Welcome!

Linux Containers Authors: Liz McMillan, James Carlini, Elizabeth White, Vaibhaw Pandey, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: Java IoT, Linux Containers

Java IoT: Article

Why It Makes Sense for Sun to Open-Source Java Libraries & Solaris Kernel

Why It Makes Sense for Sun to Open-Source Java Libraries & Solaris Kernel

It makes a lot of sense for Sun to open source the Java Libraries and Solaris Kernel.

It's sound business for Sun to (a) Open source license the Java J2SE,J2EE and J2ME framework libraries; and (b) Release a fork of the Solaris Kernel under the GPL license.

It would benefit the entire Java based industry - including the free software, open source, and proprietary based vendors - to open license the core J2ME, J2SE, J2EE libraries and Java to bytecode compilers.

Java's primary strength, the ability to write code which is constantly portable across many vendors platforms, would be greatly enhanced if all of the vendors were using the same core libraries.

To insure that the standard base core would not become polluted with incompatible forks, the source could be licensed with a clause requiring any incompatible changes or any additional classes or methods to be moved to and occupy only the vendor's namespace. Another clause would require that the vendor version of the Java-to-bytecode compiler and any GUI IDE defaults to generating portable bytecode, without embedding any vendor-specific references.

The OSF definition of an open source license clause five explicitly states:

"The license may require derived works to carry a different name or version number from the original software."

Developers and vendors would only be required to shift changes to the vendors'/developers' namespace if the changes were incompatible with the JCP JSR open standards. This would not prevent the development/distribution of additional optimizations, ports, or bug fixes. Since adoption of standards has for a long time been an open source tradition, it would not be much of an imposition on the open source community.

Vendors don't have to use all the same "core" libraries - just provide the same standard interface. The open source Java core can been seen as a starting common base. Each vendor would be free to "short circuit" their implementation as long as the standard API behaviour remained the same. Vendors would still be free to compete on their JVM performance along with how well it performs interfacing databases, integrated development tools, etc.

Sun could require contributors to the Java Open Core to let Sun or the JCP dual-license the result as Sun does with OpenOffice.org and StarOffice. If a vendor does not wish to disclose its modifcations then the vendor could pay for a closed source license scheme. The payment could then be split up amongst Sun, the JCP, and the contributors.

Ask IBM and HP what their customers are demanding and you will find out more often than not that it's vendor-neutral/independent solutions. Customers don't want lock-in slavery anymore. That is why Linux is such a success and why there is more demand for Java skills than any other programming language.

It should not be necessary to open source license Sun's JVMs. In the long run it could greatly benefit Sun to develop the JVM under a dual license as it is doing with OpenOffice.org and selling StarOffice.

Releasing a fork of the Solaris Unix Kernel makes even more sense when you consider Sun's move towards commodity based hardware, like AMD's opteron, and enterprise desktop systems. Sun is going to need drivers to interoperate with x86 hardware and common peripherals. In comparison to Linux, the range and quality of hardware drivers available to Solaris is pitiful.

If Sun can manage to get out from under the SCO Group's claims over the old AT&T code base, by dealing direct with Novell who still appear to hold the rights and copyrights, then Sun would be free to release a fork of the Solaris kernel under the GPL license.

Sun would be then free to take any source code from the Linux kernel and incorporate it into the GPL'ed Solaris kernel fork. Sun would then free to deploy that kernel in desktop and clustered systems markets, where Linux currently does have a lead over Sun.

More Stories By David Mohring

David Mohring is a New Zealand-based Linux applications developer.

Comments (9) 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
Pawan 06/10/04 01:42:06 AM EDT

This article needs to do more than simply be unreasonably obsessive with open sourcing Java. The article doesnt have anything that can prove that either Sun or dev. community will benefit from opening up Java. Besides, Java classes are all open source, and I dont think anybody would like M$ or some org to change the source for java.exe and impose it upon the users.
I hope JDJ raises its bar and thinks twice before publishing such cock-and-bull articles that make open-source stuff seem childish.

Layton 06/08/04 05:32:40 PM EDT

I don't see that it makes any difference whether Sun open Sources Java or Solaris. As far as Java is concerned, there is currently a re-implementation of it happening that should satisfy the "anti-proprietary" crowd. And I don't see why we need Solaris. We have Linux, 3 BSD's, Dos, and someone working on an NT clone. If Sun wants to open source their stuff, then fine. But if not, they have to live with what they fix, and I don't see that it is anyone elses place to tell them what that should be. If Sun's customers aren't secure with what Sun is doing, then they should find alternatives for themselvs that they are happy with. Again, they need to live with their own choices.

Basically, I believe that choice is good. If we loose the option of a closed source solution we have just as much lost a choice as if we had lost an open source option. Both have advantages. The only thing I would like to see Sun do is to decide what they want to do, and then do it. But then, I'm not on their board, I don't own Sun stock, and I'm not a Sun customer.

However if they made a sparc based laptop that ran a recent linux, I might re-consider. Maybe.

FUD Stomper 06/08/04 01:02:40 PM EDT

The problems with "getting components to work with Linux" are NOT due to kernel differences. ANY end user who can plunk out "diff" and "/usr/src/linux/scripts/patch-kernel" can be assured of running the latest-greatest, the earliest, or anything they desire...

What does that have to do with "open sourcing Java"? Not much, other than to say that currently it is even easier to switch from one JRE to another...

I would venture to guess that the VAST majority of NOISE one hears about "open sourcing Java" is simply an effort on the part of vendors of closed Operating Systems to muddy the waters in the futile hope of clinging to their shrinking base...

I am growing tired of Sys-Con fueling this. Spend more time on articles that help DEVELOPERS get stuff done!

SAJ951 06/08/04 10:20:38 AM EDT

Seems to me that this publication and IBM are about the only ones crying for Sun to open source java. IBM has an implementation of Java - why don''t they just open source all of that and say to the open source community "here you go, build on this"? We''ve already seen what happens with open sourcing platforms with Linux - some benefits but also lots of problems. JDJ - we''ve heard your cries ad nauseum - enough already - isn''t it time to get back to your core missiong - ie. providing information useful to the Java Developer?

Trey Spiva 06/08/04 09:20:53 AM EDT

How will it help the Java community to have Java fracture. Because of the lack of standards caused by the fracturing of Java, it will become impossible for 3rd party tool venders to support the Java language.

Example: Linux is a GREAT operating system. However, few people us it (except for the die hard MS haters). Why? Becausae it is too hard for the common user to get components to work on Linux. Why? Because each Linux kernal is different and there are no standards that 3rd party venders can conform to. So, instead we have each kernal vender fighting each other instead of a organized attack to defeat other operating systems like MS windows. This approach is doomed to fail.

Malcolm 06/08/04 07:47:28 AM EDT

Get a life guys!!!

Stop banging on about making java open source and go write some java code.

JDJ should commission some articles that help the community not this endless tirade of tripe about Open Source. I don''t even need to mention that the source is available etc... etc... yawn... yawn...

Mike 06/08/04 06:51:51 AM EDT

The source code is available (as nonemouse said) and vendors besides Sun offer JVMs. I see no advantage in having Java open sourced. As a Java developer, if I want additional capabilities not found in the standard distribution from Sun, I go out to the web and get them. No lock-in there.
I would prefer that Sun not open source Java. Especially the core libraries, which define the Java framework. Since an entire industry has built itself around this framework from Sun, it seems to me that Sun is doing an outstanding job. Let''s not try to fix something that is not broken. (And no, I don''t work for Sun.)

nonemouse 06/08/04 05:26:15 AM EDT

Vendors can already add whatever they want in their own namespace.
And they already do.

So what are you saying?

Why does the linux crowd have such trouble understanding that the java
source is already available... the only restriction is that you have to
pass the compatibility test if you want to call your modified version "java".

bored 06/08/04 04:30:51 AM EDT

"Customers don''t want lock-in slavery anymore," yeah!
We don''t want Sun to lock us in. We want Microsoft to take the open-source Java and change it ... uh uh ... inovate on it ... and then force it on all of us through the Windows desktop monoply. Grow up!

@ThingsExpo Stories
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
"There's plenty of bandwidth out there but it's never in the right place. So what Cedexis does is uses data to work out the best pathways to get data from the origin to the person who wants to get it," explained Simon Jones, Evangelist and Head of Marketing at Cedexis, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
It is of utmost importance for the future success of WebRTC to ensure that interoperability is operational between web browsers and any WebRTC-compliant client. To be guaranteed as operational and effective, interoperability must be tested extensively by establishing WebRTC data and media connections between different web browsers running on different devices and operating systems. In his session at WebRTC Summit at @ThingsExpo, Dr. Alex Gouaillard, CEO and Founder of CoSMo Software, presented ...
WebRTC is great technology to build your own communication tools. It will be even more exciting experience it with advanced devices, such as a 360 Camera, 360 microphone, and a depth sensor camera. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Masashi Ganeko, a manager at INFOCOM Corporation, introduced two experimental projects from his team and what they learned from them. "Shotoku Tamago" uses the robot audition software HARK to track speakers in 360 video of a remote party. "Virtual Teleport" uses a multip...
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 Evatronix will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Evatronix SA offers comprehensive solutions in the design and implementation of electronic systems, in CAD / CAM deployment, and also is a designer and manufacturer of advanced 3D scanners for professional applications.
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
An increasing number of companies are creating products that combine data with analytical capabilities. Running interactive queries on Big Data requires complex architectures to store and query data effectively, typically involving data streams, an choosing efficient file format/database and multiple independent systems that are tied together through custom-engineered pipelines. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Tomer Levi, a senior software engineer at Intel’s Advanced Analytics gr...