Welcome!

Linux Containers Authors: Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Jyoti Bansal

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...

    -Carl

    -Carl

    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
    The 21st International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding busin...
    Existing Big Data solutions are mainly focused on the discovery and analysis of data. The solutions are scalable and highly available but tedious when swapping in and swapping out occurs in disarray and thrashing takes place. The resolution for thrashing through machine learning algorithms and support nomenclature is through simple techniques. Organizations that have been collecting large customer data are increasingly seeing the need to use the data for swapping in and out and thrashing occurs ...
    SYS-CON Events announced today that DivvyCloud will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. DivvyCloud software enables organizations to achieve their cloud computing goals by simplifying and automating security, compliance and cost optimization of public and private cloud infrastructure. Using DivvyCloud, customers can leverage programmatic Bots to identify and remediate common cloud problems in rea...
    In his opening keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Michael Maximilien, Research Scientist, Architect, and Engineer at IBM, will motivate why realizing the full potential of the cloud and social data requires artificial intelligence. By mixing Cloud Foundry and the rich set of Watson services, IBM's Bluemix is the best cloud operating system for enterprises today, providing rapid development and deployment of applications that can take advantage of the rich catalog of Watson services to help drive insigh...
    SYS-CON Events announced today that Tintri, Inc, a leading provider of enterprise cloud infrastructure, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Tintri offers an enterprise cloud platform built with public cloud-like web services and RESTful APIs. Organizations use Tintri all-flash storage with scale-out and automation as a foundation for their own clouds – to build agile development environments...
    A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
    SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudistics, an on-premises cloud computing company, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cloudistics delivers a complete public cloud experience with composable on-premises infrastructures to medium and large enterprises. Its software-defined technology natively converges network, storage, compute, virtualization, and management into a ...
    Every successful software product evolves from an idea to an enterprise system. Notably, the same way is passed by the product owner's company. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Oleg Lola, CEO of MobiDev, will provide a generalized overview of the evolution of a software product, the product owner, the needs that arise at various stages of this process, and the value brought by a software development partner to the product owner as a response to these needs.
    SYS-CON Events announced today that delaPlex will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. delaPlex pioneered Software Development as a Service (SDaaS), which provides scalable resources to build, test, and deploy software. It’s a fast and more reliable way to develop a new product or expand your in-house team.
    SYS-CON Events announced today that Technologic Systems Inc., an embedded systems solutions company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Technologic Systems is an embedded systems company with headquarters in Fountain Hills, Arizona. They have been in business for 32 years, helping more than 8,000 OEM customers and building over a hundred COTS products that have never been discontinued. Technologic Systems’ pr...
    With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @CloudExpo | @ThingsExpo, June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY and October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
    SYS-CON Events announced today that Tappest will exhibit MooseFS at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. MooseFS is a breakthrough concept in the storage industry. It allows you to secure stored data with either duplication or erasure coding using any server. The newest – 4.0 version of the software enables users to maintain the redundancy level with even 50% less hard drive space required. The software func...
    SYS-CON Events announced today that Outscale will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Outscale's technology makes an automated and adaptable Cloud available to businesses, supporting them in the most complex IT projects while controlling their operational aspects. You boost your IT infrastructure's reactivity, with request responses that only take a few seconds.
    New competitors, disruptive technologies, and growing expectations are pushing every business to both adopt and deliver new digital services. This ‘Digital Transformation’ demands rapid delivery and continuous iteration of new competitive services via multiple channels, which in turn demands new service delivery techniques – including DevOps. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit 20th Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Co-Chair Andi Mann, panelists will examine how DevOps helps to meet th...
    SYS-CON Events announced today that EARP will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. "We are a software house, so we perfectly understand challenges that other software houses face in their projects. We can augment a team, that will work with the same standards and processes as our partners' internal teams. Our teams will deliver the same quality within the required time and budget just as our partn...
    Most technology leaders, contemporary and from the hardware era, are reshaping their businesses to do software in the hope of capturing value in IoT. Although IoT is relatively new in the market, it has already gone through many promotional terms such as IoE, IoX, SDX, Edge/Fog, Mist Compute, etc. Ultimately, irrespective of the name, it is about deriving value from independent software assets participating in an ecosystem as one comprehensive solution.
    In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
    SYS-CON Events announced today that A&I Solutions has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Founded in 1999, A&I Solutions is a leading information technology (IT) software and services provider focusing on best-in-class enterprise solutions. By partnering with industry leaders in technology, A&I assures customers high performance levels across all IT environments including: mai...
    Five years ago development was seen as a dead-end career, now it’s anything but – with an explosion in mobile and IoT initiatives increasing the demand for skilled engineers. But apart from having a ready supply of great coders, what constitutes true ‘DevOps Royalty’? It’ll be the ability to craft resilient architectures, supportability, security everywhere across the software lifecycle. In his keynote at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Jeffrey Scheaffer, GM and SVP, Continuous Delivery Busine...
    SYS-CON Events announced today that Progress, a global leader in application development, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Enterprises today are rapidly adopting the cloud, while continuing to retain business-critical/sensitive data inside the firewall. This is creating two separate data silos – one inside the firewall and the other outside the firewall. Cloud ISVs ofte...