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Java To Be Opened For Christmas? 243

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the ho-ho-ho dept.
MBCook writes "At the Oracle OpenWorld conference, Sun's CEO Jonathan Schwartz announced on Wednesday morning that Java would be opened within 30-60 days, which would would mean about Christmas Day at the latest. Sun first announced they would do this back in May at JavaOne but didn't give a date. We've seen rumblings before on this topic. Schwartz also commented on the companies Sun Fire servers, Sun's relationship with Oracle, and general trends."
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Java To Be Opened For Christmas?

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  • 64-bit (Score:5, Interesting)

    by compm375 (847701) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @06:58PM (#16602180)
    Now maybe we can have a Java plug-in for 64-bit browsers.
    • Re:64-bit (Score:5, Insightful)

      by EmperorKagato (689705) * <sakamura@gmail.com> on Thursday October 26, 2006 @07:07PM (#16602280) Homepage Journal
      or Java that utilizes the 64 bit arch as well as take advantage of dual core processing and hyperthreading.
    • Re:64-bit (Score:5, Informative)

      by thebluesgnr (941962) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @07:23PM (#16602468)
      We already have one.

      http://packages.debian.org/unstable/net/gcjwebplug in [debian.org]

      [alpha, amd64, arm, hppa, i386, ia64, m68k, mips, mipsel, powerpc, s390, sparc]
      • Re:64-bit (Score:5, Funny)

        by brunes69 (86786) <<gro.daetsriek> <ta> <todhsals>> on Thursday October 26, 2006 @07:31PM (#16602542) Homepage
        I have never hard the GCJ web plugin actually *work* for a single site I visit. All it seems to know how to do is pop up a window with exceptions in it.
      • Re:64-bit (Score:5, Informative)

        by compm375 (847701) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @07:33PM (#16602586)
        True, there are gcj and blackdown, but I was referring to a Sun Java that had a 64-bit browser plug-in. I thought it was implied given an open Sun Java was what the article is about. I appreciate the efforts going into non-Sun Java implementations, but as of now they don't quite have full compatibility.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by CastrTroy (595695)
          But is it going to be Open source like OO.o is open source? The problem (AFAIK) with OO.o is that they have a huge code base that nobody understands, and that it's hard to actually get them to accept changes from outside their special little group of programmers. I hope that open sourcing Java ends up being better than open sourcing StarOffice ended up.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Blackdown provides a 64-bit plugin. It has even more stablity problems with almost no human noticable performance benefits. There are some advantages to using a 64-bit JRE such as SSL/TLS in Tomcat (and other servers side applications) but for 99% of client side webapps that just does not seem to be the case. Also, using a 64-bit browser also means no Adobe/Macromedia Flash Player plugin for you! I know some YouTube junkies that "need" Flash more than they need Java.
    • by ivoras (455934)
      I hope people remember this thread a few years from now. People who don't contribute to Java now (and they can, the development process is open enough) will certainly not contribute when few words in the license is changed, and if they do, it's likely Java will get fragmented because of it (see Firefox/Iceweasel debacle - who wants applications that run only on Debian's "distribution" of Java?).
  • Co-ffeee... (Score:2, Funny)

    by Thisfox (994296)
    Mmmm... Java with the lid off, so we can see the coffee inside...

    Sorry, couldn't resist, must have had too much caffiene thismorning...
    • there is no such thing as too much caffeine :)
      • by N3Roaster (888781)
        Sure there is. Personally, I hit my limit with 20 shots of espresso within 2 hours (why yes, I do get paid to drink coffee). You can also overdose on caffeine, but not just from drinking coffee.
  • License (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Tribbin (565963) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @07:07PM (#16602274) Homepage
    Under what license?
  • If I'm getting java for Christmas, it should be gift wrapped. An espresso machine would be nice too.
  • Java would be opened with 30-60 days

    within methinks
  • by jmorris42 (1458) *
    I'll believe it when it happens. My money is on them releasing under a horrid unfree license and calling it Open Source.

    But at this point it really doesn't matter anymore. GCJ already builds many major Java based apps into either Java bytecode or native executables and has long since passed the point where development would be hindered by a Open Source/Free Software release of Sun's version.

    GCJ is now bringing a lot more to the table than just cloning the Sun stuff. Sun would never do native executables
    • by Kjella (173770) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @07:32PM (#16602560) Homepage
      Something I have been wondering.... GCC now accepts Java source and emits either native binaries or Java bytecode. Can it take C/C++/etc and emit bytecode? If it is treating bytecode as just another target what if a C# frontend were written? Could gcc take C# on input and emit Java bytecode on the other end? And if a mono backend were added could it compile Java source to it? And if this all came to pass would it be a sure sign the end of times were at hand?

      Just on a wild guess, since C/C++ doesn't target a VM it'd be like saying "we can get assembler code from C, why can't we get C from assembler code?" Going from byte code is easy (well, not really but...) since eventually the byte code has to run on actual hardware, but I don't think there's any good reverse mapping. In the end, I think you'd end up building a x86 VM inside the Java VM, which would have some terrible overhead.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by RAMMS+EIN (578166)
        ``In the end, I think you'd end up building a x86 VM inside the Java VM''

        Not really. GCC generates x86 code in the backend, which operates on some intermediate language. If the same intermediate language is generated from the Java frontend and the C frontend, and the Java bytecode backend handles that full language, it would be possible to compile C to Java bytecode.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by DeadMeat (TM) (233768)

          If the same intermediate language is generated from the Java frontend and the C frontend

          It isn't, if you're targetting bytecode. Bytecode is handled as a special case which bypasses GCC's RTL representation.

          Since the JVM doesn't allow arbitrary access to memory, it's not feasible to make a Java bytecode backend for GCC. (Java bytecode is Turing complete, so it's technically possible; but you'd have to resort to ugly hacks like representing memory as a gigantic, flat array of bytes.)

        • by petermgreen (876956) <plugwashNO@SPAMp10link.net> on Thursday October 26, 2006 @08:46PM (#16603260) Homepage
          If the same intermediate language is generated from the Java frontend and the C frontend, and the Java bytecode backend handles that full language, it would be possible to compile C to Java bytecode.

          my understanding was it was more like

          java-->java bytecode-->GCC internal-->native code

          the trouble with java bytecode is that if you wan't it to run on suns vm and certainly if you wan't it to run in any kind of restricted environment it has to pass the bytecode verifier. Short of essentially having an emulated main ram with a C heap inside it (possible but almost certainly not good for performance) passing the bytecode verifier with something compiled from C would be pretty damn hard.
    • by brunes69 (86786)

      Something I have been wondering.... GCC now accepts Java source and emits either native binaries or Java bytecode. Can it take C/C++/etc and emit bytecode?

      No.

      If it is treating bytecode as just another target what if a C# frontend were written? Could gcc take C# on input and emit Java bytecode on the other end? And if a mono backend were added could it compile Java source to it? And if this all came to pass would it be a sure sign the end of times were at hand?

      Mono can already do all of this - mono can

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by kevin_conaway (585204)

      GCJ is now bringing a lot more to the table than just cloning the Sun stuff. Sun would never do native executables because it doesn't fit into their 'vision.' The JVM and Write Once Debug Everywhere has no real place in the Free Software world.

      WODE is a silly myth promoted by people with an axe to grind, usually those who have no real world experience with Java. Its extremely easy to write portable code in java, but java won't stop you from writing unportable code, just like any other language.

      In the Free

    • by AnyoneEB (574727)

      Something I have been wondering.... GCC now accepts Java source and emits either native binaries or Java bytecode. Can it take C/C++/etc and emit bytecode? If it is treating bytecode as just another target what if a C# frontend were written? Could gcc take C# on input and emit Java bytecode on the other end? And if a mono backend were added could it compile Java source to it? And if this all came to pass would it be a sure sign the end of times were at hand?

      The problem with that is Java bytecode assumes ac

    • by jasondlee (70657)
      The JVM and Write Once Debug Everywhere has no real place in the Free Software world.

      How did you come to that conclusion?

      This question brought to you by the letters Q, E, and D.
    • Something I have been wondering.... GCC now accepts Java source and emits either native binaries or Java bytecode. Can it take C/C++/etc and emit bytecode? If it is treating bytecode as just another target what if a C# frontend were written? Could gcc take C# on input and emit Java bytecode on the other end? And if a mono backend were added could it compile Java source to it? And if this all came to pass would it be a sure sign the end of times were at hand?

      I know it's too late for anyone to read anyway

    • by Jesus_666 (702802)
      GCJ is now bringing a lot more to the table than just cloning the Sun stuff. Sun would never do native executables because it doesn't fit into their 'vision.' The JVM and Write Once Debug Everywhere has no real place in the Free Software world.

      Except for those projects who don't want to fight with managing target platforms. Unlike most C++ libraries Java runs somewhat decently everywhere. No working around OS-specific compiler quirks, GTK not using Aqua on MacOS or Windows not supporting half of the libr
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by LarsWestergren (9033)
      The JVM and Write Once Debug Everywhere has no real place in the Free Software world.

      Sez you. In the real world, java has been the language with the most projects on Sourceforge for quite some time. There are also many other repositories. So you don't speak for the majority.

      In the Free world portability comes from automake/autoconf and doesn't need to pay the emulation overhead of a virtual machine or any of the other problems.

      Again, the majority of languages today, including the open source world, target a
  • by jonwil (467024) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @07:19PM (#16602408)
    Open source VMs already exist, what we need is for sun to open source the java libraries.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by RAMMS+EIN (578166)
      ``Open source VMs already exist''

      Yes, but do they handle the full language that Sun's VM handles, and are they as fast?
      • Yes, but do they handle the full language that Sun's VM handles, and are they as fast?

        The 'language' is quite small, it's just the virtual instruction set. Most of the Java platform is the runtime library, which is huge. There are a few non-Sun VMs, and some of them are very fast. The problem is implementing the libraries, and this is difficult because they are so big. The Classpath and Harmony projects are working towards this, but having Sun release theirs under a Free Software license would make

  • Finally (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Ajehals (947354) <a.halsall@pirateparty.org.uk> on Thursday October 26, 2006 @07:21PM (#16602428) Homepage Journal
    FTA it looks like it really is, finally about to be reality (:)), Java under an OSI approved license. Not only that but within 60 days and all because of pressure from the community - I wonder where else that might work (drivers? - nah need a bigger market share...).

    It looks like Sun Microsystems are starting to see the benefits of Open Source technology, first Open Office (Under the GPL no less) then Solaris and now Java, - I can only hope it catches on throughout the industry.

    Just a couple of points - I know that Java isn't being released under the GPL, and that there are still some interesting debates going on about the CCDL and interoperability with the GPL (I wont even pretend to know the precise issues), but it is definitely a good thing. Since Sun Microsystems is primarily seen as a hardware company, and presumably isn't too worried about the revenue's it is losing from the software sales it could have had (I know this doesn't apply to Java but it could have to Open Office and did to Solaris) it does mean that nothing that they are doing can be readily applied to a Software company. So anybody suggesting that Microsoft et al should start Open Sourcing their code because it works for Sun Microsystems is probably a little off the mark.

    Well anyway - Be a good day when it *actually* happens and his is very good news. I wonder if I should look at using Java...

    PS: By the way (and slightly random) my spell checker in OO.org attempts to correct CCDL as CUDDLY and GNU-GPL as SNUGGLE, how sweet.
  • by Gracenotes (1001843) <wikigracenotes@gma i l . com> on Thursday October 26, 2006 @07:22PM (#16602446)
    The dichotomy that exists between Microsoft Java (which is pretty bad) and Sun Java is, if not jarring, quite irritating. Thankfully, Sun Java is the norm. But if Sun Java is released under the GPL, I expect to see several more versions of Java, most of them incompatible with each other, coming out soon. Iceweasel, anyone?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Ajehals (947354)
      Good point,

      And wasnt that why Sun Microsystems were *not* going to Open Java? Im sure I remember reading that they wanted to maintain control of the development of the language and its implementation, although that was a long while ago.

      I wouldn't though compare this to the Debian - Firefox - Iceweasel scenario though, as Debian are not Forking Firefox, developing it independently and making it less compatible, but simply working around some (legitimate) issues that Debian have with Mozilla. (and Mozilla has
      • Actually, the FireFox IceWeasel thing is an excellent comparison. Sun might open the Java code, but they would retain the Java trademark. If you wanted to fork Java, you couldn't call the result Java. Any Java application would work on any Java(TM) VM, but it might not work on a KenyanPeaberry VM.
    • by Shados (741919) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @07:31PM (#16602554)
      Yeah, that would be pretty bad. This is something that has always been bothering me, but I just thought about something while reading your post.

      While not 100% true in all cases, the beauty of java isn't really in the base JVM, its in J2EE. At least, it is what pushes it in the corporate space, where the money is. With that in mind, a specific J2EE implementation usualy has a couple of "supported" JVMs (sometimes only one even). So I suspect even these alternate JVMs, at least the serious ones (which would want to work with J2EE, or else be forgotten), will stay in line (read: compatible) with the commercial J2EE implementations, or die. So while we WILL see a bunch of weirdo useless JVM/Java implementations (I realise both aren't the same thing, but the logic still stands), there should be a couple that stay at the top, and we'll just use those.
      • It's funny that you should say that. From what I heard, EJB3 (part of J2EE 5) uses annotations extensively. Annotations are a core J2SE 5 feature.
    • by DragonWriter (970822) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @07:32PM (#16602574)
      But if Sun Java is released under the GPL, I expect to see several more versions of Java, most of them incompatible with each other, coming out soon.


      So? There already are several more versions of Java. What keeps the ones that succeed largely compatible isn't licensing (as the non-Sun, non-Microsoft ones are reverse-engineered, not licensed) but the fact that there is no interest in incompatible "Java". Releasing Sun's implementation under the GPL (or the CCDL, or, heck, into the public domain) isn't going to change that.

    • The dichotomy that exists between Microsoft Java (which is pretty bad) and Sun Java is, if not jarring, quite irritating. Thankfully, Sun Java is the norm. But if Sun Java is released under the GPL, I expect to see several more versions of Java, most of them incompatible with each other, coming out soon. Iceweasel, anyone?

      I see what you're doing there..

    • by geekoid (135745)
      "Iceweasel, anyone?"
      No thanks, my pants are already full.
    • But if Sun Java is released under the GPL, I expect to see several more versions of Java, most of them incompatible with each other, coming out soon. Iceweasel, anyone?

      This is why open computing is not based only on the available of open source. Another key element of open computing is open standards. Java has open standards; you can go download the Java Language Specification [sun.com] and check if any given implementation conforms to it or not. You can also go download the Java Virtual Machine Specification [sun.com]

      • you can go download the Java Language Specification and check if any given implementation conforms to it or not. You can also go download the Java Virtual Machine Specification and see if some compiler is producing correct bytecode or if some JVM is running the bytecode correctly.

        But how big is the Java Library Specification? How can one be sure that an implementation of all of java.* and javax.* is 1. possible within human life span and 2. correct?

    • In case you forgot, Sun sued [sun.com] Microsoft to stop them from diverging (further) from the standard.

      The end result was Microsoft creating .NET to compete with Java.
  • the terms of Suns open initiate are so strict that Im not really all that excited.. you see how great it was for openSolaris.. it was a touted as a Linux killer??? well , in short .. nothing is gong to change..
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by petermgreen (876956)
      there is a big difference

      solaris was never a big player on anything other than (expensive) sun hardware and even there linux was creeping in.

      sun java is the primary implementation of java. That is it is what everyone writes there code to work with and what you expect to find if you purchase java hosting.

      as to the license terms iirc the CDDL is a mozilla like license, incompatible with the GPL (but then so is nearly every copyleft license other than the GPL itself). Opensourcing the real thing will remove mo
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by TheRaven64 (641858)
      The CDDL, under which OpenSolaris is licensed, is approved by the OSI, and the FSF calls it a Free Software license. The 'restrictions' are things like patent defence clauses. Will OpenSolaris kill Linux? I don't know, but for a new installation I would definitely chose it; there are a number of features where OpenSolaris wins over Linux (ZFS by itself would be a major winner), which are not likely to be ported to Linux since the CDDL is not GPL compatible.
  • by Big Jojo (50231) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @07:38PM (#16602652)

    Still wondering if this means they'll be opening up specs on how the ARM Java acceleration works ... it would be nice to have some of those free JVMs able to use that to speed up their bytecode interpretation.

    For those of you who don't know about this, most modern ARM CPUs -- like the ARM-926ejs as found in the Nokia 770 and many cell phones -- include three processor modes: (1) pure 32bit ARM instructions, (2) a 16-bit compressed version of ARM instructions called "Thumb", widely used in microcontrollers, (3) an 8-bit Java bytecode interpreter. The first two have public documentation. But ARM won't give docs to the last out, because Sun won't let them do that; you need a separate licence from Sun to get those documents. So it's fully within Sun's power to open up some widely available Linux-savvy hardware to run Java a lot better ...

    There's another CPU that's in the same kind of boat, the new AVR32 from Atmel. You may have noticed that Linux 2.6.19-rc includes initial support for that architecture. AVR32 CPUs have analogues of (1) and (3) above ... but again, Atmel won't give docs to the Java acceleration out, because Sun won't let them do that. (And for background info: yes AVR32 is very new, likely its audience today is almost all developers, only one model of chip available so far.)

    So how about it, Sun ... are you really going to open Java up??

  • Sun has a multi-decade track record of talking about opening things, but not really doing it.

    I'll belive this is really "open" when (if) I see it and it's really open.

    And if so it will be a first for Sun.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by TheRaven64 (641858)
      You're so right! They never open sourced NFS. They never open sourced OpenOffice after buying it from Star Division. They certainly never opened any of Solaris or J2ME.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by kaffiene (38781)
      Fucking moron. Sun have OS'd more software than anyone else I can think of.

      OpenOffice,
      OpenSolaris,
      NFS,
      Netbeans,
      GlassFish
      etc etc

      Sun also contributes to Gnome, X.org, PostGreSQL, Mozilla and many other projects.

      Get a fucking clue and stop spreading the same old FUD.
  • ... the new Amiga is just around the corner!

    I'll believe it when it happens.

  • A wise zen monk went into a fast-food joint and said "Make me one with everything."

    An even wiser zen monk didn't go into a fast-food joint, and said
    "Make me one OF everything."

    One standard version of core Java things like the language definition, bytecode definition,
    and the annointed standard libraries is absolutely ESSENTIAL to Java's continued success.

    Because "one of everything" means that a java app and library code-sharing culture and a
    shared and reusable expertise can flourish. Fragmentation of the cor
  • IBM Trolls (Score:5, Interesting)

    by javacowboy (222023) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @10:42PM (#16604130)
    I can't believe how many IBM trolls are in this thread (and Slashdot as a whole) decrying Sun's lack of a track record in open sourcing their stuff.

    Have they ever heard of NFS? OpenOffice? OpenSolaris?

    Is there something wrong with the CDDL that's not wrong with the Mozilla license? From what I understand, the CDDL is similar to the Mozilla license but simpler. I invite every single one of those armchair critics to stop using Firefox if they're so adamant.

    Unlike IBM (with the exception of Eclipse), Sun actually *open sources* stuff. I invite those IBM trolls to push their corporate master to open source WebSphere, DB2, Rational Rose, or Lotus Notes.
    • Re:IBM Trolls (Score:4, Insightful)

      by EvanED (569694) <evaned&gmail,com> on Friday October 27, 2006 @12:07AM (#16604668)
      Is there something wrong with the CDDL that's not wrong with the Mozilla license? From what I understand, the CDDL is similar to the Mozilla license but simpler. I invite every single one of those armchair critics to stop using Firefox if they're so adamant

      In all fairness, FF is dual-licensed under the GPL.
    • You don't need to be from IBM to be extremely skeptical about Sun's record of open sourcing Java. They have repeatedly promised to do that, and never done it. It's been many years now ...

      Do you maybe recall the whole bit about pushing Java through ECMA? The reason that fell down is that ECMA required real openness, and Sun was unwilling to let the reins loose enough to achieve that. So they created their own quasi-open "Community Process", which they control to a degree that is completely incompatible

  • I am surprised nobody mentioned Apache Harmony - http://incubator.apache.org/harmony/ [apache.org] - that's an open-source Java SE implementation.
  • by CyborgWarrior (633205) on Friday October 27, 2006 @02:10AM (#16605538) Homepage
    Than an open jar of java beans.

    Thank you, thank you, I'll be here all night!
  • Okay, now that Sun is releasing the source to Java for free, they are sure to make millions giving it away. Please run the stock up so I can cash out.

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