Skip to main content

Welcome to the Open Source JDK Forum!

25 replies [Last post]
tmarble
Offline
Joined: 2003-08-22
Points: 0

We are pleased today to announce the primary website for
discussing plans for open sourcing the JDK at:

http://community.java.net/jdk/opensource/

As a first step to soliciting community feedback we are
opening this forum and look forward to your feedback on
such topics as:
- The choice of license
- The governance model
- Operations issues: the bug tracking software (BTS), the version control software (VCS), etc.
- The Java brand
- Compatibility

Thanks!

--Tom

Reply viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
leouser
Offline
Joined: 2005-12-12
Points: 0

I have seen over time people talk about Sun needing to Open source java so they can fix it. I still don't know if what they were expressing was a real desire or an attempt to create some hubbub. Doing a search on Google isn't helping me bring up one blog Ive read which has stuck in my mind. I do remember the phrase in it "since Sun is stupid". But even an advanced search is only bringing up an intellij thread, which was not what I read.

I suppose you could distinguish between "fixing the language" and "perverting it". Though when people use over the top descriptions of things, its hard to figure out their intent.

leouser

jwenting
Offline
Joined: 2003-12-02
Points: 0

It's a combination of both. There are people with the incentive AND skill to pull this off, but I'm not certain they will.
To me however the risk that they indeed will do it is high enough to be extremely worried indeed.

And that's not even counting the number of foolish ignorants who think they'll actually be doing a good thing by "fixing" something that ain't broken or adding a "useful" "feature" like operator overloading or multiple inheritance.

webmink
Offline
Joined: 2003-06-06
Points: 0

> Not initially maybe, but if we're talking about "open
> sourcing the language" then the language specs have
> to be a part of that or the people you're trying to
> please (the open source zealots, pragmatic people
> couldn't care less about having an open source
> language, they know you can already create an open
> source JVM if you so wish) aren't going to be happy.

We're only talking about open sourcing the [i]implementation[/i] as that's what Sun owns and can relicense at will. The specification is controlled by the JCP - not that a specification can be Open Source anyway.

leouser
Offline
Joined: 2005-12-12
Points: 0

hmm, I guess this means that if you change the language that can be compiled it can't be called Java. For example, I just changed the compiler a little so that there are verbatim string literals:
[code]
String test =
@"



hi



"@;
[/code]

if I want to make available the forked compiler to folks, I guess I can't call it javac. Maybe verbatimjavac? But what could the language be called?
VerbatimJava
or does that violate the trademark? It seems that it isn't the language anymore though something very similiar.

leouser

robilad
Offline
Joined: 2004-05-05
Points: 0

@jwenting: who are those open source zealots that want to pervert the Java language specification? Can you name some names?

I'm seriously curious what's the inspiration for that angst.

jwenting
Offline
Joined: 2003-12-02
Points: 0

> jwenting: I am not aware that the language
> specification document is part of Sun's RI's source
> code, so I have some trouble understanding what
> you're trying to say.

Not initially maybe, but if we're talking about "open sourcing the language" then the language specs have to be a part of that or the people you're trying to please (the open source zealots, pragmatic people couldn't care less about having an open source language, they know you can already create an open source JVM if you so wish) aren't going to be happy.

And those zealots are precisely the people you DO NOT want to have access to the language specs, as they're the ones who for a decade have been trying to marginalise Java in favour of C and Perl.

> I would guess he means if someone forked Java and added
> the devilish operator operatorloading feature and then
> sent the fork out into the big wide world calling it
> Java. That's an example of what I would call
> perverting the spec. Maybe he means something
> different.

That's certainly part of it. But it's even easier. There are things you can do to pervert the language that don't even require you to pervert the specs.
You can do things (which I won't mention as I don't want to give anyone ideas) that will make your new JVM correct according to the JLS and JVMS while still creating a JVM that is not source compatible (let alone binary compatible) with the reference implementation.
It may even pass the TCK.

That's the initial assault (and there is almost certainly going to be one) that Java will face, as there are people out there who seem determined to harm the platform, even have it as their stated goal (look no further than the hardcore Linux crowd, many of whom have the skills and will to hurt Java in favour of their favourite languages like Perl or C).

leouser
Offline
Joined: 2005-12-12
Points: 0

@jwenting

Given the amount of bile Ive seen spit at Java by the people you mention I don't know if what your writing about is paranoia or actually something real. Its hard to tell in the Internet world if someone is just being rhetorical or is actually expressing something genuine. :(

leouser

robilad
Offline
Joined: 2004-05-05
Points: 0

@leouser: I'm curious as well. Use the Google search engine to search for the phrase "pervert the Java language" turns up no hits, so I'm very interested to see who announced their intent to do so.

mthornton
Offline
Joined: 2003-06-10
Points: 0

> @leouser: I'm curious as well. Use the Google search
> engine to search for the phrase "pervert the Java
> language" turns up no hits, so I'm very interested to
> see who announced their intent to do so.

The people who have voted for adding operator overloading might be candidates! ;-) There are several other highly contentious RFE's.

webmink
Offline
Joined: 2003-06-06
Points: 0

I've heard plenty of concern of this kind but it relies on the assumption that the JDK would then be available [i]only[/i] under the GPL. I'm assuming that if the license choice is GPL there will always be a commercial option - just like the approach the Mono project uses[1].

[1] http://www.mono-project.com/FAQ:_Licensing

geirmagnusson
Offline
Joined: 2006-08-14
Points: 0

jwenting:

> and all the while avoiding the only issues that are
> really important: preventing the language spec from
> being forked or perverted.

I think becuase having an open source implementation of the spec doesn't in any way change the spec. The spec is governed by the JCP and changed by the appropriate Expert Groups.

I also don't think anyone posting here wants to "fork or pervert" the language, nor do I think it would be an easy thing to do, as the millions of people using java don't want that.

geir

leouser
Offline
Joined: 2005-12-12
Points: 0

If forked I can see two outcomes:
1. Irrelevance. If I fork Java to include the banana type the impact on the community may be small, the constituency may be just me. Who wants to make their code incompatible by using the banana type?

2. Long Term Damage to any user. If there actually is a group that uses a forked Java they are exposing themselves to future incompatibilities. What if they fork it to add operator overloading and in Java 10 James Gosling decides he really misses operator overloading in Java and adds it. What does that group do now? Do they go through their code bases and change their non-Java operator overloadings to the new way? Or do they let their private operator overloadings sit still?

leouser

kpatrick
Offline
Joined: 2006-08-28
Points: 0

Hi, I prefer a Apache style license for the Java open sourcing.

alski
Offline
Joined: 2005-04-05
Points: 0

...And one other question is how will the exportability of the whole thing be affected?

alski
Offline
Joined: 2005-04-05
Points: 0

...Please say the license will be BSD or ASL. GPL causes all the lawyers to get itchy and nervous...

jwenting
Offline
Joined: 2003-12-02
Points: 0

> ...Please say the license will be BSD or ASL. GPL
> causes all the lawyers to get itchy and nervous...

and rightly so.

jwenting
Offline
Joined: 2003-12-02
Points: 0

and all the while avoiding the only issues that are really important: preventing the language spec from being forked or perverted.

robilad
Offline
Joined: 2004-05-05
Points: 0

jwenting: I am not aware that the language specification document is part of Sun's RI's source code, so I have some trouble understanding what you're trying to say.

leouser
Offline
Joined: 2005-12-12
Points: 0

@robilad:
I would guess he means if someone forked Java and added the devilish operator operatorloading feature and then sent the fork out into the big wide world calling it Java. That's an example of what I would call perverting the spec. Maybe he means something different.

leouser

robilad
Offline
Joined: 2004-05-05
Points: 0

fresh off planet.classpath.org, Tom Tromey's comments are at http://tromey.com/blog/?p=262

cheers,
dalibor topic

robilad
Offline
Joined: 2004-05-05
Points: 0

And Mark Wielaard joined in as well http://gnu.wildebeest.org/diary/index.php?p=165

robilad
Offline
Joined: 2004-05-05
Points: 0
ahmetaa
Offline
Joined: 2003-06-21
Points: 0

there are tons of things to say i guess, and maybe for each subject a new entry is requred.. but for the starters, i think easier parts of the discussion would be the choice of tools. For bug-issue tracking, you can use the excellent JIRA, for code browsing open grok (as in open solaris) or fisheye and for versioning something that can be accessible easily by developers should be chosen. it can be svn but not sure if it is good enough for this scale of projects. Compiling also should be easy for everybody. so, either Sun compilers (C-C++) sould be provided nicely, or gcc compatibility has to be done. Maybe your grid facilies also can be used for doing everything remotely (building, testing against a patch) but this may not be that easy.

tmarble
Offline
Joined: 2003-08-22
Points: 0

Many good ideas here.

One of the things I'd like to see is a
"roll-up" of ideas for each of the various issues/facets.

I'm keeping a list and will let you know when
we publish something in this regard.

In the meantime, yes, probably one topic per
thread is a good approach.

Regards,

--Tom

P.S. Thanks Geir!

geirmagnusson
Offline
Joined: 2006-08-14
Points: 0

Here are some thoughts on this very topic....

http://blogs.codehaus.org/people/geir/