I have no idea how they managed to get an interview lined up in the frantic hours before Sun’s announcement of its GPL Java plans, but the Java Posse got a podcast up within minutes of the announcement.
Java Posse #93 offers a 45-minute interview with Mark Reinhold (Chief Engineer for Java SE), Rich Sands (Community Marketing Manager for SE Platform) and Eric Chu (Senior Director for Mobile and Embedded Product Marketing).
If you’re still at work and haven’t had a chance to make sense of all the announcement’s details, download this show to your iPod (or equivalent) and listen on the way home; the first 15 or 20 minutes does a good job of covering the important specifics about what Sun is GPL’ing today, what’s coming later, important concepts like the “classpath exception” that lets you link from software under some non-GPL license, etc.
There are some interesting topics covered after the basics are duly covered. About 25 minutes in, the Posse and their guests cover the issue of the affect of (and on) existing open-source projects, such as Apache Harmony. One of the interesting points made in the discussion is that Harmony’s early statements that they had no interest in developing a non-compatible version of Java was a key enabler for today’s announcements — it showed that the open-source community, like Sun, treats Java compatibility as a critical value. About 30 minutes in, they discuss the buildability of Java, now and in the future, describing it as currently being somewhere between the Linux kernel and OpenOffice in terms of end-user buildability. There’s some interesting information about makefiles that have been carefully crafted over the course of 10 years, and a crack about some religious wars behind the scenes over tabs (FWIW, I’ll take my source with four spaces please, and I don’t care where you put your braces… basically, I’ve learned to just shut up and let Emacs drive).
There’s also a key comment somewhere in the show about the Java community really being a “community of communities”. Not only is this a very apt way to describe the very large and very diverse world of Java development — Swing developers have little in common with Spring developers, and that’s OK — but tellingly, it’s also how Sun describes java.net on its Get Involved page.
The Java Posse deserves a lot of credit for putting up one of the nicest-sounding and most engaging technical podcasts out there, and they’re really on top of this one. GJ, guys.