Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 14th Nov 2006 19:02 UTC, submitted by Jane Walker
Java Monday, Sun did what many pundits, media personalities, developers and IT managers wanted done months ago - it opened up Java so that it could be freely distributed under the General Public License. In this interview with SearchOpenSource.com, Laurie Tolson, the vice president of Java developer products and programs, discussed this milestone for Java and what it meant for Sun, developers, IT managers.
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Very impressed.
by sbergman27 on Tue 14th Nov 2006 20:13 UTC
sbergman27
Member since:
2005-07-24

As someone who, over the years, has been variously a Sun fan and a Sun detractor, I am very happy, today, to eat crow, for some of the negative comments I have made.

(This is also the one time that my trusty old Betty Crocker Cookbook has ever failed me, so I'm just starting with the basic Cornish Game Hen and improvising from there.) ;-)

Sun has come a long way in the last 10 years. I look forward to continued (and consistent) good will between Sun and OSS.

I think that Sun might just have rediscovered their roots... the ones that made them a success in the first place way back in the 80's.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Very impressed.
by b3timmons on Tue 14th Nov 2006 21:36 UTC in reply to "Very impressed."
b3timmons Member since:
2006-08-26

I agree! Having gotten a good flavor of Linux and various Unices over the years, I was always impressed by the influence of Sun in so many technologies. They lost a lot of thunder to FOSS, but you have to admire how they are not afraid to be a leader again, to set an example for others. You don't have to even like Java at all to just appreciate the business import of their move to GPL. It's a relief to not always feel cynical about IT today.

Edited 2006-11-14 21:56

Reply Score: 1

not yet
by deanlinkous on Tue 14th Nov 2006 20:36 UTC
deanlinkous
Member since:
2006-06-19

I'll wait to offer kudos until it is more than just words but will be VERY glad to see it happen!!!

Reply Score: 1

RE: not yet
by !nkubus on Tue 14th Nov 2006 20:53 UTC in reply to "not yet"
!nkubus Member since:
2006-04-23

http://digg.com/linux_unix/Sun_Makes_Java_Source_Code_Available_for...

I think this is more than just words .

I hope it makes you a glad men ;)

Reply Score: 1

Java ready for OSS?
by butters on Tue 14th Nov 2006 20:45 UTC
butters
Member since:
2005-07-08

There are many metrics by which to judge application development frameworks, but you cannot forget to judge them based on the quality of the resulting applications. In the case of Java, I submit that most Java applications suck.

Java has a lot of things going for it, from the Collections API to the fact that any recent CS graduate is proficient in Java, if nothing else. But when you start a Java application, and when you interact with it, you know it's a Java application. It has that bloated, lethargic, and often fragile feel. Years of building a development community around Java have resulted in desktop applications with the performance and usability of web applications.

Java is a mature platform, and like other platforms, it has an impressive array of libraries and bindings. But when it comes to the libraries and bindings that OSS developers demand, Java has trouble competing with comparatively immature platforms. I'll take Python's GTK and Qt bindings over Java's anyday.

Say what you want about Mono, but OSS developers have demonstrated it's usefulness in rapidly developing good applications. Most Desktop Linux users only experience Java in the form of OpenOffice (90% of which is written by Sun developers), which is a less-than-impressive application by most accounts.

So let's take a step back and consider what Java has to offer to OSS. Do you see a mature, powerful, and flexible development framework, or you do instead see a bad compromise between native and web programming that isn't particularly well-suited to either?

Reply Score: 5

RE: Java ready for OSS?
by Matt Giacomini on Tue 14th Nov 2006 21:18 UTC in reply to "Java ready for OSS?"
Matt Giacomini Member since:
2005-07-06

What does your post have to do with Java becoming open source?

If you are saying that java sucks to much to be useful to the opensource community. Then I will submit (as a Microsoft .NET developer) that mono by comparison to Microsoft implementation of .NET also sucks to much to be useful to the open source community.

Personally I don't feel that way, but I think the parallel argument best expresses the way I disagree with your post.

Edited 2006-11-14 21:22

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Java ready for OSS?
by b3timmons on Tue 14th Nov 2006 21:54 UTC in reply to "RE: Java ready for OSS?"
b3timmons Member since:
2006-08-26

Agreed.

There is no question that Mono benefited from energetic, talented developers, but in the light of recent events, there are more viable and productive directions, IMHO. Some developers may work more directly with .NET, others may be inspired by Sun, but considering the business models and track records of the various companies involved in Java and .NET, the business proposition of Mono seemed doomed from the start and now more than ever.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Java ready for OSS?
by codehead78 on Tue 14th Nov 2006 21:24 UTC in reply to "Java ready for OSS?"
codehead78 Member since:
2006-08-04

I don't know... Eclipse is pretty slick.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Java ready for OSS?
by g2devi on Tue 14th Nov 2006 22:14 UTC in reply to "Java ready for OSS?"
g2devi Member since:
2005-07-09

> Say what you want about Mono, but OSS developers have
> demonstrated it's usefulness in rapidly developing
> good applications.
>
Perhaps, but the same can be said about Java. Personally, I don't see much difference between Mono and Java on the desktop application's front. Both are pigs when it comes to resources and both have killer desktop applications (e.g. Java has Eclipse).

The only real weakness Java has is startup speed, since that it loads and JITs all libraries each time you load a Java program. This is actually not that difficult to fix (e.g. look at the Mac), but it needs a bit love to from the OS layer to implement the appropriate caches. Sun doesn't seem that interested in the Java desktop (the JSP area is where Java shines) and no-one else has been allowed to change "the official Java", so this part of Java has languished. But if distros are able to prepackage Java and versions of Firefox will be able to ship with Java, you can be sure that this issue will be taken care of.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Java ready for OSS?
by sbergman27 on Tue 14th Nov 2006 22:42 UTC in reply to "RE: Java ready for OSS?"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""the JSP area is where Java shines"""

Really?

http://oodt.jpl.nasa.gov/better-web-app.mov

I think a GPL'd Java is great. But I would hardly say that web development is where it shines.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Java ready for OSS?
by g2devi on Tue 14th Nov 2006 23:38 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Java ready for OSS?"
g2devi Member since:
2005-07-09

Actually it does. PHP and Rails are great for stand-alone apps or apps where you have small groups of people. JSP is probably overkill if that's all you need.

But once you get into Enterprise apps (i.e. apps that interact with dozens of other databases and apps) and large teams and legacy databases and interoperability with various vendors that you don't have the source code for, neither PHP nor Rails cut it and you have to pull out the big guns.

For instance, if you need to implement workflow management that obeys the XPDL standard (e.g. http://www.wfmc.org/standards/XPDL.htm ), you'll have dozens of tools and libraries to chose from if you use Java (many of which are open source) and a couple are for .NET (all(?) of which come at a cost), but none for PHP or Ruby. You'll have to implement the standard yourself, and trust me on this -- it's not something you want to do (have a read on the specs).

Relating to the XML configuration, well, you don't need to do much of in Java -- if you chose the right framework and/or chose something Java attributes or XDoclet ( http://xdoclet.sourceforge.net/xdoclet/index.html ). Most Java tools, like Eclipse also support fancy features like refactoring that just aren't available for lighter weight languages, so these tools really aid in making Java easier to use for larger projects.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Java ready for OSS?
by Budd on Tue 14th Nov 2006 23:43 UTC in reply to "Java ready for OSS?"
Budd Member since:
2005-07-08

Not to be picky,but I have trouble even installing "correctly" Mono on my Slack box. OK,OK I'm just an intermediate user but funny thing is that I just un-archive the binary provided by Sun and I know I have java on my box.
When it comes to applications itself, well you see I have another problem: besides Beagle (which is probably the only thing I'd like to test) I can't find any mono application that can serve me right. I did mentioned that I can't install mono in 2 minutes,right?
I do agree with the fact that Java application suck compared with the mono ones. The last one basically are still delayed.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Java ready for OSS?
by Daniel Borgmann on Wed 15th Nov 2006 03:44 UTC in reply to "Java ready for OSS?"
Daniel Borgmann Member since:
2005-07-08

butters wrote:
Years of building a development community around Java have resulted in desktop applications with the performance and usability of web applications.

I'll take Python's GTK and Qt bindings over Java's anyday.

Say what you want about Mono, but OSS developers have demonstrated it's usefulness in rapidly developing good applications.


To be fair, most evaluations of Java on the desktop are particularly _not_ based on the Java Gtk bindings (or other native bindings for that matter), which are very new and incomplete (unless you count SWT, which probably should be compared to wxWidgets). So far, using open source Java tools like gcj had the bad taste of a second-best solution. As ironic as it is, Mono felt more like the "real thing", since .NET only exists on Windows. Now that the real Java is open source, it becomes a lot more interesting. We should wait and see how this develops.

I totally agree however that the Python bindings are terrific and it remains to be seen how much value Java can really add to that. The same goes for Mono however. My guess is that we will see Mono and Java bindings mostly used in special situations in the future, with Python becoming the most popular choice for RAD and GUI prototyping, and natively compiled languages (like C++ and Vala) for everything else.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Java ready for OSS?
by tmack on Wed 15th Nov 2006 04:13 UTC in reply to "RE: Java ready for OSS?"
tmack Member since:
2006-04-11

GTK bindings for Java are really a nonstarter when you have a windowing toolkit like SWT.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Java ready for OSS?
by marcusgreen on Wed 15th Nov 2006 12:06 UTC in reply to "Java ready for OSS?"
marcusgreen Member since:
2006-08-21

"Most Desktop Linux users only experience Java in the form of OpenOffice (90% of which is written by Sun developers), which is a less-than-impressive application by most accounts."

I am sitting here running OpenOffice on a machine that has no trace of Java installed on it whatsoever. Are you familiar with the subject you are commenting on?

Reply Score: 4

RE: Java ready for OSS?
by kwanbis on Wed 15th Nov 2006 14:11 UTC in reply to "Java ready for OSS?"
kwanbis Member since:
2005-07-06

You haven't tried lates Lotus Sametime (7.5), or Lotus Notes 8, or Azureous, don't you?

Reply Score: 1

java development and runtime platforms
by project_2501 on Tue 14th Nov 2006 23:08 UTC
project_2501
Member since:
2006-03-20

a very major plus will be clean linux and other platforms which can ow distribute official Sun Java platforms for development or runtime.

it will blow away the mess that currently exists with multiple jdk's being installed (kaffe, gcj, ... )

Reply Score: 2

Re:
by tmack on Tue 14th Nov 2006 23:22 UTC
tmack
Member since:
2006-04-11

"Both are pigs when it comes to resources and both have killer desktop applications (e.g. Java has Eclipse). "

Yes, Java has eclipse and Mono has tomboy.

"I think a GPL'd Java is great. But I would hardly say that web development is where it shines."

Java has the best web development frameworks. Spring easily destroys pretty much any other framework, except maybe Ruby on Rails (which may be a moot point, as RoR runs on Java now).

JSP is one small technology in the world of Java web development. It's best used IN ADDITION to a complete framework like Spring, Tapestry, etc.

Reply Score: 2

I'm confused...
by stodge on Wed 15th Nov 2006 14:12 UTC
stodge
Member since:
2005-09-08

If Java is GPL, does that mean any Java app I write has to be GPLed too? I thought that was how the GPL worked? I'm confused...

Reply Score: 1

RE: I'm confused...
by tmack on Wed 15th Nov 2006 14:42 UTC in reply to "I'm confused..."
tmack Member since:
2006-04-11

They wrote an exception, similar to the GCC linking exception.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: I'm confused...
by stodge on Wed 15th Nov 2006 16:20 UTC in reply to "RE: I'm confused..."
stodge Member since:
2005-09-08

Ah - thanks!

Reply Score: 1

Sun didn't have a choice...
by tomcat on Wed 15th Nov 2006 18:32 UTC
tomcat
Member since:
2006-01-06

It couldn't figure out a way to make money with Java, given competition, and it lost at least a little ground to .NET and various open source efforts. So, it played its only hand. If nothing else, this guarantees that Java will remain a player for a long time.

Reply Score: 1