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Sun's Simon Phipps Answers ESR On Java 707

Posted by timothy
from the lots-of-air-moving dept.
comforteagle writes "Sun's Chief Technology Officer Simon Phipps has answered Eric Raymond's open letter calling on Sun to open source Java." In the quoted response, Phipps says (condensed) "I'd say this is 100 per cent rant... His simplistic accusations don't hold water... If this is the way that Open Source treats its friends, I'd hate to see how it treats its enemies... It's pretty difficult to respond to this. He's so out of touch."
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Sun's Simon Phipps Answers ESR On Java

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  • Re:foresight (Score:4, Informative)

    by Gherald (682277) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @03:25PM (#8319163) Journal
    Here's what I've gotten so far from doing a "view source" while the page is loading. Not sure if it's the whole article, but it's something:

    Sun has offered a frank response to the open letter from Eric S, Raymond, President, Open Source Initiative, in which he called on Sun to make its Java platform Open Source and described the company's Open Source strategy as 'spotty' and 'confused'.

    'I'd say this is 100 per cent rant,' Sun's Chief Technology Evangelist, Simon Phipps told us. 'His simplistic accusations don't hold water... If this is the way that Open Source treats its friends, I'd hate to see how it treats its enemies.'

    Raymond's first line of attack was to dispute whether CEO Scott McNealy's claim that 'the open-source model is our friend,' has any substance when at the same time Sun is filling the coffers of Linux litigator SCO through licensing deals and still keeps Java under 'tight control'.

    'It's pretty difficult to respond to this. He's so out of touch,' said Phipps. 'To even begin one must first address the error in his world view: He has taken quotes given by Scott McNealy to analysts and attacked them as if they were spoken to the Open Source community.

    (I was a bit leary of running this story initially, but have been able to confirm that it is legitimate through sources at Java.net [java.net] - Ed.)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @03:25PM (#8319170)
    Here is the whole thing:

    http://www.pcpro.co.uk/?http://www.pcpro.co.uk/n ew s/news_story.php?id=53646
  • Article Text (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @03:27PM (#8319192)
    Sun fires back over Open Source Java accusations
    [PC Pro] 15:13

    Sun has offered a frank response to the open letter from Eric S, Raymond, President, Open Source Initiative, in which he called on Sun to make its Java platform Open Source and described the company's Open Source strategy as 'spotty' and 'confused'.

    'I'd say this is 100 per cent rant,' Sun's Chief Technology Evangelist, Simon Phipps told us. 'His simplistic accusations don't hold water... If this is the way that Open Source treats its friends, I'd hate to see how it treats its enemies.'

    Raymond's first line of attack was to dispute whether CEO Scott McNealy's claim that 'the open-source model is our friend,' has any substance when at the same time Sun is filling the coffers of Linux litigator SCO through licensing deals and still keeps Java under 'tight control'.

    'It's pretty difficult to respond to this. He's so out of touch,' said Phipps. 'To even begin one must first address the error in his world view: He has taken quotes given by Scott McNealy to analysts and attacked them as if they were spoken to the Open Source community.

    'In fact, Sun has contributed more to Open Source than anybody else bar Berkeley [University of California]. We understand Open Source better than anyone else. IBM is just wrapping itself in the flag, but it still behaves like an old-fashioned systems company. Sun is actually taking the risks. [Raymond] isn't well informed and is ignoring most of the stuff that Sun is doing. He completely ignores things like the Java Desktop, the Java Enterprise System running on Linux in its new servers. He's very selective about what he wants to write about.

    For the record, Raymond wrote: 'Sun's insistence on continuing tight control of the Java code has damaged Sun's long-term interests by throttling acceptance of the language in the open-source community, ceding the field (and probably the future) to scripting-language competitors like Python and Perl.'

    Phipps responded that Java is not a scripting language, so it is meaningless to make such a comparison.

    Raymond also wrote in his open letter: 'Sun's terms are so restrictive that Linux distributions cannot even include Java binaries for use as a browser plugin, let alone as a standalone development tool.' But Phipps responds that SUSE has managed to do so without any problems.

    Raymond also says that Sun faces the stark choice of control or ubiquity for Java. Phipps said: 'Java is already everywhere.'

    And as for control, Phipps maintains: 'Sun has no more control over Java than anyone else in the Java Community Process'. Besides, he said that since version 2.5 of the Java Development Process that was ratified some 18 months ago it has been possible for anyone to create an implementation of Java that complies with the Open Source requirements. And that includes Java 1.5 which will be out 'really soon' [an alpha was released two weeks ago].

    'We don't have an axe to grind with Eric, and we don't have any hostility to what he is supporting. But I don't believe there are any barriers to making Java Open Source,' he said.

    'The question he should really be asking is why has no-one else offered to create an Open Source version of Java. Maybe because it's on the 'too hard' list. Sun would support an Open Source version of Java, but it need a lot of money and time to do so. You can't just flick a switch. Right now Sun has higher priorities in the form of Java 1.5,' he said.

    Questions of who makes Java Open Source aside, there is a strong demand that it be implemented. When we interviewed Richard Stallman, founder of the Free Software Foundation, last month we asked what the most pressing needs are for the GNU operating system (of which Linux is the kernel), he said: 'We need a free complete Java platform.'

    Matt Whipp
  • by cbowland (205263) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @03:31PM (#8319242)
    [pcpro.co.uk]
    Sun fires back over Open Source Java accusations
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @03:32PM (#8319265)
    ESR is the person more or less responsible for the trademarking of the term "Open Source" [catb.org] and has been, in a confusing manner, something of a steward for a movement specifically trying to squat on that name and present itself as a contrast to "Free Software". The fact that Mr. Phipps capitalizes "Open Source" here implies that he is not referring to the open source community, but referring specifically to OSI, ESR, and ESR's followers in the "Open Source" movement.

    ESR is of course merely a leader in "Open Source"/OSI, and does not speak for all. However the whole issue is messy enough it is difficult to blame Mr. Phipps for being confused.
  • Re:I call bluff (Score:5, Informative)

    by OYAHHH (322809) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @03:33PM (#8319278) Homepage
    Ever,

    Heard of OpenOffice/StarOffice? If you haven't I suggest you look it up. You might change you opinion of Sun's contributions to open-source software.
  • Re:I call bluff (Score:2, Informative)

    by WilsonSD (159419) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @03:35PM (#8319298) Homepage
    > Since when is Sun a friend of open source?

    OpenOffice, NetBeans, Jini, JXTA, this list goes on....
  • by EricWright (16803) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @03:36PM (#8319313) Journal
    He wrote the original guidebook for nethack. Yes, it's true... freaked me out when I first saw it, but here's the header from doc/Guidebook.txt of the nethack-3.4.3 package available at www.nethack.org:

    A Guide To The Mazes of Menace
    (Guidebook for NetHack)

    Eric S. Raymond
    (Extensively edited and expanded for 3.4)

  • Sun & Open Source (Score:5, Informative)

    by barcodez (580516) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @03:37PM (#8319333)
    I have just returned from Sun's two day Tech. Day in London. They were keen to push that they were working closely with Open Source. They pointed out that they were doing things such as JDS (Sun's Linux distro for the desktop - it's pretty much just Suse atm), NetBeans (an open source IDE they support and use within Sun One Studio) and so forth.

    Now you can't deny they are using Open Source, but I was finding hard to see how they were contributing. Here are some ideas:

    (1.) Increased awareness - nah: they are FUDing things as their own work
    (2.) Contributing IP - I can't find demonstrable, significant Sun IP that has been changed to be licensed on an OSS approved license (I maybe wrong).
    (3.) Giving Java to the community - noooo, you can't even distribute the Sun JVM or JDK with a linux distro.

    I think Sun want to do the right thing - I think they think they are doing the right thing - they clearly have a way to go.

    Here's an example.

    JSF (Java Server Faces)

    This is a MVC based framework used in presentation tiers in Java (mostly web based).

    Now what Sun did was hire the project lead from Jakarta's Structs to write the spec and an implementation of JSF.

    JSF is a direct competitor to Structs! If a Jakarta was a company this would be an incredible agressive tactic. Hire the project lead and get him/her to develop a new more featureful version of his old product.
  • Conversation! (Score:5, Informative)

    by simpl3x (238301) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @03:38PM (#8319348)
    Absolutely correct! With the recent mobile java win in China, Sun needs to recognize that perception is 90% of the battle, ad I would agree with ESR in general. Sun has a great technology which needs to be "perceived" as free as in beer AND speech. Certainly Sun has some points in terms of complexity, but the conversation needs to be opened, and it is. If Sun wants to have a conversation with the top people from open source, and the top people from Sun, to discuss the future of Java, this needs to happen now!

    The future of mobile (which will be most of computing in the future) technologies is Linux and Java, with much of the infrastructure available for companies such as Sun. .NET will otherwise become the standard, so stop arguing. Sit down and get everybody on the same page regardless of who is "right."
  • by dnoyeb (547705) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @03:41PM (#8319384) Homepage Journal
    Open sourcing 'Java' is an issue of binaries. It's a misnomer in fact. Its not really Java that ESR is calling for to be open sourced. Its Sun's implementation of Java, their JVM. At least as far as I can tell that is what he is calling for.
  • Re:rings a bell. . . (Score:3, Informative)

    by jafac (1449) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @03:42PM (#8319402) Homepage
    (yes, I admit I didn't read the whole article, because it was instantly slashdotted).

    Well, the response was still, a gross disservice to Sun's position. By descending to ESR's level, Phipps has left the arugment open - and there will continue to be whining and hand-wringing. Sure - no matter how good your argument is, there will always be folks who aren't convinced.

    But at least he could have tried some well-reasoned arguments like this post:
    http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=97352&c id=8319 213
  • by T-Ranger (10520) <jeffw@NOspaM.chebucto.ns.ca> on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @03:42PM (#8319410) Homepage
    A few things actually, beyond Fetchmail.

    The Jargon Dictionary.
    Founding member of the OSI.
    A large number of HOWTOs

    Ok, no one huge earth shattering project. An while I cant find it now, in one of the Fetchmail history docs, he readily admits to being a better maintainer then coder.

    Even if he was a complete non-coder, The Jargon Dictionary alone would be enough for him to be 'one of the tribe', and worth listening too. But he has managed a not insignificant tool.

    But all of that is nothing compared to his work with OSI. Even before that, his non-technical guidance and writings were immensely helpful to the community. Netscape/Mozilla was one of (if not the) first example of closed source being let free. And its still one if the biggest examples.

    ESR may have a bit of a primiadonna attitude, but compared to RMS he is humble as they get.

  • by byronius (13757) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @03:49PM (#8319497)
    He also wrote bogofilter [sourceforge.net], a very useful bayesian filter.
  • far too simplistic (Score:4, Informative)

    by jbellis (142590) <jonathan@carnage ... m minus math_god> on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @03:54PM (#8319562) Homepage
    MS could easily write extensions that require the win32 libraries to be present. Even if the changes to the SDK were released, you couldn't use them on any platform whose OS didn't provide the requisite MS libraries.
  • Re:foresight (Score:5, Informative)

    by socrates32 (650558) <socrates32.gmail@com> on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @03:56PM (#8319576)
    Try: here [pcpro.co.uk]
  • Dumbest quote ever (Score:5, Informative)

    by JohnGrahamCumming (684871) * <slashdot@jgc . o rg> on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @03:57PM (#8319591) Homepage Journal
    > Open source is hardly a zero-revenue model; ask
    > Red Hat, which had a share price over triple Sun's
    > when I just checked.

    Yes, and the last time I checked Sun had a market cap. of $19.2B and RedHat had a market cap of $3.2B. The actual share price is irrelevant in this discussion. Sun is 6 times the size of RedHat on market cap.

    In addition look at their balance sheets. Sun has assets worth $12B, RedHat has $440M. So Sun has assets worth 27 times RedHat's.

    So how does the fact that the Sun share price is lower than RedHat's figure into this?

    John.

  • Re:I call bluff (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @03:58PM (#8319605)
    Since when is Sun a friend of open source?

    Sun pays for NFS v4 port to Linux [sun.com].
    Sun supports Xemacs [xemacs.org].
    Sun donates internationalization code to X.org [computersadvisor.com].
    Sun buys StarOffice and donates the code to OpenOffice [openoffice.org].

    Sun support development and porting of TCL [base.com].
    Sun donates elliptic curve technology to openssl.org [zdnet.co.uk].

    Etc., etc., etc.

    Sun established open standards, such as: NIS, NFS, etc., etc.,...

    Sun is a much bigger friend to "open source" and *nix than just about any other corporation.

    So, are you trolling, or uninformed? Maybe just abusing a friend to open source?

  • Re:What writing? (Score:5, Informative)

    by B'Trey (111263) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @04:00PM (#8319613)
    Sun is as much a hardware company as it is a software company.

    Mandrake, Lindows, etc are new companies trying to start up with an open source model. I believe something like 75% of new restaurants go out of business in the first year. That doesn't mean that the restaurant is an unsupportable business model. Not every company that trys to link its success to the open source business model is going to succeed. That doesn't mean that none of them are going to succeed.

    The question is, does going completely open source make sense for Sun? Since I've never founded or run a multi-million dollar business, my opinion is probably a bit suspect but it seems like it makes sense to me. In fact, it seems like Sun's only hope is something along those lines. Their current course is simply going to continue them along their slow slide into obscurity.

  • by jg21 (677801) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @04:01PM (#8319627)
    Javalobby's Rick Ross doesn't agree with ESR, but he doesn't agree with Sun either, saying that "No Sun Is An Island" [sys-con.com] and urging Sun to take much more initiative in helping create what Ross calls "a cooperative industry alliance for Java platform marketing." Well worth reading.
  • by Svartalf (2997) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @04:03PM (#8319646) Homepage
    You forgot this [openoffice.org] little program...

    Considering that OpenOffice IS a pretty major piece of IP, that Sun DID dual license under their community license AND the GPL, I'd say they're not guilty of the issue on #2.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @04:18PM (#8319863)
    Then perhaps someone will explain being why Sun paid SCO $8M for a worthless SCO licence (along with Microsoft, themselves no friend of OS).

    Sun didn't buy a worthless license. SCO has an implementation of driver technology [projectudi.org] that Sun needed in their bid to revitalize Solaris on X86 processors. In fact, they picked up hundreds of drivers [nwfusion.com]. Now, if you have any suggestions as to other System V Unixes on X86 with a large base of relatively recent drivers and driver technology that Sun could have used instead, I'm sure that Sun [sun.com] would love to hear about it. Until then, Sun has a real business to run, and buying IP from SCO no doubt saved them an enormous amount of time, and maybe even money.

    Bottom line: this has nothing to do with SCO attacking Linux. Sun was just taking care of business.

    (By the way, you do know that Sun has deals to sell something on the order of 500,000 - 1,000,000 of the Linux based Java Desktop systems a year, don't you [sun.com]? You do know that Sun sells servers with Linux [sun.com], don't you?)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @04:18PM (#8319865)

    I for one don't acknowledge ESR as being a 'steward' of Open Source. I think of him as a self appointed PR, not really for Open Source, but for himslef.

    He coined the phrase "Open Source". He convinced Netscape to open up Mozilla. He was the first person to document and publicise the open development model in any meaningful way. He's developed and contributed to many Open Source/Free Software projects. I'd say he's earned his high profile. He hasn't earned "stewardship" over Open Source, but I don't think he acts that way.

    Of course, you seem to be mixing up Free Software and Open Source. He doesn't speak for the Free Software movement at all.

    In the end I only acknowledge those who write more code than manifestos and open letters as being the true promoters of open source.

    He has developed and contributed to many Open Source projects.

    ESR should shut up and pick up a copy of the Java standard

    Java isn't a standard. It's a specification with multiple implementations. That's the whole point. C# has been submitted to ECMA for standardization, the same way C and C++ have been standardized.

    If he wants to keep promoting himself as a self proclaimed emissary, at the expense of Java and Open Source, then he should probably keep doing what he's doing now.

    Last time he asked a company to open up their source, we got Mozilla. I hope he does carry on with what he is doing.

  • Re:Oh, please. (Score:4, Informative)

    by crush (19364) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @04:21PM (#8319900)

    Actually there are two possible types of ad hominem one of them is valid and the other is a fallacy.

    A valid ad hominem occurs when a protagonist has made a statement of the type "I am an X and therefore my experience allows me to state Y", to which the valid response is "You are a flawed X in some manner and therefore you can't state Y".

    An invalid ad hominem would occur if the respondent were to counter instead with "You are a flawed Z (where Z has no relationship to X at all) and therefore can't state Y".

    See this [ncl.ac.uk] link for a better description.

    There is an element of valid ad hominem in the response to ESR when it is said that ESR is "out of touch". The truth of this is arguable, but the form of the argument is a valid ad hominem.

  • by aled (228417) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @04:34PM (#8320066)
    You can download Java sources to your heart content, the library sources are included. What you don't get is the posibility of redistribute your changes.
    OSS zealots please learn what your talking about.
  • by Short Circuit (52384) <mikemol@gmail.com> on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @04:49PM (#8320233) Homepage Journal
    It ain't funny. A lot of people still think he should have released it under a BSD-style license, or at least a license a little more "free" (by their definition.)

    He released it under the GPL in order, I suppose in order to maintain the community mechanism then in place of everybody's changes being available to everybody else.
  • Re:I call bluff (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @04:51PM (#8320253)
    And they also funded SCO after it was clear what such funding would go towards.

    Sun didn't "fund" SCO, they bought IP that they needed [slashdot.org] and put to use. Your conspiracy theory is nonsense. It was business. Period.

    Sun has at best a mixed record of support for free software.

    Sun has done far more to support open source [slashdot.org] than you, or pretty much any other corporation.

    I don't know enough about the Java situation to comment, but I do know that Sun continues to invest heavily in Solaris and (as they see it) free software is a direct threat to that investment.

    Wrong. Sun sells systems loaded with Linux [sun.com]. Sun may become the largest linux vendor in the world this year due to Sun's Java Desktop [sun.com] system. Linux is a long ways from challenging Solaris in maturity, features, or commercial software base [slashdot.org]. What would happen if Sun stopped investing in improving Solaris isn't that Linux would suddenly be better, but that IBM's AIX and HP's HP/UX could potentially open up a technological lead and endanger Sun's hardware sales in the critical high end systems business. It is sort of funny, really, that I keep reading complaints from people on Slashdot about Sun working to improve Solaris but almost never about HP/UX or AIX. Is it just ignorance... or dark conspiracy? More at 11:00.

  • by muckdog (607284) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @05:19PM (#8320506) Homepage
    Bad example. VA linux is really just a hardware distributor. Take a look at how Redhat has done for a more accurate picture. RHAT vs. MSFT
  • Re:Mono (Score:3, Informative)

    by DeadSea (69598) * on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @05:47PM (#8320773) Homepage Journal
    Can you actually do anything in Mono yet? Last time I tried (admittedly about a year ago), I found that all the parts that let you interact with a user weren't written yet.
    • Windows.forms - not implemented
    • No apache module
    That kind of left me stuck after hello world. There is only so much I want to do with a command line these days.

    C# looked like a promising language and Java is playing catchup in 1.5 right now, but until it can be used on Linux for the stuff that I use java for, I won't abandon Java.

  • Re:Mono (Score:2, Informative)

    by jdtanner (741053) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @06:00PM (#8320933) Homepage
    Hi,

    Windows.Forms is being worked on with a Wine layer (http://www.go-mono.com/winforms.html)...not ideal but hey ho.

    A great alternative is Gtk# (http://gtk-sharp.sourceforge.net/) for cross platform gui development. Have a look at skynet...not the one that is going to rule us all with cyborgs...at sky-net.sourceforge.net/ for an idea of what is possible :-)

    John
    Ps sorry /.ing the above

  • by dtfinch (661405) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @06:02PM (#8320949) Journal
    You guys really need to update your "litigious bastards" links. www.sco.com is no longer in google's index, so linking to it does nothing. You need to link to sco.com or www.thescogroup.com for the campaign to become effective again. Now go tell your friends.
  • by willdenniss (707714) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @06:28PM (#8321214)
    That applies to Swing in particular: no major changes here the last few years.

    Please cast your eyes upon the list of new swing features in Java 1.5 [sun.com]

    Will.
  • Re:Mono (Score:2, Informative)

    by dragmorp (740278) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @06:30PM (#8321225)
    GTK# is very nice. The Apache module is done (mod_mono) and ASP.Net is feature complete.
  • by fbform (723771) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @06:31PM (#8321242)
    He coined the phrase "Open Source".

    Minor nitpick - it wasn't ESR, it was Chris Peterson. Says so right here [opensource.org].
  • by grigori (676336) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @06:41PM (#8321305)
    They bought peecee device drives from SCO to run on Solaris. Thats it.
  • Re:I say yeah! (Score:2, Informative)

    by willdenniss (707714) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @06:44PM (#8321333)
    Mind you, I would love to be able to see Sun's sources as much as the next guy

    Congratulations, you [sun.com] can [sun.com]

    Cheers,

    Will.
  • by chromatic (9471) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @07:02PM (#8321501) Homepage

    The term "scripting language" is nearly meaningless, but it certainly does not preclude a JIT or a sophisticated virtual machine.

  • Re:Sooo.. (Score:2, Informative)

    by WebMink (258041) <slashdotNO@SPAMwebmink.net> on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @07:51PM (#8321928) Homepage

    Well, keep in mind that reported speech is not necessarily what the speaker said even if there are quote marks...

    I did say something like this - not all as one phrase as implied, though. To summarise, ESR criticises McNealy for saying Sun [...] is less threatened by a zero-revenue model for software than just about anybody out there." but these remarks were not politically-correct speech addressed to open source experts, they were summary comments addressed to analysts who do indeed regard open source (wrongly) as a zero-revenue activity. Taken in that context, McNealy is actually challenging their view, yet ESR treats the comment as cluelessness.

    So yes, having regard for the intended audience of comments is important, as is regard for the possibility they may not have been quoted correctly or in context.

    S. (probably an asshat but preferring to be treated courteously)

  • by civilizedINTENSITY (45686) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @08:00PM (#8321995)
    "Japhar is the Hungry Programmers' Java VM. It has been built from the ground up without consulting Sun's sources.
    Japhar is released under the LGPL, which should make it much more attractive for companies interested in embedding an open source JVM in their proprietary/commercial products."

    "Kaffe is 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 General Public License."

    "The Classpath project aims to develop a free and portable implementation of the Java API (the classes in the Java package). The Classpath project does not have a complete implementation of the API yet but it is almost complete to version 1.2. Unfortunately, Classpath does not yet run with Kaffe - but we are working on it!"

    "The Classpathx project is developing free implementations of all the extention libraries in popular use. This is a large and varied list, from XML processing to voice and image manipulation."

    GCJ is a portable, optimizing, ahead-of-time compiler for the Java Programming Language. It can compile: * Java source code directly to native machine code, * Java source code to Java bytecode (class files), * and Java bytecode to native machine code. Compiled applications are linked with the GCJ runtime, libgcj, which provides the core class libraries, a garbage collector, and a bytecode interpreter. libgcj can dynamically load and interpret class files, resulting in mixed compiled/interpreted applications. Most of the APIs specified by "The Java Class Libraries" Second Edition and the "Java 2 Platform supplement" are supported, including collections, networking, reflection, and serialization. AWT is currently unsupported, but work to implement it is in progress.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @08:26PM (#8322203)
    You're an idiot...Linux killing Solaris, talk about naive. Linux can't touch Solaris on scalability or reliability, capability, applications, support, and damn near every other aspect of being an operating system.

    You have no idea how serious Sun is about Linux because you don't see all the behind-the-scenes work. There are many dedicated programmers at Sun working on open source software. Sun is pushing Mozilla, gnome, evolution, and tons of other open source projects and packages internally, as well as opened the source to StarOffice. I've seen the work internally and I can tell you the push is VERY real. Refining, adding capabilities, releasing the code back into the wild.

    You can now buy Sun servers with Solaris or Linux preloaded and get full Sun support for either OS. (Linux doesn't scale to the big machines yet, but you still have a choice on low-end 8cpu boxes.)

    Next month there's a Sun conference in Denver Colorado, part of the conference is a JDS (Suse Linux) installfest for employee laptops.

    Get your head out of your ass.
  • by smallpaul (65919) <(paul) (at) (prescod.net)> on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @09:18PM (#8322625)

    All the specs are open, and allow for this.

    I had a revelation at one of the open source conferences. Mitchell Baker said that the key aspect of open source is the ability to choose your own leadership. Implementation is secondary. In order for sun to open source Java in this sense, they would have to be open to the possibility of forks. Even Microsoft might make a fork. The programming community would choose who to follow. But Sun does not choose the programming community to choose its own leadership.

    But it doesn't matter. The community will choose no matter how hard Sun tries to lock them in to Java (TM). They can use Microsoft's de facto fork C# or they can use Python. The Python community has always said that the way to prevent a fork is just to do a better job than the other guy. Sun doesn't understand that. Now Java 1.5 is playing catchup to C#. They also refuse to add the features that would make Java helpful for day-to-day use like easier code migration through unsafe code (in C#) or Pyrex (in Python). This is a critical mistake which keeps Java out of contention for building most Open Source apps. Large apps are seldom written 100% in a single language and if they are, that language is C. Other languages must learn to play along and Java is poor at doing so.

    The fork has happened and it is quite possible that Microsoft will win. But the open source world cannot save Java because Sun has sole ownership of it. They would rather drive it off a cliff then let someone else at the steering wheel.

  • Re:appropriate (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @10:47PM (#8323023)
    Mene Mene Tekel [U] Parsin

    The [U] is a particle meaning 'and' which is retained because that section was written in Babelonyian (not Aramaic, unless I'm sadly mistaken--yes, there are several sections of the OT which are not in Hebrew, which is the actual language most of it is in, even if most of the Hebrew people went about speaking Aramaic most of the time--SFAIK, there isn't much Aramaic in the OT, though there are various other lanugages in there... you can check out the translation notes of your Bible* if you like to check up on me here)

    So the actual four words written by the hand (and yes, this is where we get the phrase "you can see the handwriting on the wall" from) would've been:

    MENE MENE TEKEL PARSIN

    Still, by all means, check up on me here. It's been too long since I've read that particular passage.

    * I don't meant to exclude Jews here, but most of them read the Torah in Hebrew to begin with, so...
  • by stripes (3681) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @11:19PM (#8323293) Homepage Journal
    Compare this to other important commercial "stewardships", such as Postscript and PDF as managed by Adobe.[...]But I think the Free Software community should hold higher standards of Freedom to language technologies like Java, whereas we may be willing to give a little more slack to data formats like PDF.

    FYI PostScript is a turing complete programing language, and not just "in theory, but who would want to use it?" either. It's a pretty good language, at least if you like FORTH like languages. So if you go holding higher standards for programming languages, don't give PostScript short shrift!

    Personally I think "open" languages will tend to do better, C may have been owned by AT&T at one point, but they never pressed the point. C++ also gets developed "in the open" (despite coming from AT&T also). Perl and most other popular languages I can think of are "open". Even SQL has a openly devloped ANSI core, of corse almost every DB vender pisses on it to make it "smell proprietary" (or was that to "add value"?). I think that is why it tends to be less popular then a language of it's power ought to be.

    That pretty much just leaves Visual Basic and Java as definitely not-open languages that are popular (and Java tries to be open-ish, I think technically the language is, but the libraries are not).

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