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Java Programming Businesses Red Hat Software

Red Hat Plans Open Source Java 422

Posted by simoniker
from the jump-java-and-wail dept.
sthiyaga writes "According to a ComputerWire article, Red Hat is in discussions with Sun about launching an open source version of the Java platform. 'There's always been an interest in an open source implementation of Java developed in a clean room that adheres to the Java standards,' Szulik told ComputerWire. 'We're in discussions with Sun. We'd like to do this with their support.'"
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Red Hat Plans Open Source Java

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  • Much needed (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nate1138 (325593) on Monday June 23, 2003 @03:16PM (#6276933)
    With so many java API implementations being open source (JBoss, Tomcat), it only makes sense to create an open source version of the core platform. This would go a long way to combat .NET, which claims to be an open standard.

    • Re:Much needed (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      OK i keep seeing this .NET stuff and never ask about it cause obviosly so many know and i'm not in the know. And i admit i'm somewhat behind things sometimes, so obviosly i missed this somewhere. What is .NET exactly?
      • Re:Much needed (Score:3, Informative)

        by Dave2 Wickham (600202)
        I'm probably talking complete and utter balls...but...

        This reference of .NET refers to the ".NET bytecode" or whatever it's called, which .NET programmes are compiled into, which allows easy compatibility between different .NET languages and platforms.

        Again, I'm probably talking out of my arse, though...
      • Re:Much needed (Score:5, Informative)

        by spacecowboy420 (450426) * <rcasteen@g[ ]l.com ['mai' in gap]> on Monday June 23, 2003 @03:40PM (#6277178)
        .NET is Microsoft's newest programming language offerings. Basically the purpose is to integrate the web into windows applications. There is VB .NET, ASP .NET, C#, etc... The languages are actually pretty usable in a windows enviroment, and are OO. This makes them a little more powerful. I use Java, but its nice to bust out a VB .Net proprietary app that runs cleaner/ faster on a windows system. The down side is similiar to Java though, in order to run Java apps, you need the JRE, with .NET stuff, you need the HUGE ass .NET framework installed.
        • Re:Much needed (Score:5, Insightful)

          by dasmegabyte (267018) <das@OHNOWHATSTHISdasmegabyte.org> on Monday June 23, 2003 @04:35PM (#6277900) Homepage Journal
          1) The .NET Framework has a SLIGHTLY smaller footprint than the latest version of Java (46.5 vs 47.3 on my workstation). And it does more stuff -- a lot of the add-on packages for Java, including all of their J2EE crap, parellels what's already in the Framework. Not that it matters...including the framework on an install CD is trivial, and most Windows Update and XP users have it already.

          2) .NET does NOT integrate the web into windows applications. .NET allows users to create web apps in much the same interface as standard windows forms, using a system called WebForms. It also allows regular ASP pages to be compiled into faster versions a la JSP/Servlets. But bringing the web into windows...no, it doesn't really do that, not like you think anyway. Web Services are just a fancy way to perform data transformation. What's cool about .NET is that the IDE supports all sorts of really useful data transformation and reporting mechanisms using SQL/XML/etc built right in...no rolling your own data access methods (though I end up doing it anyway).

          3) .NET is better than Java for apps that will always be used on a Windows PC, because:
          - It has a much faster graphics interface, while maintaining a robust graphics toolkit.
          - It has a better messaging mechanism (Events/Delegates are a GODSEND and are the single most useful thing in the framework)
          - It interoperates quickly and pretty thoroughly with current COM APIs, and wraps up nicely for use in non-.NET apps
          - The Studio environment is faster to work with and has a more mature debugger than any Java IDE I've seen, including Netbeans
          - ADO.NET is pretty nicely done, and things like DataAdapters parellel structures I always end up writing in Java anyway.

          Anyway, the runtime filesize argument is just crap. The java guys need to get that GUI speed up to par or .NET's going to roll right over them. Eight months ago I'd have never said this, but Java isn't my favorite language anymore. C# is. And even association with the vile and repugnant Microsoft isn't enough to sour it.
          • Re:Much needed (Score:5, Informative)

            by sbrown123 (229895) on Monday June 23, 2003 @06:00PM (#6278752) Homepage

            vs 47.3 on my workstation). And it does more stuff -- a lot of the add-on packages for Java, including all of their J2EE crap, parellels


            I am guessing you are stating that Java has more stuff since .NET does not have J2EE anything. Microsoft cannot have anything past the 1.1 J2SE framework due to license conflicts with Sun. Also, the J2EE framework is a seperate package from the standard java runtime (J2SE).


            CD is trivial, and most Windows Update and XP users have it already.


            I have XP and had to download the .NET framework from Windows Update to get it.


            What's cool about .NET is that the IDE supports all sorts of really useful data transformation and reporting mechanisms using SQL/XML/etc built right in...no rolling your own data access methods (though I end up doing it anyway).


            This is covered by JDO in Java. Theres also a really nice opensource reporting library call JasperReports. Along with that theres iReports which is an opensource IDE for creating JasperReports.


            3) .NET is better than Java for apps that will always be used on a Windows PC, because:
            - It has a much faster graphics interface, while maintaining a robust graphics toolkit.


            See the SWT project. It uses native graphics rendering and widgets in Java.


            - It interoperates quickly and pretty thoroughly with current COM APIs, and wraps up nicely for use in non-.NET apps


            SWT has OLE/ActiveX support.


            - The Studio environment is faster to work with and has a more mature debugger than any Java IDE I've seen, including Netbeans


            Eclipse project works real well. Its very fast (again, uses SWT to render widgets) and has a very mature debugger.


            - ADO.NET is pretty nicely done, and things like DataAdapters parellel structures I always end up writing in Java anyway.


            Its JDO in Java world.


            Anyway, the runtime filesize argument is just crap. The java guys need to get that GUI speed up to par or .NET's going to roll right over them.


            Yes, check out Eclipse (www.eclipse.org). I have been using SWT in combination with GCJ to create native windows applications that dust anything created in VB (though C/C++ apps are a couple milliseconds quicker).


            Eight months ago I'd have never said this, but Java isn't my favorite language anymore. C# is.


            I liked .NET. It has some interesting concepts that will spur Sun to improve Java. I think SharpDevelop is a nice IDE worth checking out for anyone wanting to get into .NET without buying Visual Studio. Also of interest is the Mono project (www.go-mono.org) which is a open source implementation of .NET framework.


            And even association with the vile and repugnant Microsoft isn't enough to sour it.


            I think both Microsoft and Sun suck at being at the helm of both languages. Borland does a better job with C/C++ over Microsoft and IBM does better work with Java compared to Sun.
          • Re:Much needed (Score:4, Insightful)

            by TummyX (84871) on Monday June 23, 2003 @06:54PM (#6279161)

            It has a better messaging mechanism (Events/Delegates are a GODSEND and are the single most useful thing in the framework)


            The event mechanism is good but delegates suck ass. Here's why:

            1) Delegates are slower than interfaces (they're really just classes with an Invoke method and object+function pointers which requires two levels of indirection).

            2) Delegates break OO. Suddenly you have something that works differently from other clases for no real benefit.

            3) Anonymous inner classes allow you to define the function close to where its used. With delegates you can have a method body pages away from where it is registered with the event. And the method often has very little to do with the class that contains it. Anonymous methods in V2 are a good start but you still need anonymous innner classes (implementing IComparer for example -- which is an interface and not a delegate!).

            Now, events are good. Having the "event" keyword and automatic wiring is useful. But there is no reason why the "event" keyword couldn't work with interface types instead of delegate types. Having worked extensively with delegates I've gotta say that they simply complicate the type system.
      • Re:Much needed (Score:2, Informative)

        by ikkonoishi (674762)

        .NET is MS's latest development platform.

        At it's heart it is meant to be a way for various programming languages and protocols to communicate with each other and work together.

        The main problem is (of course) that to truly become platform independant MS would have to release a large amount of the code that runs it.

        Microsft's .NET Site [microsoft.com]
        • Re:Much needed (Score:3, Insightful)

          Actually, they would just have to release all the specs for all the API's. We wouldn't need code, just the method name, expected input, and expected output.
          And that means ALL the api's, not just the end-user ones, but the internal communications ones as well.

          If MS does that, then .NET would be an actual standards-compliant language. We'd do the cross-platform work for them. But that would cut into their bottom-line.
      • Re:Much needed (Score:3, Insightful)

        by matts.nu (94472)
        What is .NET exactly?

        I can tell you what it is not [oracle.com].
    • eh, not likely (Score:5, Interesting)

      by m750 (569359) <ur_1bdmf.yahoo@com> on Monday June 23, 2003 @03:24PM (#6277018) Homepage
      http://www.computerworld.com/developmenttopics/dev elopment/java/story/0,10801,82286,00.html?nas=AM-8 2286 'Should Java be made fully open-source? The problem with open-source is that [victory] goes to volume, and that's evident in the Linux community today where ISVs [independent software vendors] are qualifying to Red Hat and abandoning everyone else. Why? Because Red Hat has volume. If Java were open-source, Microsoft could take it, deliver it as they saw fit and drive a definition of Java that was divergent from the one that the community wanted to be compatible. And to the victor would go the spoils of that nefarious action. '
      • Maybe it needs to be released under an alternative license, say the MSFO license that states it is illegal to reuse said source code in any company product if that company name starts with the letter 'M' and ends in 'icrosoft'.

        Surely the reader can determine what the letters 'FO' stand for in the license acronym...
      • Re:eh, not likely (Score:3, Interesting)

        by nate1138 (325593)
        I guess that all depends on what license the Open-source version is released under. In reality, Microsoft has already killed client side Java. Fortunately, the server is another animal altogether. I don't know a single Java developer that would ever consider using a MS Java implementation. Lastly, I don't see what volume has to do with MS corrupting an open source Java.

        Enlighten me.

        • I agree. The Java/J2EE guys I know would turn up their noses at anything MS has tweaked. Today, the platform independence is something that many hold important.

          Many of us develop on Linux/Windows and deploy on Linux/UNIX. Why would anyone EVER risk screwing that up with MS software?

          The problem is that MS wouldn't have a strong selling point to use their version of Java with a fully open version as well as Blackdown, Suns own and IBMs which are all free to d/l as needed.

      • This is a thing GPL/LGPL can prevent.
      • by yerricde (125198) on Monday June 23, 2003 @03:49PM (#6277307) Homepage Journal

        If Java were open-source, Microsoft could take it, deliver it as they saw fit and drive a definition of Java that was divergent from the one that the community wanted to be compatible.

        Assume that Microsoft would have called this divergent platform "J++".

        If the Java platform were open-source and under a license similar to that of X11, what you quoted would be the case. On the other hand, if the Java platform were open-source and copylefted, Microsoft would have to publish the source code of its J++ platform.

    • ... only if they also support the BSDs. 'nuff said.
      • And therein lies the true beauty of open source. If you want support, just do it (Somebody probably will). The more platforms Java runs on, the better.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 23, 2003 @03:17PM (#6276949)
    About making their own Java not built to standards and without Sun's support. It looks like RedHat learned it, too.
  • Native Java (Score:4, Interesting)

    by buckinm (628185) on Monday June 23, 2003 @03:19PM (#6276959)
    Having a open-source version of Java should allow swing to be compiled via GCJ. There would no longer be anything holding natively compiled Java back.
    • Re:Native Java (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Cereal Box (4286) on Monday June 23, 2003 @03:33PM (#6277110)
      No, I think what's holding back Swing support for GCJ is the fact that you actually have to IMPLEMENT all those AWT classes (Swing is built on top) using native GUI libraries. It's a bit harder to make Java's GUI stuff work natively than, say, linked list classes and the like. An open source Java will not make it any easier to get Java's GUI libraries natively ported to every single platform that GCJ runs on.
      • Re:Native Java (Score:3, Informative)

        by Glock27 (446276)
        No, I think what's holding back Swing support for GCJ is the fact that you actually have to IMPLEMENT all those AWT classes (Swing is built on top) using native GUI libraries.

        The whole point of Swing was to eliminate native peers - all Swing needs is a 2D frame buffer. In theory, you could have a very broken AWT native peer implementation and Swing would be just fine.

        Personally, I think SWT is a good alternative - and it already works with gcj.

        The rest of your post is basically a non-sequitor.

        • Re:Native Java (Score:3, Informative)

          by toriver (11308)
          The whole point of Swing was to eliminate native peers - all Swing needs is a 2D frame buffer.

          Most of Swing, yes. The exceptions are the top-level containers (JFrame, JDialog, JWindow and JApplet) which extend the AWT components.
    • Re:Native Java (Score:5, Informative)

      by Dingleberry (144200) on Monday June 23, 2003 @03:33PM (#6277111)
      Java not being open source isn't "holding" this back. Look at the GCJ web site FAQ. They are currently writing peers in GTK and XLIB for AWT. Once that's finished Swing will follow.
    • by Dalcius (587481) <chrism3413+slash ... om minus painter> on Monday June 23, 2003 @04:40PM (#6277953)
      You might consider SWT. It's an open source Java widget toolkit (GUI API) that sits on top of native system widgets. I just started developing with it, so I can't speak for much, but it seems to be quite fast and is pretty easy to implement.

      Some info:
      The Eclipse project [eclipse.org] (of which SWT is a part of)
      SWT Guide (good intro to SWT) [eclipse.org]
      SWT API Specification [eclipse.org]
      SWT Articles (many regarding topics internal to the API) [eclipse.org] -- scroll down to SWT
      • SWT is very cool except for two things:

        1) In contrast to the rest of Java, you have to remember to explicitly free everything you create.
        2) Cross platform stuff goes out the window, unless you can make sure a SWT lib is installed everywhere you want it

        At the very least, with an open source Swing, you could ship say, a linux binary, but also ship the class files for other clients.
  • by Domino (12558) on Monday June 23, 2003 @03:19PM (#6276961) Homepage
    James Gosling, the creator of Java, recently mentioned that he favors an Open-Source Java. (See Infowork article [infoworld.com]).

    Some people withing Sun seem to be scared though that an Open-Source Java standard could be "polluted" by Microsoft.
    • I don't think the open-source community would let Java become polluted by anything, esp. Microsoft.

      The reason for making it open source is allow people outside of Sun to play with the code. There may be better ways to improve garbage collection and just-in-time compilation that Sun employees haven't thought of or haven't had time to do.

      The GUI could use some work too. Sun probably doesn't know as much about Linux as OSS developers do. If OSS developers could use their knowledge of Linux to optimize the n

    • Some people withing Sun seem to be scared though that an Open-Source Java standard could be "polluted" by Microsoft.

      I wouldn't put anything past Microsoft, but I don't see how they could do this without some pretty blatant backpedalling. MS has already gone to great lengths to reject both Java and Open Source...it's hard to imagine them participating in an Open-Source Java effort in any way.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 23, 2003 @03:20PM (#6276968)
    How long before SCO claims that Java is a derivative work of the Unix kernel?
  • Sun's Support (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Devil Ducky (48672) <slashdot@devilducky.org> on Monday June 23, 2003 @03:21PM (#6276978) Homepage
    'We're in discussions with Sun. We'd like to do this with their support.'

    It'd be hard to do it without Sun's support since they have been known on occasion to get very mad about people making versions of Java without their support. Of course that was mainly about a non-standard version, so maybe it wouldn't matter as long as it followed the standard.

    How far is RedHat into this? Planning, Writing, Compiling, Marketing? If they're only planning it, java may finally be dead before it gets done; of course java may outlive me, of course I may die this evening, we just don't know.
    • Java may be dead before it gets done? How long is RH planning on taking? Decades?

      Cos I don't see any J2EE apps running in F5K companies gettin rewritten overnight. And all those phones that play those neat games (J2ME) won't disappear overnight.

    • Re:Sun's Support (Score:4, Insightful)

      by alext (29323) on Monday June 23, 2003 @04:16PM (#6277652)
      they have been known on occasion to get very mad about people making versions of Java without their support.

      Yes, they don't like having their platform polluted. This helps my applications stay portable.
      I sincerely hope they continue to keep implementors in line. Don't you?

  • There (Score:5, Informative)

    by Ann Coulter (614889) on Monday June 23, 2003 @03:21PM (#6276985) Journal
    is already some source code [sun.com] available. :)
    • Re:There (Score:5, Informative)

      by Monkey-Man2000 (603495) on Monday June 23, 2003 @03:34PM (#6277119)
      It sounds like they're interested in doing a clean-room implementation that isn't tied down by proprietary licenses like the one Sun provides (and the link you gave). This is a _good_ thing.
    • If you look at Sun's source code, you may be unable to work on any Java or Mono-related open source project in the future, as Sun may consider them derivative works. The Sun Community License is a death trap for open source developers. Don't touch any code covered by it.

      Any open source version of Java must be either a clean-room implementation, or it must wait for Sun to release the JDK sources under the LGPL, GPL, or BSD licenses. And even then, you may still have to worry about Sun's patents in some c
  • What was Blackdown? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Wasn't it originally a clean-room open source JDK for Linux that Sun adopted?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 23, 2003 @03:24PM (#6277014)
    Java's source is really, really simple, actually.

    Just take one pound of fresh, dry-roasted beans (I prefer Sumatra myself, though Peruvian and Venezuelan are nice, too). Grind these to the desired consistancy, depending on one's brewing method of choice (I'm a 'french press' kinda guy myself, but auto-drip is the norm). Next, load the beans into the appropriate container (filters for the drips, wire mesh baskets for us pressers). Apply nearly-boiling hot water, allow a moment for the beans to steep. Pour into your favorite cup and voila! Instant Java.

    Jeesh. Why everyone makes such a big deal out of that, is just beyond me. No wonder all these tech companies go out of business - they can't even make a goddamn cup of coffee!
  • sun should go for it (Score:4, Interesting)

    by autopr0n (534291) on Monday June 23, 2003 @03:25PM (#6277023) Homepage Journal
    It would be a win-win situation for them, and they can use their trademark to protect the 'purity'. I.E. if it's not "Pure java" it can't be called "Pure java". And microsoft seems to have gotten out of the java game anyway, so their corruption isn't much of an issue. I doubt the open source maintainers would allow contributions that would violate sun's standards, and Microsoft would never fork a GPL project since they hate the GPL so much.

    And plus, sun wouldn't need to do any of the work themselves :P
  • Blackdown? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mickwd (196449) on Monday June 23, 2003 @03:25PM (#6277027)
    Does Blackdown [blackdown.org] have any role in this ?
  • Good for the web (Score:5, Interesting)

    by narfbot (515956) on Monday June 23, 2003 @03:25PM (#6277031)
    I don't use java with mozilla because it's bloaty and not very open source friendly. This it sometimes a pain though, not having it available. And of course there are those java programs I can never try. Having an open source version with Sun's support will improve the current mess.

    Somebody make a current open source shockwave plugin!
  • RedHat's Rawhide (Score:3, Interesting)

    by thule (9041) on Monday June 23, 2003 @03:27PM (#6277048) Homepage
    Recently Rawhide had Eclipse and Tomcat in it. I was pleasantly surpised to see Eclipse running on ppc Rawhide! It looked like they were running it against gcc's java, but after reading that article I was possibly mistaken. Did anyone else look at the Rawhide version of Eclipse?
  • be careful (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 73939133 (676561) on Monday June 23, 2003 @03:29PM (#6277069)
    Sun has promised a lot in the past for Java and then gone back on their word. For example, Sun promised an open Java standard but then pulled out of two standardization efforts.

    If this gets dragged into the JCP process or stays under Sun's "community source" umbrella, it will not be open source in the way that we know it. If people aren't free to "corrupt" the open source Java in any way they like, it will not be open source; for example, one project of key importance for Java on Linux would be native bindings to Gnome.

    A closely related question to be answered is what the patent situation around any such "open source" version of Java will be; Sun currently holds several patents that effectively block fully compatible open source implementations. Will Sun dedicate those patents to the public domain? Or will the "open source Java" adopt a license that makes the code open source but lets Sun retain control over who gets to use it through patents?

    To Sun, Linux is as much as a threat as Microsoft, and their strategy is the same: make the OS irrelevant by replacing it with a Sun-controlled platform that runs on top of the OS. The Linux community should be as paranoid about that occurring as Microsoft management is. Sun is, ultimately, not a friend of Linux.

    Maybe Sun is serious about creating an "open source" version of Java in the sense we all use the term. But I will reserve my judgement until there is something concrete on the table. So far, every promise of opening up Java by Sun has turned out to be a smokescreen and a distraction.
    • If anyone "corrupts" Java so it can't pass the conformance tests (ie, adds keywords, stupid C# stuff, or anything like that) it's not Java.
  • SAN FRANCISCO -- Jonathan Schwartz, executive vice president of software at Sun Microsystems Inc., spoke with Computerworld during the recent JavaOne conference here about the possibility of Java becoming open-source, the potential market for Java in mobile devices and Java's relationship with IBM. Excerpts from that interview follow.

    Should Java be made fully open-source? The problem with open-source is that [victory] goes to volume, and that's evident in the Linux community today where ISVs [independent software vendors] are qualifying to Red Hat and abandoning everyone else. Why? Because Red Hat has volume. If Java were open-source, Microsoft could take it, deliver it as they saw fit and drive a definition of Java that was divergent from the one that the community wanted to be compatible. And to the victor would go the spoils of that nefarious action. To the extraordinary credit of the Java Community Process [JCP], we have a uniform compatible standard that now spans hundreds of millions of devices, hundreds of millions of smart cards, hundreds of millions of desktops and tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of servers. So you have to really be careful in understanding the distinction between open-source and open standards.

    More at http://www.computerworld.com/developmenttopics/dev elopment/story/0,10801,82286,00.html [computerworld.com]
    • Java may be able to run on hundreds of millions of desktops, but unfortunately it's very complicated and time-consuming for an end-user to download and run a Java app in the same way that they could download and run an executable. Schwartz makes a good point about the MS risk, but there is also the possibility that more open-source involvement will lead to a higher quality platform within the popular operating systems.

      To take Java to the next stage, ie mass consumer usage, Sun needs to do all in its power
  • by Jon Abbott (723) on Monday June 23, 2003 @03:36PM (#6277132) Homepage
    According to a ComputerWire article, RedHat is in discussions with Sun about launching an open source version of the Java platform.
    Ha! That'll happen when pigs fly, and when Apple comes out with a system that is faster than a PC. Oh wait...
  • Isn't it Kaffe? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Jungle guy (567570) <brunolmailbox-ge ... SPAMyahoo.com.br> on Monday June 23, 2003 @03:37PM (#6277150) Journal
    According to the Kaffe website [kaffe.org], it is a "a clean room implementation of the Java virtual machine, plus the associated class libraries needed to provide a Java runtime environment. The Kaffe virtual machine is free software, licensed under the terms of the GNU Public License."
    • by Per Bothner (19354) <per@bothner.com> on Monday June 23, 2003 @04:29PM (#6277818) Homepage
      Remember that GCJ was developed at Cygnus (starting in 1996), and that Red Hat bought Cygnus. While Red Hat has not put a lot of resources in GCJ, they still employ some of the early GCJ engineers, who are still active in GCJ in at least on a part-time volunteer basis. In Red Hat 8.0, what you get when you run "java" is the interpreter component of GCJ. And it looks like they are getting serious about Java, and GCJ.

      My guess (as original "inventor" of GCJ, but no longer associated with Red Hat except as share holder): To the extent that Sun is willing to open-source parts of JDK, they'll use that; if Sun is unwilling, they will use GCJ.
  • by jyoull (512280) <jim@nOSpAM.media.mit.edu> on Monday June 23, 2003 @03:40PM (#6277187)
    So they already have source code that works... tell me again why someone has to start from scratch in a "clean room" to build something that validates against the API ? I must have slept through that part.
  • Um, Classpath? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by deblau (68023) <slashdot.25.flickboy@spamgourmet.com> on Monday June 23, 2003 @03:40PM (#6277188) Journal
    The guys over at GNU are already working on this [gnu.org]. The project is called Classpath, it's distributed under a modified GPL so it doesn't contaminate projects it's only linked with, and it's far along already. Most Java 2 classes have been implemented, even though they only claim to be 1.1 compliant.
  • stupid question? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kurosawdust (654754) on Monday June 23, 2003 @03:41PM (#6277193)
    There's always been an interest in an open source implementation of Java developed in a clean room that adheres to the Java standards..'We're in discussions with Sun. We'd like to do this with their support."

    If you're going to do it with Sun's support, then why do you need a clean room? Or, if you're going to do it in a clean room, why do you need Sun's support?

  • by Cnik70 (571147) <seven2170&gmail,com> on Monday June 23, 2003 @03:42PM (#6277215) Homepage
    As a java programmer, I have never found java to be limited as a closed source language. The overall structure of the language is easily expandable and adaptable enough to fit my daily needs. And by introducing a new non-sun version of java leads to the same problems that M$ had with J++ where 100% pure sun java code is incompatible with other flavors. Sometimes I believe that certain things, especially programming languages, are better left untouched by multiple sources. It strengthens the language when it remains uniform.
  • by Mannerism (188292) <keith-slashdot@Nospam.spotsoftware.com> on Monday June 23, 2003 @03:42PM (#6277216)
    I wonder how long it would take Oracle to turn an open source JVM into an Oracle product in much the same way as they turned Apache into 9iAS.
  • OT: THANK YOU! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dalcius (587481) <chrism3413+slash ... om minus painter> on Monday June 23, 2003 @03:45PM (#6277250)
    I know some Red Hat/Sun folks are reading this. As a person who is learning Java in his spare time, I really want to say thanks -- I pray that this goes through. Combining Java and OSS with Red Hat and Sun support, in my mind, is enough to kill .NET and set Linux up for good.

    This might be the final kick in the ass that gives Linux the momentum to move on top.
  • Sun Software VP Jonathan Schwartz seems to consider open standards more important than Open Source. See the CNet article [com.com] from a couple of months ago.

    Perhaps there's a sense that locking down more of the Java developer market is more important than keeping the intellectual property in the implementation of Java "hidden". Once you put the open source version out, you can hope yours will become the defacto standard. But why go to Red Hat to open the Java source? Couldn't you just open it up yourself?

    Maybe

  • Java making progress (Score:3, Interesting)

    by nepheles (642829) on Monday June 23, 2003 @03:49PM (#6277300) Homepage

    It seems that Sun is recognising that Java in general was in danger of stagnation. Recently, we've had a major push into the mobile phone arena, the bundling of JREs with Dell and HP PCs, SDK 1.5, and now this.

    This might well be in reaction to the threat posed by .NET, but it seems that Sun are actively seeking to innovate once again, before .NET has a chance to catch up

    And that's, long-term, probably a good thing for the development community
  • by Billly Gates (198444) on Monday June 23, 2003 @03:55PM (#6277380) Journal
    I was under the impression that the Sun sponsored blackdown project was already opensource. THey have ported Java already to sparc/linux and I believe have a lintel port.

  • by Captain Rotundo (165816) on Monday June 23, 2003 @03:58PM (#6277419) Homepage
    It would be so great if there was a open implmentation of java. I know there are groups working on it, but if only sun would get involved then it would have a greater chance of staying current. I've always thought it wouldn't hurt Sun to open up the Java SDK and classes a little, what exactly is the benifit they get from it being closed? The version they released would still be considered the standard regardless of its openess or of potention forks.

    Forget GCJ, just think of the advantages to Sun if there was a kernel driver to run plain java natively, if done right, and of course open enough to be compatible it could only bolster java greatly, especially now that .net is a big threat.

    I have to admit I like java for some tasks but am apprehensive that the two biggest hyped technologies nowadays are both controlled by a single company each, and both have closed source reference implementations.
  • by CptnKirk (109622) on Monday June 23, 2003 @04:01PM (#6277466)
    I personally like this idea. I think that open sourcing Java would allow other projects to take off much easier (I'm thinking gcj, but I'm sure there are others).

    However how is this effort different from:

    Kaffe - Open Source, way behind the times, in general more annoying that useful, IMO.

    Blackdown JVMs - Best Java JVM available for free on Linux (again IMO). Uses Sun's code, has valuable contributions, but isn't maintained by a large group. As far as I know, only a handful of dedicated people, and only one or two are very public.

    Also, why would Sun suddenly be willing to Open Source Java now when they weren't before? Have any of the open issues changed?

    As far as I know it's a compatibility/brand issue. If Java were open source, anyone could grab the source, tweak it and release their own JVM. If there are a zillion JVMs running around it's possible some won't be compliant.

    What about the JCK? It works fine, but you still run into the embrace and extend issue. Someone takes Java 1.4 and builds custom enhancements to support his/her own Javaesque features. Programms written for this JVM now no longer work on a stock 1.4 VM. Is this VM now legal "Java". I think Sun would say no.

    What about the Java Community Process? Many anti-fork advocates might suggest just contributing to Java via regular channels. Do these channels work? If not, should they be repaired instead of or in addition to Open Source Java?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 23, 2003 @04:03PM (#6277489)
    Many people have asked why RedHat needs to enlist Sun's cooperation in order to implement a clean room Java. One important reason, is to gain access to the JCK (Java Compatibility Kit), that contains approximately 20,000 test cases that you need to pass in order to be certified as Java Compliant.
  • by agslashdot (574098) <sundararaman,krishnan&gmail,com> on Monday June 23, 2003 @04:34PM (#6277880)
    shouda done this 6 years ago.

    don't get me wrong. i love java, its the only thing on my resume, sole bread-n-butter for past 6 years, etc.

    but the C# designers really know the market.
    when i first read "C# = java done right" in a PR article, i said, "yeah right, what absolute BS".

    but then, i attended my first c# training seminar last month, & having just completed a major java-to-c# porting project, i can say this much - C# has definitely won the windows-only-client-side battle. if you are developing an app that front-ends on a windows client ( that's pretty much ALL of wall street, given the heavy use of MS-Excel ), C# is simply the way to go.

    6 years ago, i recall graduating from school & deciding to go into a Java-job. classmates were like - "what's java ? unproven stuff. use MFC. that's were the $$ is".

    how wrong they were! C# is now in the same position - poised to skyrocket.

    every single java concept has made it into C#.

    furthermore C# has several useful notions ( delegates, boxed types, attribute annotations,assemblies etc ) not in Java.

    finally, cross-language interop is a dead reality - i can write a C# class, my VB class can inherit from it, and my C++ class can inherit from my VB class, and call functions in Perl - the CLS & the common type system makes it easy for even a casual novice pgmmer.

    once's the mono project attains fruition, c# on linux will be the defacto pgmming style - need i say more ?

    from a reluctant C# convert

    • by alext (29323) on Monday June 23, 2003 @04:57PM (#6278142)
      Real competitive advantage revolves around integration and portability, not dumb little language tricks.

      Most people will appreciate JDBC drivers for their local database, flexible security, true cross-platform working etc. Conversely,, we can probably get by without "attribute annotations" for a while.
    • by deanj (519759)
      C# isn't poised to sky rocket as much as you think.

      Think about this: I recently talked to a publisher at a tradeshow. He told me that there were getting to be more C# books than Java books. Only problem is, *they're not moving*. Java books are still in demand, and they're looking for more. Not so with C#.

      That's not a good sign for C#.
    • by f00zbll (526151) on Monday June 23, 2003 @08:51PM (#6280238)
      furthermore C# has several useful notions ( delegates, boxed types, attribute annotations,assemblies etc ) not in Java.

      Ok, sounds like you bought the whole PR pitch hook line and sinker. I can say from first hand experience C# is not all it's advertised to be. C# has some nice stuff like properties, but several important pieces are seriously hobbled for enterprise class server applications.

      1. delegates - sounds great on the surface until you realize that writing a multi-threaded/thread-safe application means all calls have to go through delegate. this means for each call to a application running in a dedicated thread, two threads are used. One is used by the delegate. Not only that, for server applications, what you really want is to have direct access to that thread.
      2. assemblies - well recently I experience the same old DLL hell with .NET 1.1 colliding with .NET 1.0. Guess what, there are other critical issues like dynamic loading which do not work as well as Java class loaders. In order to dynamically load/unload assemblies, they have to be loaded in a separate appDomain.
      3. attribute annotation - is nice, but it's hardly critical. Not only that, if you work with a bunch of VB guys, they are so far from annotating their code that you'd have a better chance of getting an experience Java programmer to use attribute annotation correctly. I annotate my code aggressively to point out design decisions and their impact down the line. I also include suggestions and ways to modify the code should the functional requirements change.
      4. thread management using the default threadpool class is weak. There was an article recently in .NET magazine that covered async request handling. The article showed that IIS 6.0 uses the stock ThreadPool, which means improving performance requires writing your own thread pool library.
      5. the caching and default threadpool is really intended as an object cache and isn't well suited to complex multi-threaded applications that manage themselves.
      6. currently there is no object persistence application or layer in .NET. At first glance it doesn't seem like a big deal until you need to handle concurrent access to shared data across multiple systems. Say you have 100 clients that need to access a webservice. The webservices is load balanced across n servers. If multiple users modify common data, how do you manage it? Do you lock the table and use pessimistic locking, or do you naively say we allow for delay and don't care? There are third parties providing object persistence layers for .NET.
      7. stateful application server does not exist in .NET and MSDN states it doesn't plan on providing the support in the near future. For the next several releases the focus is on improving .NET CLR and performance.
      8. session replication across n webservers is not supported natively by IIS. The way it's typically done in IIS is to use database sessions. Tomcat 5 will have session replication built in. There are numerous Java application servers and servlet containers that provide true clustering with fault tolerant sessions.
      9. database clustering is not available as a stock option in Sql Server 2000 or Sql Server 64bit. Typically you have to setup Sql server in partitions and manage the data access with ADO.NET or DAL. Normally when Sql Server is setup in a cluster like TPC benchmarks, it's a custom embedded module. Ask any Sql Server DBA is real-time replication works reliably in Sql Server?
      10. there is no enterprise class messaging server and won't be until Biztalk reaches it's second or third release. If you don't believe me, try to use MSMQ to handle thousands of message per second with tens of thousands of subscribers. It will take 5-8 years before Biztalk can even get close to IBM MQSeries.

      .NET has it's advantage like the XmlTextReader. The default XML parser in Jav

  • Too Late (Score:3, Interesting)

    by shrhoads (201603) on Monday June 23, 2003 @05:33PM (#6278497)
    As mentioned before [rhoads.com], Java is already headed to the land of fully open source native cross platform binaries. The fine GCJ folks have already implemented most of the 1.4 JDK with libjava. Throw in SWT and you have the holy grail of open source software applications development. A single code base that compiles to native binaries for Windows, Linux, MacOS, Solaris, AIX, HP-UX, etc.

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