Re: Why Java is not Open Source: One Cowboy's Opinion
> Replies to the http://weblogs.java.net/pub/wlg/202 blog article from Hans Muller
> Five cowboys are sleeping around a campfire. It's cold outside. The fire dies down and one of them wakes up and throws a few more logs on the fire. Temperature compatability is maintained and all the cowboys sleep happily. Three million cowboys live in a city served by a large hydoelectric plant. It's cold outside. One of them wakes up to find that his electric boot polisher has failed and, assuming that the power plant must be the source of his electrical problem, grabs a monkey wrench and heads for the power plant. While attempting to dismantle a high current distribution panel he's electrocuted and the short circuit knocks out power to the entire city. All of the cowboys catch cold.
> I think that one of the primary reasons that Java is not an open source project is that given the size of the developer community, forks are unacceptable. In other words the millions of developers who build software on top of Java value its stability more than they value the right to get under the hood and fix it.
There seems to be an inconsistency in the last line; I don't believe Hans can speak for 3 million people so its that these 3 million hopefully value stability more then the right to fix issues.
Natuallly there are many many degrees between complete closed and complete open source. Java has it source publically available, so Java is certainly not completely closed.
Java does have many issues that I know a lot of people want fixed, and when a bug reports is celebrating its 5th birthday I'm pretty sure some people should feel quite ashamed.
Various projects exist where it is more important to write correct code then it is to get forward with the project, the linux kernel is one topic where not everyone can just provide code. These are development models that Java can learn some lessons from.
The only thing I really want right now is to get a CVS version of the java sources for 1.5, and a daily-builded binairy if you want (since javac refuses to create one). I want to be able to send patches to the sun group and get an ok/not ok from them, and a open conversation on how I can help and actually fix those bugs that bother me.
I have sent many issue and a couple of patches to the Swing team; and I have no idea what you guys are doing with that info. I'll be able to find out at the first 1.5 beta. And next inclusion will be 2 years from today.
In the end Java is at a position right now where I can feel and touch the fruits hanging on the tree, I can even move the apple to my mouth, but when I put it in my mouth I end up biting air.