Visibility of the open-source-Java process
I'm sure that Sun is making progress internally at open-sourcing the Java platform. However, I have not been able to observe any of this progress myself, as an open-source developer. My question is: is there any way that people like me can see what is actually happening in terms of releasing Sun's Java implementation as free or open-source software?
I had thought that this forum would be the best venue for engaging directly with Sun on this topic, but it does not appear to me that very much is happening here.
The last public statement that I have seen from Sun was on August 14. There haven't been any blog entries on the aggregated java.net blogs pertaining to open-source Java since Sept 27, and it and the two previous entries I saw were just discussing version control systems and bug-tracking systems to be used for open-source Java.
I'm almost tempted to think that one of the various existing free Java implementations -- GCJ, or Jikes RVM, or JamVM, or even Harmony -- might deliver a solid Java platform before Sun's Java is available under an open-source license; except that it looks as though Sun's announcement that Java /would/ be open-sourced has caused all of those projects to stall. (I see that CACAO has released a new version a few days ago, but the only other open-source JVM that has had any activity since 9 August when GNU Classpath 0.92 was released is Jikes RVM, which requires the proprietary Sun or IBM JRE to bootstrap.)
It would be a shame if Sun's widely-publicised open-source plans wound up collapsing for some reason, and the only real outcome were that existing free Java implementations wound up collapsing as well due to lack of momentum. It's hard for me to see how Java, as a platform, could retain any kind of industry relevance or mindshare if that were to happen.