Linux Containers Authors: Derek Weeks, Pat Romanski, Hollis Tibbetts, Flint Brenton, Elizabeth White

Related Topics: Java IoT, Linux Containers

Java IoT: Article

"Letting Java Go" - James Gosling in 2003 on Open-Sourcing Java

"If we really let it go, what would happen?" asked James Gosling, at last year's JavaOne.

  • Read Eric S. Raymond's open letter to Scott McNealy, "Let Java Go"

    When asked by a Computerworld reporter back in June 2003 what the latest thinking was at Sun on making Java open-source, Gosling replied:

    "I am certainly one of the people who would love to make it open-source. But it's hard for two reasons. One is that open-source ways of dealing with software work really well so long as you get this sort of collegial atmosphere. If you happen to have a bully on the block who is really strong, it really doesn't work. We have this history of having been victimized, and there are lots of people who are nervous about that."

    "The other issue," Gosling continued, "is that when you've got a platform technology like Java, there are really two sides to the community. There are the people who are building the platform, and the people who are using the platform."

    "From the point of view of the people who are using the platform, one of the most valuable things about Java is the consistency, the interoperability. And from the platform providers' side of the world, they feel it's this sort of tension. On the one hand, they just want to go off and do whatever they damn well please. On the other hand, they know that if they did that, they'd be cutting themselves off from some developers."

    "Being involved with interoperability is something that most manufacturers have this love-hate thing with," Gosling added. "So we've tended to have our licenses be as close to open-source as we can be, while maintaining the one thing that we really care about, which is interoperability."

    Given those arguments he'd adduced himself, he was then asked: do you still favor open-source for Java?

    "I believe all of those arguments are actually correct," he replied. "The question for me is, have we gotten to a point where market pressures will enforce the values of the developer community? Are we someplace where there's no one player who could just take over and be the bully on the block? And I think we're basically there. But different people have different opinions on that."

    Could Java go open-source soon, he was asked. (Remember, this was June 2003.) "It could conceivably happen soon," sais Gosling, "although Sun is kind of a funny company. I don't really know what the right word is. We aren't like a dictatorship. We don't have somebody in the center that's the ultimate control. We aren't like a really hierarchical company. We're a consensus company, which in some ways is lovely and in some ways is completely maddening."

    Gosling concluded: "And this has been a point on which I think everybody agrees on the basic arguments about why we need to protect [Java], and I buy those arguments. The question is then, How do you enforce that? And right now, the argument is mostly, Are we there yet? If we really let it go, what would happen? And there are enough people that are pretty nervous. Right now, that's kind of where the consensus is, but it's slowly been inching away."

  • More Stories By Java News Desk

    JDJ News Desk monitors the world of Java to present IT professionals with updates on technology advances, business trends, new products and standards in the Java and i-technology space.

    Comments (7) View Comments

    Share your thoughts on this story.

    Add your comment
    You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

    In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

    Most Recent Comments
    Paul Hobbs 03/01/04 04:15:35 AM EST

    The SUN brand gives the product credability, besides we have more than enough open-source development kits.

    carld 02/20/04 08:28:27 AM EST

    What are the fears or main reason to Open Source?
    Is it for market position?
    Is it for many minds focusing on new ideas?
    Is it forking the language?
    Is it because everyone wants to bite the hand that feed em?
    Is it branding?

    I think we should leave it be for now.
    And have a better voting methodology for bug parade and JCP.
    Preserve a good thing... (WORA)
    Why was this a good thing 3-4 years ago, and now it doesn''t really make a whole lot difference. When you open source it, it is really for the API developers. Those are the folks who are want permission to mess with the underlying implementation (JNI,C,C++). I believe that many Users of the API want to jump on the band wagon, and may not realize what is good for the platform. When you fork the JVM it would be called XVM or XYZVM?

    Just becareful what you wish for...



    Ray 02/17/04 04:47:00 PM EST

    My company has concentrated exclusively on Java development since 1998. I know what''s good about it and I know its weak points, probably as well as Sun''s internal Java team does. Open source would kill it, and anyone who thinks otherwise is just too short-sighted to be making such a significant decision. I''d give Sun a billion dollars for Java before I''d let them open source it.

    Scott Sauyet 02/17/04 08:12:50 AM EST

    > The advantage of this would be that it would allow other
    > groups to do a fork if they wanted to, without losing the
    > official Sun brand of Java...

    However, I think a fork is exactly what Gosling is saying Sun fears. Right or wrong, this is an understandable concern. Java has managed to make it as far as it has in part because the community has never been able to become fractured.

    I think that Eric Raymond is right, and the time is right to release Java, but I certainly understand the concerns.

    David Fraser 02/17/04 02:14:35 AM EST

    The trouble with this argument is that it assumes "open-source" and "community-driven management" are the same thing. It would still be possible to move to an open source license, but keep the management structure controlled by Sun. The advantage of this would be that it would allow other groups to do a fork if they wanted to, without losing the official Sun brand of Java...

    jay 02/15/04 11:36:14 AM EST

    Yeah right: and Sun was going to do it in 1998 too, if one believed the Wired report of the time ("Open-Source Java at Last?" by Niall McKay.)

    ashishK 02/15/04 11:32:19 AM EST

    "Sun should go for broke on open-source Java and scare Microsoft away in the bargain." So said Nicholas Petreley, founding editor of LinuxWorld

    @ThingsExpo Stories
    We're entering the post-smartphone era, where wearable gadgets from watches and fitness bands to glasses and health aids will power the next technological revolution. With mass adoption of wearable devices comes a new data ecosystem that must be protected. Wearables open new pathways that facilitate the tracking, sharing and storing of consumers’ personal health, location and daily activity data. Consumers have some idea of the data these devices capture, but most don’t realize how revealing and...
    A completely new computing platform is on the horizon. They’re called Microservers by some, ARM Servers by others, and sometimes even ARM-based Servers. No matter what you call them, Microservers will have a huge impact on the data center and on server computing in general. Although few people are familiar with Microservers today, their impact will be felt very soon. This is a new category of computing platform that is available today and is predicted to have triple-digit growth rates for some ...
    In past @ThingsExpo presentations, Joseph di Paolantonio has explored how various Internet of Things (IoT) and data management and analytics (DMA) solution spaces will come together as sensor analytics ecosystems. This year, in his session at @ThingsExpo, Joseph di Paolantonio from DataArchon, will be adding the numerous Transportation areas, from autonomous vehicles to “Uber for containers.” While IoT data in any one area of Transportation will have a huge impact in that area, combining sensor...
    SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftNet Solutions will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SoftNet Solutions specializes in Enterprise Solutions for Hadoop and Big Data. It offers customers the most open, robust, and value-conscious portfolio of solutions, services, and tools for the shortest route to success with Big Data. The unique differentiator is the ability to architect and ...
    SYS-CON Events announced today that MathFreeOn will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MathFreeOn is Software as a Service (SaaS) used in Engineering and Math education. Write scripts and solve math problems online. MathFreeOn provides online courses for beginners or amateurs who have difficulties in writing scripts. In accordance with various mathematical topics, there are more tha...
    The best way to leverage your Cloud Expo presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at Cloud Expo. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audiences.
    More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smar...
    @ThingsExpo has been named the Top 5 Most Influential Internet of Things Brand by Onalytica in the ‘The Internet of Things Landscape 2015: Top 100 Individuals and Brands.' Onalytica analyzed Twitter conversations around the #IoT debate to uncover the most influential brands and individuals driving the conversation. Onalytica captured data from 56,224 users. The PageRank based methodology they use to extract influencers on a particular topic (tweets mentioning #InternetofThings or #IoT in this ...
    SYS-CON Events announced today that Niagara Networks will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Niagara Networks offers the highest port-density systems, and the most complete Next-Generation Network Visibility systems including Network Packet Brokers, Bypass Switches, and Network TAPs.
    In an era of historic innovation fueled by unprecedented access to data and technology, the low cost and risk of entering new markets has leveled the playing field for business. Today, any ambitious innovator can easily introduce a new application or product that can reinvent business models and transform the client experience. In their Day 2 Keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Mercer Rowe, IBM Vice President of Strategic Alliances, and Raejeanne Skillern, Intel Vice President of Data Center Group and ...
    Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, will discuss the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
    Virgil consists of an open-source encryption library, which implements Cryptographic Message Syntax (CMS) and Elliptic Curve Integrated Encryption Scheme (ECIES) (including RSA schema), a Key Management API, and a cloud-based Key Management Service (Virgil Keys). The Virgil Keys Service consists of a public key service and a private key escrow service. 

    Fact is, enterprises have significant legacy voice infrastructure that’s costly to replace with pure IP solutions. How can we bring this analog infrastructure into our shiny new cloud applications? There are proven methods to bind both legacy voice applications and traditional PSTN audio into cloud-based applications and services at a carrier scale. Some of the most successful implementations leverage WebRTC, WebSockets, SIP and other open source technologies. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Da...
    Fifty billion connected devices and still no winning protocols standards. HTTP, WebSockets, MQTT, and CoAP seem to be leading in the IoT protocol race at the moment but many more protocols are getting introduced on a regular basis. Each protocol has its pros and cons depending on the nature of the communications. Does there really need to be only one protocol to rule them all? Of course not. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, walk you through how Oct...
    SYS-CON Events announced today that Embotics, the cloud automation company, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Embotics is the cloud automation company for IT organizations and service providers that need to improve provisioning or enable self-service capabilities. With a relentless focus on delivering a premier user experience and unmatched customer support, Embotics is the fas...
    The Internet of Things (IoT), in all its myriad manifestations, has great potential. Much of that potential comes from the evolving data management and analytic (DMA) technologies and processes that allow us to gain insight from all of the IoT data that can be generated and gathered. This potential may never be met as those data sets are tied to specific industry verticals and single markets, with no clear way to use IoT data and sensor analytics to fulfill the hype being given the IoT today.
    @ThingsExpo has been named the Top 5 Most Influential M2M Brand by Onalytica in the ‘Machine to Machine: Top 100 Influencers and Brands.' Onalytica analyzed the online debate on M2M by looking at over 85,000 tweets to provide the most influential individuals and brands that drive the discussion. According to Onalytica the "analysis showed a very engaged community with a lot of interactive tweets. The M2M discussion seems to be more fragmented and driven by some of the major brands present in the...
    The Quantified Economy represents the total global addressable market (TAM) for IoT that, according to a recent IDC report, will grow to an unprecedented $1.3 trillion by 2019. With this the third wave of the Internet-global proliferation of connected devices, appliances and sensors is poised to take off in 2016. In his session at @ThingsExpo, David McLauchlan, CEO and co-founder of Buddy Platform, discussed how the ability to access and analyze the massive volume of streaming data from millio...
    SYS-CON Events announced today that Pulzze Systems will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Pulzze Systems, Inc. provides infrastructure products for the Internet of Things to enable any connected device and system to carry out matched operations without programming. For more information, visit http://www.pulzzesystems.com.
    WebRTC has had a real tough three or four years, and so have those working with it. Only a few short years ago, the development world were excited about WebRTC and proclaiming how awesome it was. You might have played with the technology a couple of years ago, only to find the extra infrastructure requirements were painful to implement and poorly documented. This probably left a bitter taste in your mouth, especially when things went wrong.