Logistics such as maintaining compatibility still being worked out.”
After talking with Simon Phipps and others at Sun, maintaining compatibility and other standards does seem to be a priority, and it’s an important one at that. Standards do keep Java API and specs from getting obsolete and provide the level of security and stability that most corporations, organizations, and other developers and customers need thanks to Sarbanes-Oxley and other acts that mandate it for financials and much more.
Yes, I know, I know. Some of you are going to say that Sun is evil and all that. Look: Sun is not perfect. But neither are other open source organizations and companies out there. Each has its flaws. But I think Sun’s moves toward being pro open source, while at times questionable, are based on sound motives and intent. According to Simon at JBoss World, Sun started as an open source company of geeks. I wish I had time to go into this history, but I didn’t have the time.
But besides open sourcing Java, Sun has been heavily involved in open source Java implementations and other such as the following:
Sun also offers OpenSolaris, an open source version of Solaris with Janus for Solaris-Linux interop, contributes to projects such as OpenOffice and much more. Sun even has open source chip offerings.
Personally, I think Sun’s message is just starting to get out there. But actions do speak louder than words.
The JCP.org is not meant to be an open source community. Instead, it serves to help define, refine, and finalize standards. In terms of a Sun open source community where innovation must truly occur, I think Sun has a number of resources like Java.net, etc., but it’s a bit scattered all over.
I asked Simon about this, and what he thought of this and what was best open source community he liked. He seemed to agree that the scattering of Sun’s open source Java projects all over could be an issue. He also answered Apache.
Anyway, it sounds like Sun is really on the verge of open-sourcing Java. What do you think?