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Open Sourcing Java by Sun Microsystems


Sun Microsystems brings a revolution in computer programming field from the year of its release back in the 90s. Sun developed Java an object oriented and a platform oriented programming language with free runtime. It is now widely used in various devices like mobile phones, desktop and within the enterprise. Now it is open sourcing both of its Java platforms: Standard Edition (JSE) and Java Micro Edition (JME) under the general public license version (GPL) 2.

Earlier sun has been using its own open source license, the Common Development and Distribution License (CDDL) in all its open sourcing. But after consulting with all its partners and developers, the company has chosen the GPL for making Java freely available. But according to Laurie Tolson, the vice president of Java developer products and programs, this shouldn’t be seen as the failure of the CDDL keeping in mind the compatibility issue.

Though, it’s difficult to measure vendor’s choice for open source license but operating systems like GNU/Linux can use Java and in this way can provide a good market platform for development. Besides GPL, Sun is also planning to add another open source license and at the same time, it will provide commercial version of all its technologies for paid users.

Sun is also planning to provide dual license for its project Glassfish that is already available Under CDDL. This will soon come under GPL for easy distribution of Java SE, EE and ME version together. The company considers better license version to increase compatibility, driving innovation and building community while promoting the software in effective way.

The Java ME or Java Mobile and Embedded Edition is the technology widely used in Java based mobile games and phones. According to the officials of Sun, its open sourcing will stop market distribution and will attract developers for developing better technology in multimedia and messaging. This will in turn enhance its value as an essential element for Internet use.

The open sourcing is one of the important decisions that Sun took, as it involves risk of change or modification of Java by competitor that later can result in compatibility problems. Again there is the question that how it will benefit its customers and shareholders. The other thing that comes to mind that with an open Java, companies like Microsoft and IBM can overshadow the marketing side of Sun. On the other hand more freedom results high degree of participation. Hence, though it has its pros and cons but in the end it will generate more feedback between Sun and mobile developers.


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