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Jonathan Schwartz: Java Goes Open Source By The End Of This Year
I do not know why people make such a big deal out of the open sourcing Java

Yakov Fain's JDJ Blog

Yesterday, speaking at Oracle OpenWorld conference   Sun Microsystem Sun President/CEO Jonathan Schwartz said that Sun will announce the open-sourcing of the core Java platform in 30 to 60 days. This will be done under  an Open Source Initiative license – the same one as it was used for open-sourcing of the Solaris OS.

I do not know why people make such a big deal out of the open sourcing Java. I do not know who started this “Freedom to Java” movement, but Sun decided to respond. Fine. I like IT news and I never hesitate to  express my opinion on any of them, but this one is just a boring subject to me. I’ll drag this blog for another couple of paragraphs, but honestly, I do not care.

Sun Microsystems was reaching out to the Java community trying to ask their opinion on the subject. I was invited to participate in the conference calls on how to open source Java, but never accepted the invitation. I do not believe that open sourcing Java is good for the community as now we’ll face new issues such as how to deal with forked version of the language. Is your Java really Java or its Java++? Are you Sun Certified Java programmer? By the way, which Java are you certified in? Or, you are XYZ Certified Java Programmer!

James Gosling kept saying, that Java was always free, the source code was available to anyone, and he was absolutely right.  Having the source code of any language or tool available usually serves two goals:

1.    Learn the tool from inside just by looking at the code. See how the creators of the language did it, try to extend their classes as good as them or better, if you can.This was always available with Java

2.    Fix the bugs in the language without waiting for years until the  creators of the language will do so.

Speaking of the bugs…Sun has so called bug parade where  Java developers can vote for particular bugs, so Sun would prioritize the fixes properly. This site has proven to be ineffective, because Sun was ignoring this list. The top voted bug here is five years old. Finding a workaround by yourself was your main option. If you can't find a workaround yourself, Sun sells Developers Expert Assistance for $99 a case (not as in beer).

It remains to be seen if open sourcing Java will lead to quicker turnaround in bug fixes. I do not have anything else to say. I’ve read the news, expressed my absence of opinion on the news,  and will move one with my morning routine. Another day, another dollar.

About Yakov Fain
Yakov Fain is a Java Champion and a co-founder of the IT consultancy Farata Systems and the product company SuranceBay. He wrote a thousand blogs (http://yakovfain.com) and several books about software development. Yakov authored and co-authored such books as "Angular 2 Development with TypeScript", "Java 24-Hour Trainer", and "Enterprise Web Development". His Twitter tag is @yfain

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Reader Feedback: Page 1 of 1

So all we need to do is look at the source code and trust Sun to make changes? I wish that were true. But what happens when Sun drops the ball?

Consider this: The Java compiler is broken when it comes to certain instances of multiple interface inheritance. Yes, the Sun compiler doesn't even follow the Java specification. Eclipse once had the same problem, but as Eclipse is open source, it was soon fixed:

https://bugs.eclipse.org/bugs/show_bug.cgi?id=122881

I reported this issue to Sun. I can't even point to a Sun bug report, because they ignored me. I announced this on the Sun Java forums, but no one at Sun took the trouble to investigate:

http://forum.java.sun.com/thread.jspa?forumID=7&threadID=687004

See a similar issue, though, which has been open over a year and never addressed:

http://bugs.sun.com/bugdatabase/view_bug.do?bug_id=6278587

Yes, again Eclipse fixed this problem right away:

https://bugs.eclipse.org/bugs/show_bug.cgi?id=98538

Read the Java forum thread here:

http://forum.java.sun.com/thread.jspa?threadID=632009&tstart=0

In fact, I can't even compile my Guise(TM) AJAX framework ( http://www.guiseframework.com/ ) using the Sun Java compiler---I have to use Eclipse, which actually follows the Java specification and doesn't crash like the Sun compiler does.

So open-sourcing Java brings no advantages---we just sit back and trust Sun to fix their stuff? History doesn't support your viewpoint.

I do not know why people make such a big deal out of the open sourcing Java. I do not know who started this 'Freedom to Java' movement, but Sun decided to respond. Fine. I like IT news and I never hesitate to express my opinion on any of them, but this one is just a boring subject to me. I'll drag this blog for another couple of paragraphs, but honestly, I do not care.




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