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Sun Microsystems Java Programming

ESR Responds to Sun's Claims of Being a Better Bazaar 310

UnixSphere writes "Sun has been quoted to have said, 'Sun's Java is developed more in the mode of the bazaar than Linux is,' which has prompted OSI President Eric Raymond to correct Sun's view of what open source really is."
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ESR Responds to Sun's Claims of Being a Better Bazaar

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 27, 2004 @11:40AM (#10930947)
    Say anything even remotely related to something ESR has spouted about in the past and you are guaranteed your very own personalized 8-page response. He's the most trollable man in the history of the Internet.

    "Why is this?" you might ask. It's governed by the simple fact that ESR has nothing better to spend his prodigious amounts of free time on than the literary equivalent of listening to himself speak. I really wish Slashdot wouldn't encourage this guy by posting a story about him, because he really doesn't matter.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 27, 2004 @11:47AM (#10930992)
    Eric Raymond didn't write Sendmail, it might explain alot if he had but I suspect you're thinking of the equally sucky fetchmail ( which he didn't write either IIRC ).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 27, 2004 @11:56AM (#10931046)
    Sun will not open source Solaris in the manner everyone is thinking! They will open up the code for review, but nobody will be allowed to use the code in their own software without paying money to sun.

    I dont see why everyone blindly trusts Sun. This is purely a publicity stunt. I repeat and let me make this clear .. Sun will not allow people to freely modify and/or re-use portions of the solaris code in their own products.

    Solaris will be "open sourced" so that people can browse the code (maybe having clicked through or signed an agreement essentially barring the signer from helping to make any competing operating system. Ever.

    There will be serious problems with Sun's license.

    Read my lips:

  • by ehack ( 115197 ) on Saturday November 27, 2004 @12:10PM (#10931120) Journal
    Sun's software was originally Stanford's and the various utilities were deveoped by whoever was hanging round the computer rooms - it might be better if ESR etc stopped trying to teach the Unix pioneers what Unix is.
  • Re:Free Forking? (Score:5, Informative)

    by SHEENmaster ( 581283 ) <travis.utk@edu> on Saturday November 27, 2004 @12:42PM (#10931302) Homepage Journal
    The difference is that Microsoft did it maliciously. If Sun forked an ancient version of Redhat, and sold it as Sun Redhat/Linux, Redhat would be rightfully pissed when people assumed that their modern software is crap because of it.

    When Microsoft implemented J++, they touted it as Java, but it lacked many features that became standard in Java, like Swing. Including their own VM with Windows made users think they had Java, when they didn't, such that Swing applets couldn't be generally deployed for years.

    I'm not defending Sun's claim that Java is more open than Linux, just that they had every right and every duty to keep Microsoft from fucking Java up for all of us.
  • by Kunta Kinte ( 323399 ) on Saturday November 27, 2004 @12:56PM (#10931387) Journal
    You are only stuck with the JRE for Java because Sun keeps you from having a choice. If Java were an open standard, there would be dozens of different implementations, and those implementations would work out amongst themselves what features were important core features and what features were vendor-specific extensions.

    Yeah right! Magical open-source developers will come out of nowhere right?

    If you want open-source Java, and feel serious about helping out, then you have GCJ [] and Kaffe [].

    Sun has allowed alternative JVMs for a long time and there are now many other JVMs [] to choose from.

    You have your opportunity you develop Open-source Java, put your time and money where your mouth is, support Kaffe [] today!

    Or do you just want to freeload off Sun's investement in their JVM?... Even if they already provide it for free.

  • Re:Free Forking? (Score:4, Informative)

    by UnknowingFool ( 672806 ) on Saturday November 27, 2004 @01:37PM (#10931597)
    Didn't Microsoft try to make their own Java implementation(J++) and didn't sun go after them for it because it didn't stick to the java standards? Is that open source?

    That's not really the same. Microsoft signed a licensing agreement with Sun to use and develop Java in Windows. One stipulation of the agreement was that their implementation had to comply with Java standard commands and protocols. Microsoft tried "embrace, extend, and extinguish" with Java by introducing more commands in their version than standard Java. That was Sun's main beef and this was all brought out during the antitrust trial.

    James Gosling testified that MS had 2 non standard commands and did not meet Sun's compatibility requirements as dictated by agreement. MS lawyers tried to paint Sun as jealous that MS created a faster, better version of Java. Gosling responded that Sun didn't care if the MS version was faster or better only that it was compatible.

    Gosling said incompatibility across different platforms was against the "write once, run anywhere" goal that Sun had wanted for Java. Incompatibility across platforms he said was what made C and C++ hard to program across different machines and fractured those languages. He wrote Java in part "from the scars that I acquired in doing C porting."

  • Re:Java (Score:2, Informative)

    by legirons ( 809082 ) on Saturday November 27, 2004 @02:08PM (#10931808)
    "As a side note, I can tell you that if Java were GPL'd, it would not have been used by any company I have worked for. They ALL had a strict policy against using GPL'd software"

    You don't need to care that a product is GPL licensed if you're only using it - you can do so without accepting the license.

    If that story is true, the people you worked for were either badly-informed, or confused about the difference between copying and distributing, or "religious zealots" with some non-business-related reason to dislike GPL software.

    I could understand why a company might not want to develop software using GPL'd code as a starting point, but to prohibit use of a product which places no license-related burdens on its users is just being silly and vindictive.

  • A better link... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Ermenwyr ( 835015 ) on Saturday November 27, 2004 @03:55PM (#10932505)
    For people who just want to read ESR's letter without a bunch of unnecessary comments interspersed throughout it: []
  • by iamsure ( 66666 ) on Saturday November 27, 2004 @04:02PM (#10932548) Homepage
    You stand an equal chance in both:

    With Linux, you have to convince the Linux coders.. thats Linus, and Alan Cox, and dozens of others. Linus has changed his mind on "NO!" answers before - several times, very publicly, after being convinced.

    With Sun, you have to convince the Sun committee. The Sun committee has also changed its mind on "NO!" answers before - although they've been 'smaller' issues generally (imho).

    Its pretty much equal on that point.

    The difference is that with Linux, you can take your idea/patch to the vendors, and get it included there. You cant really do that with Java (Microsoft tried that and got spanked for it).

    With Linux, you ALSO have the option of making your own and competiting it against Linux. Look at how useful and effective it was for the Xwindows project - now almost every major Linux distribution uses Xorg instead of X11.

    Forking is the critical point - not persuasive power.
  • by sparkz ( 146432 ) on Saturday November 27, 2004 @08:43PM (#10934198) Homepage
    Nice spin, Slashdot.
    Sun announce major news - Sun plans patent protection for open-source Solaris and then throw in a dig at ESR for good measure. Ignore the main story - a high-quality Open Source operating system about to enter the market, with an already-gained leading market share - this must mean that - all of a sudden - the majority of servers run an Open Source OS.
    Another pretty damn impressive contribution from Sun (and will presumably promote them from #2 contributor of Open Source software to the #1 global contributor of Open Source)

    So what does slashdot concentrate on? "Ooh, they slagged off ESR - that's our job". It's a bit like schoolkids, who have the attitude of "Don't call my sister a slut ... I can say it, but if you say it you've got a fight on your hands".

    The core of the source article [], which is not mentioned in the headline, is that

    When Sun Microsystems releases Solaris as open-source software, it plans to provide legal protection from patent-infringement suits to outsiders using or developing the operating system--one of several ways Sun hopes to make Solaris more competitive with Linux.
    But open-source developers using Solaris technology need not fear that Sun's patent arsenal will be used against them, Sun President Jonathan Schwartz said. "It is not our intent to say, 'Here is our intellectual property and we'll sue you,'" Schwartz said. Intellectual-property protection of open-source software has moved to the forefront in the computing industry as the result of matters such as the SCO Group's ongoing attack on Linux. That attack involved a now-scrapped charge that IBM stole SCO's Unix trade secrets and used them in Linux, and it still involves a claim that AutoZone's use of Linux violates Unix copyrights. Among the responses has been a Hewlett-Packard indemnification plan against SCO attacks and a warranty from Linux seller Red Hat promising to replace any infringing code.
    The "bazaar" stuff was just a dig at ESR (and don't we all enjoy that?), pointing out that while Linus controls what ends up on, the JCP, not Sun, control what ends up in Java. The JCP are elected by Java developers.
    In practice, if Linux used this model, I'm sure that nothing would change as most people seem happy with Linus controlling things. But there are developers who get frustrated when their stuff doesn't get into the main tree, which means that they have to keep maintaining their diff's for years on end, just because Linus doesn't like the patch.
    On the other end of the scale, there are some really poor drivers still in Linux which really do not deserve to be there, but the original author doesn't have to maintain diff's to keep it in the tree.

    That is all a really trivial admin issue, especially when compared to the main one that, to quote the headline, "Sun plans patent protection for open-source Solaris".

    That's BIG NEWS. The "bazaar" quibble is just Schwartz getting a dig in for the fun of it.

"Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats." -- Howard Aiken