“Sun for the first time explicitely said Java will be open sourced”:http://www.zdnet.com.au/news/software/0,2000061733,39149502,00.htm. When this will happen is still very unsure, to quote the ZDNet article:
bq. “We haven’t worked out how to open-source Java — but at some point it will happen,” Srinivas said. However, he noted “it might be today, tomorrow or two years down the road”
Two questions arose when I heard about this.
# What open source license will it be licensed under? But actually, I don’t really care.
# What will change?
What will change? Sun always said that they never standardized Java to keep control over it. Changes to Java until now have managed and are voted over at the “Java Community Process”:http://www.jcp.org. But what if Java no longer has a owner and anybody can do everything to it? Will many Java forks pop up? Forks that add new features? Features are great of course, but they have to be supported by all Java distributions to be useful.
A good thing that will probably happen is that Java will be part of Linux distributions. Today, some distributions include it, others include alternative open source implementations, such as “Kaffe”:http://www.kaffe.org. There are enough parties that have been crying for Java to become Open Source for quite a while, such as “IBM”:http://news.com.com/2100-1007-5165427.html, “Eric Raymond (OSI president)”:http://www.builderau.com.au/program/java/0,39024620,20283040,00.htm and “Richard Stallman”:http://www.newsforge.com/programming/04/04/07/2021242.shtml.
“The slashdot thread can be found here”:http://developers.slashdot.org/developers/04/06/04/002224.shtml?tid=102&tid=108&tid=126&tid=156&tid=187.