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How will the licensing affect historical Javas

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leouser
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Joined: 2005-12-12
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I guess my question is, will this change in licensing extend to currently supported Java codebases? Will Java 1.4 be an Open Source thing or will it retain its licensing? Is Java 7 going to be the line in the sand? I think that this question is relevant in that there is probably a good user base out there still using these older Javas. 1.3? Hasn't that been moved into the unsupported realm?

leouser

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gkulewski
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Joined: 2006-08-17
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Hi Ray,

I think this would be a mistake.

Why? Please read here:
http://planet.gentoo.org/developers/nichoj/2006/08/01/java_1_4_do_we_sti...

Basically the only Linux distribution that supports Java and _many_ Java packages for ages is Gentoo. And one of the Gentoo devs explains that Java (at least javac?) 1.4 is still needed because of complatibility. Sorry but it is (and will be for some longer time) the truth. This is why Gentoo didn't officially support Java 5.0 long after it was released.

Also now (for 2 months or something like that) jdk-5.0 is distributed by Sun in a way that makes it possible to download it without clicking the licence. So Gentoo package manager can download (binary) version and install it automagically. But this is not true for jdk-1.4 (needed by many packages) so users still must download it by hand. This should be fixed too.

But this also shows why jdk-1.4 should be at least partially opensourced. If not people will still need to download manually binary packages of it...

What do you think about this?

GK

PS. Thanks to that somebody who fixed this forum software. Some time ago I couldn't make an account here and later I couldn't log in (several days ago). Today everything works ok.

PS2. Maybe Sun (esp. opensource team) should cooperate with Gentoo devs more because those people package most important Java software for very long time, know many interesting things and probably have many great ideas. See #gentoo-java@irc.freenode.net.

jwenting
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Joined: 2003-12-02
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So just because some Linux zealots insist that everything must be released under their favourite license or they won't allow anyone to use it, Sun should submit and release everything they created over the last decade under that license.

The way Sun are planning it now at least we'll be able to continue with 5.0 until we've had the time and resources to rewrite our systems in a language that's not liable to corruption by the open source movement like Java will be soon.

gkulewski
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Joined: 2006-08-17
Points: 0

> So just because some Linux zealots insist that everything must be released under their favourite license or they won't allow anyone to use it, Sun should submit and release everything they created over the last decade under that license.

Sorry, what? Were you replying to my post? Please re-read it. There was nothing about the type of license for Java. There was only suggestion to make the license easy to use:

1. No clicked license that prevents (mainly legally) robots from automatically fetching jdks (even binaries).

2. Allow jdk-1.4 sources (or at least parts of it) to be downloaded and compiled without trouble, complicated tainting license agreements and so on. This will be met even by not opensource license (for example not allowing forks and so on).

So what "Linux zealots"? Did I mention GPL anywhere?

BTW. Since some applications (even commercial, well known, not opensource) require jdk-1.4 and even sometimes jre-1.4 to be build or run it is wise to have opensourced (or at least sources-easily-accessible) jdk-1.4 even on Windows - this will at least allow people to port it to new Win9999 if it will not be compatible out of the box, to use that other software.

> The way Sun are planning it now at least we'll be able to continue with 5.0 until we've had the time and resources to rewrite our systems in a language that's not liable to corruption by the open source movement like Java will be soon.

I don't understand you. I am making comercial Java software (opensource too) and I think that making Java an open platform, allowing to port it to many other system, optimise it, possibly rewrite bad and old code (that was there for example because Sun didn't have money to pay some dev to fix it or it wasn't "important enough") and so on is _very_ good for my business. Especially if Sun will still have full control over API, ABI and such. For example Nescape and OpenOffice: tons of completly crappy code were rewriten since making it opensource. Now we have Firefox - it has many problems but still is way, way better than Netscape ever was (or could be with that old, hard to fix or mantain code base and no funds to rewrite it in the company).

See Linux kernel. It is opensource. Everybody can make forks. They need not be API or ABI compatible. Maybe they can't legally name it Linux but still. And what? Nobody *ever* seriously tried to make fork of Linux and to "steal" it from Linus and other main developers. It is a matter of trust. People trust Linus that he knows what he is doing and that Linux future is in good hands. Similarly with many other opensource projects.

The same goes for Sun and Java. If Sun will be open to suggestions, will actively mentor new Java projects and additions (including proposals for API/ABI enhancements), will encourage people to develop in Java and for Java and especially will still make good and compatible Java product releases (with publicly visible transparent process) everything will be ok and nobody will seriously try to fork incompatible Java and attack "the real Java" with it... Why? How much will this have to cost? Will there be any gains?

GK

ray_gans
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Joined: 2004-11-12
Points: 0

Hi Brian!

We only plan to open source code from JDK 6 and later. There are no plans to open source earlier releases.

-Ray

leouser
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Joined: 2005-12-12
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thanks Ray!

Why do I have the feeling that going backwards would require a separate effort for each version.... yikes!

BH