Welcome!

Linux Containers Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Sematext Blog, Pat Romanski, Eric Robertson

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
"We're a cybersecurity firm that specializes in engineering security solutions both at the software and hardware level. Security cannot be an after-the-fact afterthought, which is what it's become," stated Richard Blech, Chief Executive Officer at Secure Channels, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
According to Forrester Research, every business will become either a digital predator or digital prey by 2020. To avoid demise, organizations must rapidly create new sources of value in their end-to-end customer experiences. True digital predators also must break down information and process silos and extend digital transformation initiatives to empower employees with the digital resources needed to win, serve, and retain customers.
The IoT is changing the way enterprises conduct business. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how businesses can gain an edge over competitors by empowering consumers to take control through IoT. He cited examples such as a Washington, D.C.-based sports club that leveraged IoT and the cloud to develop a comprehensive booking system. He also highlighted how IoT can revitalize and restore outdated business models, making them profitable ...
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
"Once customers get a year into their IoT deployments, they start to realize that they may have been shortsighted in the ways they built out their deployment and the key thing I see a lot of people looking at is - how can I take equipment data, pull it back in an IoT solution and show it in a dashboard," stated Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform and how we integrate our thinking to solve complicated problems. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and sh...
Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more business becomes digital the more stakeholders are interested in this data including how it relates to business. Some of these people have never used a monitoring tool before. They have a question on their mind like “How is my application doing” but no id...
@GonzalezCarmen has been ranked the Number One Influencer and @ThingsExpo has been named the Number One Brand in the “M2M 2016: Top 100 Influencers and Brands” by Onalytica. Onalytica analyzed tweets over the last 6 months mentioning the keywords M2M OR “Machine to Machine.” They then identified the top 100 most influential brands and individuals leading the discussion on Twitter.
DevOps is being widely accepted (if not fully adopted) as essential in enterprise IT. But as Enterprise DevOps gains maturity, expands scope, and increases velocity, the need for data-driven decisions across teams becomes more acute. DevOps teams in any modern business must wrangle the ‘digital exhaust’ from the delivery toolchain, "pervasive" and "cognitive" computing, APIs and services, mobile devices and applications, the Internet of Things, and now even blockchain. In this power panel at @...
IoT is rapidly changing the way enterprises are using data to improve business decision-making. In order to derive business value, organizations must unlock insights from the data gathered and then act on these. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, and Peter Shashkin, Head of Development Department at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how one organization leveraged IoT, cloud technology and data analysis to improve customer experiences and effici...
As data explodes in quantity, importance and from new sources, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and cloud environments grow with it. Managing data includes protecting it, indexing and classifying it for true, long-term management, compliance and E-Discovery. Commvault can ensure this with a single pane of glass solution – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enter...
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, discussed the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
Successful digital transformation requires new organizational competencies and capabilities. Research tells us that the biggest impediment to successful transformation is human; consequently, the biggest enabler is a properly skilled and empowered workforce. In the digital age, new individual and collective competencies are required. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bob Newhouse, CEO and founder of Agilitiv, drew together recent research and lessons learned from emerging and established compa...
Whether your IoT service is connecting cars, homes, appliances, wearable, cameras or other devices, one question hangs in the balance – how do you actually make money from this service? The ability to turn your IoT service into profit requires the ability to create a monetization strategy that is flexible, scalable and working for you in real-time. It must be a transparent, smoothly implemented strategy that all stakeholders – from customers to the board – will be able to understand and comprehe...
"IoT is going to be a huge industry with a lot of value for end users, for industries, for consumers, for manufacturers. How can we use cloud to effectively manage IoT applications," stated Ian Khan, Innovation & Marketing Manager at Solgeniakhela, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Extracting business value from Internet of Things (IoT) data doesn’t happen overnight. There are several requirements that must be satisfied, including IoT device enablement, data analysis, real-time detection of complex events and automated orchestration of actions. Unfortunately, too many companies fall short in achieving their business goals by implementing incomplete solutions or not focusing on tangible use cases. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products...
Information technology is an industry that has always experienced change, and the dramatic change sweeping across the industry today could not be truthfully described as the first time we've seen such widespread change impacting customer investments. However, the rate of the change, and the potential outcomes from today's digital transformation has the distinct potential to separate the industry into two camps: Organizations that see the change coming, embrace it, and successful leverage it; and...
Everyone knows that truly innovative companies learn as they go along, pushing boundaries in response to market changes and demands. What's more of a mystery is how to balance innovation on a fresh platform built from scratch with the legacy tech stack, product suite and customers that continue to serve as the business' foundation. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, discussed why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue and mor...
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
You have great SaaS business app ideas. You want to turn your idea quickly into a functional and engaging proof of concept. You need to be able to modify it to meet customers' needs, and you need to deliver a complete and secure SaaS application. How could you achieve all the above and yet avoid unforeseen IT requirements that add unnecessary cost and complexity? You also want your app to be responsive in any device at any time. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Allen, General Manager of...