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Java IoT: Article

Flashback to 17 March 2005: Sun Relaxes Its Java Licensing Posture

"We're Trying to Simplify, As Best We Can, All the Legalistics," Says Sun Fellow Graham Hamilton

Sun is set to introduce new licensing guidelines that are designed to make it easier for developers to use Java source code. Sun said that it does not intend to make Java available as an open source license. Rather, the new Java licensing rules are to be much simpler, according to Sun, encouraging developers to create commercial Java-based products.

The move is in response to ongoing competition from Microsoft and open-source development alternatives. "We're trying to simplify, as best we can, all the legalistics involving application development," said Sun Fellow Graham Hamilton.

Sun has over the years made changes to various Java licenses but this is the first initiative to overhaul its commercial Java license.

Sun is going to introduce a "Java Internal User License" (JIUL), aimed at its enterprise Java customers and a "Java Distributed License," which will take the place of the current commercial license for J2SE.

Jean Elliott, director of product marketing for Sun's Java 2 Standard Edition, told a reporter yesterday: " We'd like to see [the commercial license] be like the human tail and eventually go away, because we felt it was excessively complicated."

Sun's Matt Thompson - Director of Tech Outreach and Open Source Programs - last week said in a Technical Exchange panel discussion called "Empowering Software R&D with Open Communities" held in the Hyatt Regency Harbor Room at the EclipseCon 2005 conference:

"Right now, you can do pretty much anything you want with the Java source code for non-commercial purposes except fork it and call it Java. If you do that, we have a problem."

Which prompted JDJ's own Bill Dudney, speaking exclusively to JDJ News Desk, to say:

"I am ready to see closure on this issue. At JavaOne Sun was saying that they could see no benefit in making Java more open. I think they were wrong and I'm glad to hear that the forces to open Java are apparently pushing Sun towards that end."

Dudney continued:

"I also agree though that we don't need forked incompatible things called Java that are not, that would just serve to confuse the market. I hope to see an open Java with an open compliance suite, then we can be confident that we have the 'real thing' when using something called Java."

Now Sun's move to review its commercial license is certain to be examined with a fine-tooth comb by Java developers everywhere.

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.

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