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Java to be Open Sourced in October 267

Posted by Zonk
from the coffee-in-the-fall dept.
thePowerOfGrayskull writes "Sun is now stating that the Hotspot JVM and javac will be open-sourced in October of this year, with the rest to follow by the end of 2007. There is still no word as to which license it will be released under. For those who haven't seen it yet, Sun has previously opened a public developer community site for soliciting feedback and providing updates about the process."
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Java to be Open Sourced in October

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @12:21PM (#15911304)
    In both the summary and the article, they stated: "There is still no word as to which license it will be released under."

    Your post doesn't add anything to this discussion, we're all aware of the many different meanings of 'open source' as well as 'free.' This is Slashdot where people nitpick all day, the article clearly says that they haven't released license details yet!
  • Re:Big deal for OSS (Score:4, Informative)

    by silvaran (214334) on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @12:27PM (#15911351)
    Well Joe can release whatever Java interpreter he wants, there's no guarantee that anyone's going to use it. You could have 500 different forks of the Java code (license permitting), but unless they provide some huge advantage and become mainstream (see egcs/gcc, which turned out to be a good thing from what I've heard), the conformant Java interpreters/compilers/runtimes are going to remain the de facto ones to use. And Joe can sit there and run his modified version of the Java platform all he wants, while everyone else happily sticks to the comformant platforms.
  • by powerlord (28156) on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @12:40PM (#15911448) Journal
    C# is just a language. There is a specification for it that has been submitted to ECMA, as there are for lots of the pieces that make up MicroSoft's ".Net" initiative. Not all their ideas are bad ones, and anyone is free to implement standards.

    To quote Mono's FAQ [mono-project.com] page:

    The Mono Project is an open development initiative sponsored by Novell to develop an open source, UNIX version of the Microsoft .NET development platform. Its objective is to enable UNIX developers to build and deploy cross-platform .NET Applications. The project implements various technologies developed by Microsoft that have now been submitted to the ECMA for standardization.

    Personally its a rather nice language.

    Oh, as far as:
    There are also potential patent issues (I can't believe that there would be _no_ patents that cover C#.)

    Unless you know something the rest of us don't, this strikes me more as spreading FUD then anything else.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @12:41PM (#15911461)
    good joke. You mean a big project, or a big system. A big project doesn't mean a big system with hardcore availability and concurrency requirements. A big project could just mean a big GUI, which would make sense to use C# instead of Swing. C# doesn't work on Unix or Mainframes, so the only choice is to get a big SMP windows box, which by most accounts is rare. Of course HP, NEC and IBM all offer large SMP windows servers, but I'm not aware of people buying them in quantities. I do know several banks that have several large mainframes. Most windows servers don't use more than 4 CPU, which doesn't count as big SMP. try 12 or more CPU's. Though 12 isn't considered big either by people who actually build big systems. 18+ CPU's with 20GB of RAM with hundreds of concurrent transactions is what I consider big. Your definition may not.
  • by ahmetaa (519568) on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @12:41PM (#15911462)
    well.. yes, java is still the most used platform in business and it is getting bigger. who is "we" you are talking about anyway? "we" here use java in all big applications and very happy about it.
  • Re:Big deal for OSS (Score:4, Informative)

    by mrogers (85392) on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @12:44PM (#15911483)
    There are already free JVMs [kaffe.org] and free Java compilers [gnu.org]. The problem is the class libraries. Java's standard libraries are huge, and free reimplementations are having a hard time keeping up [classpath.org]. Without the libraries, open source versions of javac and the JVM won't bring us significantly closer to the goal of a completely free Java platform.
  • by jeswin (981808) on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @01:26PM (#15911860) Homepage
    Mod parent up.

    The patent FUD concerning Mono is now dead, and Mono is included in Fedora are Suse distributions. I am sure Novell would have invested considerable effort in analyzing potential issues. Mono is a from scratch implementation. And no surprise, Miguel appeared in the Microsoft Technet Video [technet.com] explaining Mono last week and it was on slashdot.

    Here is a nice article by Paul Graham on SW Patents [paulgraham.com], which was Slashdotted [slashdot.org] earlier. What he says makes a lot of sense: But I doubt Microsoft would ever be so stupid. They'd face the mother of all boycotts. And not just from the technical community in general; a lot of their own people would rebel.

  • Re:Good (Score:5, Informative)

    by THEbwana (42694) on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @03:01PM (#15912881)
    Mmm.. thats my take as well.
    My background is 9 years in Finance/IT in various technical (mostly programming / systems engineering) roles in three European countries, working in financial institutions of the size 30K-130K employees.
    The only .Net stuff I've seen is on the client side of some internally developed trading systems. The serverside, however, is usually run as J2EE apps running in one of the many servlet/ejb containers you see in the marketplace nowadays... J2EE simply rules the serverside and SWING apps are seen quite frequently. My guess is that banks will be happier extending eclipse when writing their client apps than going the .Net route...
    Maybe the .Net route is more popular within other market segments ? Anyone working in another industry care to comment ?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @03:38PM (#15913471)
    Yep. Less is more.

    This is why in Java, there is no operator overloading. Except for the + and += operator, which get overloaded for string concatenation.

    And why Java uses a single inheritance model. Except for interfaces, which use a multiple inheritance model.

    Plus, Java keeps things simple by offering no unsigned primitives. Except for char, which is an unsigned 16-bit value.

    And as for const, it remains a reserved keyword in Java to this day.
  • by kmahan (80459) on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @03:47PM (#15913584)
    To me the real question is "When will Sun be releasing the various TCKs?" The conformance suites are what is needed to validate any of the java implementations and call them "Java" in the eyes of Sun (and their lawyers).

    As James Gosling has said -- the source to the JVMs and libraries has been available for 10 years. But the TCKs aren't available in source or binary form.
  • Re:who cares? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 16, 2006 @03:57PM (#15922563)
    For 6 years, I wrote high-performance CAD algorithms in Java. My company wrote efficient software that solved large NP-hard hardware place and route problems in 100% native Java. I have also spent years writing the same sort of software in C++ at industry leading companies.

    When it comes to raw memory, with tens of millions of small objects, C++ is better. When it comes to raw speed, C++ is also better, but not as much as many people think. When it comes to development speed, debugging, readability, refactoring, and general software agility, I find Java to be much better.

    And that ends up indirectly translating back into run-time and memory performance.

    Java allowed us to debug our code faster, find the performance problems, and optimize the critical loops and data structures while reimplementing better high-level algorithms.

    Meanwhile, C++ code tends to be bigger, less readable (IMHO), and more fragile. The language is saddled with vestiges of its past such as the preprocessor, separate header files (rather than interfaces), non-standard integer type sizes, and the inability to introduce incompatibilities with C, even at the cost of useful features. There are major components of C++-based CAD systems that people hesitate to re-write from scratch in C++, because of the amount of time they'd spend worrying about memory management (often reinventing a subset of a good garbage collector), dealing with efficient but unreadable STL adaptors, and debugging tricky pointer problems. I've written many of these components in Java and found them to be fairly reasonable projects.

    In general, I'd say it's harder to write C++ code than the functionally equivalent Java code, and that the extra effort only pays off in the critical 5% of your code. I will be the first to admit that STL code can be amazingly efficient. I just don't want to spend my life reading it. If you know what you're doing in Java, and have a good background in software architecture, engineering, and algorithms, you can usually find good ways to solve performance problems within the language, and sometimes end up with better code in the process.

    I admit to being biased toward Java (as well as python and other more modern languages). If you have your own preference, you're welcome to it. My real point is that as someone who has written high-performance software in Java for one of the most performance-demanding desktop applications anywhere, I believe that the language and development tools are certainly up to the task. It's hard to hear yet another person repeat the mantra that the language is too slow without showing me the critical code fragment that can't be made fast enough for their application.

Unix is the worst operating system; except for all others. -- Berry Kercheval

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