As was anticipated, today at the start of JavaOne, Jonathan Schwartz has stated that the source-code to Java will be RELEASED. This source-code will hopefully create Java as an independent entity of Sun Microsystems, in the event the company goes under or other circumstances arise. No word yet on when or how the code will be released. More information on Sun's promise is here.
With today's open-source announcement of Java by Sun Microsystems, they have also announced the recast of Java licensing for GNU/Linux and OpenSolaris communities. The new license allows distributors to include Java SE 5.0 Java Development Kit and Java Runtime Environment as installable packages. Among the projects already after including Java with their software is Ubuntu, Debian distributions, Gentoo, NexentaOS, Schillix, and BeleniX -- many more announcements are expected soon. More information is in the Sun press release.
Many speculations have been flying around the Internet in regards to Sun Microsystems potentially open-sourcing Java. While we likely won't hear a yea or nay until JavaOne, there has been an open-letter from a former Sun CEO to the new Sun CEO -- Johnathan Schwartz. In this letter, the push is made to open-source Java, including the Java Virtual Machine. If Java were open-source, the point was made that it could be more competitive with Microsoft's .NET. The open-source Java situation will certainly be an interesting subject matter at JavaOne Conference 2006, which runs from May 16 to 19 in San Francisco CA. The letter can be found at ZDNet.
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