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Visibility of the open-source-Java process

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brettneumeier
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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.

Cheers,

Brett Neumeier

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mhall
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> Whether you're counting users or developers, I still
> suspect I'm thinking an open-source license might
> increase adoption by less than, 1%, whereas you might
> be thinking 10% or even more.

Right now, I don't know of any Linux distro that comes with Sun J2SE installed, or even IBM's. Most come with GCJ or some other partially functional VM+JCF implementation. Apache's Harmony was supposed to finally provide a feature-for-feature replacement for Sun's J2SE, consolidating the work of Kaffe, Classpath and GCJ. Now, we don't have to wait years for it, that's a good thing.

And even though I don't see Java becoming the preferred runtime for Gnome, it would be nice to know most Linux installs will run a modern Java application.

trembovetski
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> But I do think that cutting staff saves money, and I can't think of a more ominous sign that some serious staff cuts are coming than open-sourcing the product that they're working on.

That is my point. You have no idea what's going on =)

Unless by "open sourcing" you mean "throwing over the wall".
Let me assure you this is not what's happening here.

Dmitri

atripp
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> > But I do think that cutting staff saves money, and
> I can't think of a more ominous sign that some
> serious staff cuts are coming than open-sourcing the
> product that they're working on.
>
> That is my point. You have no idea what's going on
> =)

I guess we'll find out in July 2007...http://news.zdnet.com/2100-9595_22-6059491.html

"Lehman is "taking a fresh look at everything," Sun spokeswoman Stephanie Von Allmen said Monday. "He's going to be putting together a leaner, more efficient business model that he'll roll out in (fiscal) 2007, starting in the July quarter." Sun's fiscal 2007 begins July 1."

"Sun's Java software initiative was costly, too, he said, employing more than 4,000 developers to create a product adopted by IBM and other competitors. "The cost burden was staggering: Hundreds of millions of R&D dollars per year, plus the huge opportunity cost of all the highly skilled technical people who could have been working on direct revenue-producing products."

atripp
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> > I think that Sun's management is looking to cut
> costs without abandoning the product.
>
> Anyone who thinks that by open-sourcing a product
> company saves money have no idea what's going on. My
> opinion.
>
> Dmitri

Just to be clear, I don't think open sourcing saves money either. But I do think that cutting staff saves money, and I can't think of a more ominous sign that some serious staff cuts are coming than open-sourcing the product that they're working on.

Maybe I'm just too focused on Netscape. Are there other cases of a company open-sourcing a project without following it with drastic cuts?

mhall
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Has Sun made drastic cuts to it's Solaris team?

leouser
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I think the problem here in seeing that open sourcing Java leads to job cuts is assuming that its automatically going to reduce the need for workers. I don't know how anyone can project the labor that is just going to happen and stay happening and also rationally manage the project. If you slashed 50% of your work force hoping the community would make up the slack so you could get Java 7 out in 18 months... it just seems like a mad dream to me.

Even if you could replace body for body one Java engineer for someone from the community, it still seems amazingly inefficient to me. Someone who knows the codebase should be able to outperform someone who doesn't. Hmm... "JavaMadMan" said he was going to fix that piece of code engineer Joe could have got done in 2 days, I wonder where its at?

leouser

atripp
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> I think the problem here in seeing that open sourcing
> Java leads to job cuts is assuming that its
> automatically going to reduce the need for workers.

If you look at Netscape, it wasn't as though they thought they could reduce the need for workers. Netscape was just a huge money-loser, and AOL wanted their server-side stuff and decided to stop the bleeding by laying off all Mozilla developers. So it wasn't a "lets get others to do the work for us" mentality, but a "we're going to kill it, but first set it free in hopes that it will live on if someone else wants to keep it going".

> I don't know how anyone can project the labor that
> t is just going to happen and stay happening and also
> rationally manage the project. If you slashed 50% of
> your work force hoping the community would make up
> the slack so you could get Java 7 out in 18 months...
> it just seems like a mad dream to me.

When Lucent split from AT&T, it was 120,000 people, and now it's down to 25,000 or so. I've lived thru lots of huge slashings. It's not a question of whether you're better off slashing or not...if you know you can't survive as things are going, you slash and hope that works. Unless it's your own child (Mcnealy), you do what you have to do (Schwartz).

>
> Even if you could replace body for body one Java
> engineer for someone from the community, it still
> seems amazingly inefficient to me. Someone who knows
> the codebase should be able to outperform someone who
> doesn't. Hmm... "JavaMadMan" said he was going to
> fix that piece of code engineer Joe could have got
> done in 2 days, I wonder where its at?

When you're losing money as Sun has been, it's a matter of survival at all costs, not an issue of what makes the most sense. I'm guessing Sun finally took a long, hard look at the amount of money they are losing on Java development and decided the only way for the company to survive is to cut that cost. McNealy probably couldn't accept that so he got the boot.

>
> leouser

leouser
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atripp wrote:
"When you're losing money as Sun has been, it's a matter of survival at all costs, not an issue of what makes the most sense. I'm guessing Sun finally took a long, hard look at the amount of money they are losing on Java development and decided the only way for the company to survive is to cut that cost. McNealy probably couldn't accept that so he got the boot."

Its plausible but Ive never had the perception the Java alone was causing Sun damage. Every time I hear the Java + Money + Sun question asked and answered it has been along the lines that the money is made up the stack(I think that's how James Gosling replied to it). Open Sourcing Java, an act of desperation? Only time will tell, but I haven't had any reason to make my bet that it is.

leouser

atripp
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> Its plausible but Ive never had the perception the
> Java alone was causing Sun damage. Every time I hear
> the Java + Money + Sun question asked and answered it
> has been along the lines that the money is made up
> the stack(I think that's how James Gosling replied to
> it).

Sun did promise to publish their profit numbers relating to Java, so we should find out. Overall, Sun's been losing lots of money, and they surely must be thinking that they can cut development costs and still profit from "the stack".

> Open Sourcing Java, an act of desperation?
> Only time will tell, but I haven't had any reason to
> o make my bet that it is.

Just take a look at the Sun stock price over the last 10 years or the yearly profits. Not a pretty picture :(

>
> leouser

atripp
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> Hi atripp,
>
> Regarding whether GNU Classpath effort is a waste or
> not -- do you think that Sun would even be
> considering releasing Java under a Free Software
> license if there were not some credible projects that
> were showing clear progress on the development of a
> Free Software implementation of Java?

I don't know whether Classpath and/or Harmony is influencing Sun - I'd say probably. If so, I suspect they're more worried about Harmony than CLASSPATH. The fact that CLASSPATH, after many years, is not even up to a 1.0 release, puts them about 10 years behind Java, with no indication that they'd even be able to "keep up" and stay many years behind. They'd surely never "catch up".

In either case, I wouldn't consider the availability of a completely Free version of Java to be a benefit, so I'd consider that work a waste in any case. But I can certainly see how others would like a Free version - I'm just more pragmatic than religious.

>
> I doubt it, personally. I think that Sun probably
> only started seriously considering freeing the Java
> platform after projects like GNU Classpath
> demonstrated that, eventually, there [i]would be[/i]
> a Free Java implementation.

Yea, probably.

>
> Of course, this might be totally wrong; I don't know
> what sorts of conversations were going on at Sun. I
> don't know what sorts of conversations are going on
> at Sun today, either. That's why I posted my
> original message.

My guess (just a guess) is that Sun's thinking more about their company's bottom line than RMS's religion. Just as Netscape decided to open-source Mozilla and then not feel so bad about laying off all their Mozilla developers, I think that Sun's management is looking to cut costs without abandoning the product.

Andy
>
> Best regards,
>
> Brett Neumeier

trembovetski
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> I think that Sun's management is looking to cut costs without abandoning the product.

Anyone who thinks that by open-sourcing a product company saves money have no idea what's going on. My opinion.

Dmitri

leouser
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' > I think that Sun's management is looking to cut costs without abandoning the product.

Anyone who thinks that by open-sourcing a product company saves money have no idea what's going on. My opinion.

Dmitri '

It might cost more, but couldn't it be argued that it brings in more cash flow? Isn't Solaris 10 helping bring in additional revenues because its Open Source? Or does that have to do more with the fact that you can download it and has all these nifty features like dtrace that make you want to download it?

Though, how would this apply to Java? You can already download it for free and it has all kinds of nifty features. Ive seen it argued that Java is more of a "market maker" than a revenue generator. If an Open Source Java makes it easier for it to be included in Linux distros, I guess you could say the move is expanding the Java market.

leouser

trembovetski
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> It might cost more, but couldn't it be argued that it brings in more cash flow?

I agree. But cutting costs and increasing adoption are two different goals.

Dmitri

brettneumeier
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Hi atripp,

Regarding whether GNU Classpath effort is a waste or not -- do you think that Sun would even be considering releasing Java under a Free Software license if there were not some credible projects that were showing clear progress on the development of a Free Software implementation of Java?

I doubt it, personally. I think that Sun probably only started seriously considering freeing the Java platform after projects like GNU Classpath demonstrated that, eventually, there [i]would be[/i] a Free Java implementation.

Of course, this might be totally wrong; I don't know what sorts of conversations were going on at Sun. I don't know what sorts of conversations are going on at Sun today, either. That's why I posted my original message.

Best regards,

Brett Neumeier

leouser
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Hmmm, if there were 0 OpenSource Java(like) implementations out there would there be a drive to open up Java? I have no idea. Ive thought that a motivator would be to be able to get Java out on more Linux distros. I remember a firestorm brewed when there was a Debian distro. I assume it would be better if there wasn't that type of resistance to Java getting in distros. Maybe I travel in the wrong java communities, but I don't ever recall developers making statements along the lines of "Im moving to Harmony, once its mature". Im sure there are some folks out there who would/will, but is it a sizeable group?

leouser

mhall
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If I had to guess, I would say the open-source Java, especially GPL'd Java, has more to do with OpenOffice.org than with Harmony or Classpath.

Remember the whole OpenOffice.org 2.0 debacle because some portions (Base) had requirements on Sun proprietary Java code? Redhat even went to far as distributing a different version of OOo that would run on GCJ. Sun obviously sees potential for StarOffice, but only if OpenOffice.org can open up the market to MS Office alternatives. And keeping OpenOffice.org/StarOffice dependent on Java, even GPL'd Java, increases the mindshare of Java, which is good for Sun's other product lines that actually do generate revenue.

atripp
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Dalibor,

> The more free runtimes are out there, the better for
> all of us, as that means the core Java space is not
> stagnating,

Why do more free runtimes mean less stagnation? If the runtimes are all attempting to be compatible with Sun, then they are just as stagnant as Sun's...i.e. they do not have any features beyond Sun's. Sure, they may be different internally, but that's a different thing.

> and people are putting their efforts into
> finding better ways to solve problems.

Seems to me that almost all the development effort going into free runtimes are simply duplicating what's already been done by Sun. Sure, some of those may be better, but probably not many. It's tough to build a better mousetrap when you can't even look at the design of the current mousetrap. And it's very near impossible to claim that you have a better mousetrap without knowing the design of the one you're comparing yourself to.

> Some of those
> improvements tend to find their way into other JVMs &
> class libraries over time, and everyone wins.

If you have an example of a better implementation. By "better", I mean that it actually benefits a user (Java programmer), not just that it seems more clever.

>
> Free software development is not at all like one of
> those Highlander movies, where everyone tries to chop
> each other's head to gain their power. Compared to
> the vast numbers of people who don't use & write
> programs for Java yet, framing the opening of Sun's
> source code base as a showdown between Sun on one
> side, and Classpath & Harmony on the other sides, is
> like framing a bunch of goldfish fight for the
> supremacy of a virtual fish bowl, when they are
> actually all swimming in a large pond.

You say that as if there were this huge group of people who would switch to Java if only it where FOSS. What kind of numbers are you picturing? With 5 million current java developers, are you picturing another 5 million waiting for it to be FOSS? or is it only .5 million? Or 50 million? I'm not asking for a real estimate, just trying to get a feel for what you're thinking.

I would guess that the "large pond" is only a fishbowl able to hold a few more fish - perhaps 1% of all potential Java programmers actually don't use it because it's not FOSS. How many orders of magnitude do you think that's off by?

Andy

robilad
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> Why do more free runtimes mean less stagnation?

Because they allow implementation ideas to be tried out outside of the setting of an 'industrial strength' runtime, and the associated overhead & complexity.

> Seems to me that almost all the development effort
> going into free runtimes are simply duplicating
> what's already been done by Sun.

Not really, no. For example, http://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&lr=&q=%22kaffe+vm%22&btnG=Search gives 69 papers referencing Kaffe, in areas from tiny JINI implementations to dynamic autoparalellization, from distributed JVMs to Java-based operating systems.

If you lookup papers on other free runtimes, you'll find that they are enabling JVM & Java research in similar ways, as well. JikesRVM, in particular, has been a leading free runtime in terms of state-of-the-art research. You can find a collection of papers at http://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&lr=&q=JikesRVM&btnG=Search

> You say that as if there were this huge group of
> people who would switch to Java if only it where
> FOSS.

There are many people for whom using Java, be it as programmers, or as potential users of libraries and applications written in the Java programming language was not an attractive option, before free runtimes became useful for their tasks. There still are many people for whom that's the case.

For example, one of the chances/challenges ahead for the JVM is to become the ubiquitous, preferred platform for computing in all sorts of programming languages. Ubiquitous high-performance JVMs would make the migration from current engines for those languages more attractive.

atripp
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> > Why do more free runtimes mean less stagnation?
>
> Because they allow implementation ideas to be tried
> out outside of the setting of an 'industrial
> strength' runtime, and the associated overhead &
> complexity.

Many people are already doing that under the JRL, and everyone is free to do it if they want. I'm sure the number of people who avoid the JRL because of "tainting" is low. I guess we'll find out - we'll see if anyone comes up with some innovation, where that particular person wouldn't have touched the JRL. Should be interesting to watch!

>
> > Seems to me that almost all the development effort
> > going into free runtimes are simply duplicating
> > what's already been done by Sun.
>
> Not really, no. For example,
> http://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&lr=&q=%22kaffe
> +vm%22&btnG=Search gives 69 papers referencing Kaffe,
> in areas from tiny JINI implementations to dynamic
> autoparalellization, from distributed JVMs to
> Java-based operating systems.

And aren't those all just re-implementations? I fail to see how they can really be innovative when they provide the exact same functionality as the original. Sure, they might be different, even better, internally - we'd have to see if that's ever the case.

>
> If you lookup papers on other free runtimes, you'll
> find that they are enabling JVM & Java research in
> similar ways, as well. JikesRVM, in particular, has
> been a leading free runtime in terms of
> state-of-the-art research. You can find a collection
> of papers at
> http://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&lr=&q=JikesRVM
> &btnG=Search

Yea, OK.

>
> > You say that as if there were this huge group of
> > people who would switch to Java if only it where
> > FOSS.
>
> There are many people for whom using Java, be it as
> programmers, or as potential users of libraries and
> applications written in the Java programming language
> was not an attractive option, before free runtimes
> became useful for their tasks. There still are many
> people for whom that's the case.

Can you please tell me what you mean by "many people"? I'm not looking for a real estimate. I honestly don't know whether you're thinking that 100 would be "many people" or whether you mean more like 1,000,000 being "many people".

I mean, many people have tatoos on their foreheads, too, but it's *relatively* few. Maybe we could agree that, say, around 1% of all Java developers prefer using a Free version, and that's many (50,000), but still *relatively* few. But I still don't know whether by "many" you're thinking 0.001% or 50%.

>
> For example, one of the chances/challenges ahead for
> the JVM is to become the ubiquitous, preferred
> platform for computing in all sorts of programming
> languages. Ubiquitous high-performance JVMs would
> make the migration from current engines for those
> languages more attractive.

I agree, but that's true independent of the licensing issue.

robilad
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As far as suitability for non-core-Java related tasks goes, Java licensing has been a thorny issue in the past, for example during the inconclusive GNOME 3 debates on which managed runtime to use for future development.

With Java becoming open source, the JVM would become the strongest contender for the premier managed runtime platform for millions of GNOME desktops. IDG, for example, projects that the Linux desktop market will be worth 10 billion USD by 2008.

So yeah, I'm talking about millions, rather than hundreds.

But hey, even if it ends up being just 100 more people using Java since it's open source, you'll personally lose nothing in the process, anyway, so why all the venom?

atripp
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> So yeah, I'm talking about millions, rather than
> hundreds.

OK, millions of *users*. I thought when everyone was talking about "increased adoption", they where talking about *developers*. So then if you're talking *users*, how many Java users are out there? Probably close to a billion?

Whether you're counting users or developers, I still suspect I'm thinking an open-source license might increase adoption by less than, 1%, whereas you might be thinking 10% or even more.

>
> But hey, even if it ends up being just 100 more
> people using Java since it's open source, you'll
> personally lose nothing in the process, anyway, so
> why all the venom?

I and all Java developers may certainly lose a lot if we go back to the bad old days of multiple incompatible implementations. I'd love to see the total amount of money spent on porting C and C++ applications - probably many billions of dollars.

And it's not venom from hatred, it's adrenalin from fear :)

robilad
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If you look at the growth that Solaris is now enjoying, which has been fueled through the move to open source, it's interesting how becoming open source can give a good technology a huge push into the market place. Java is a [b]great[/b] technology.

To quote from the OpenSolaris anniversary announcement:

"Since open sourcing the Solaris Operating System (OS) in June 2005, Sun has seen the OpenSolaris community grow to more than 14,000 members while Solaris 10 has exceeded 5 million registered license shipments - more than its competitors have shipped collectively in the last 18 months, and [b]more than all current Solaris OS versions combined[/b]."

atripp
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> If you look at the growth that Solaris is now
> enjoying, which has been fueled through the move to
> open source, it's interesting how becoming open
> source can give a good technology a huge push into
> the market place. Java is a [b]great[/b] technology.
>
> To quote from the OpenSolaris anniversary
> announcement:
>
> "Since open sourcing the Solaris Operating System
> (OS) in June 2005, Sun has seen the OpenSolaris
> community grow to more than 14,000 members while
> Solaris 10 has exceeded 5 million registered license
> shipments - more than its competitors have shipped
> collectively in the last 18 months, and [b]more than
> all current Solaris OS versions combined[/b]."

I don't think the 14,000 members number means anything. Mozilla probably has a huge number of "members" now, too. But they also have only 10-15% of the market and near zero revenue. I would consider that a step backward from the days when the had 80% market share, $500 million in annual revenue, and relatively few closed-source developers working on it.

On the number of OSs shipped, I'd have to see more numbers to convince myself that there's any significant increase. But didn't Sun also lower the price to zero when it made it open source? If so, that seems like it might have affected the numbers (whereas Java is already free).

robilad
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The more free runtimes are out there, the better for all of us, as that means the core Java space is not stagnating, and people are putting their efforts into finding better ways to solve problems. Some of those improvements tend to find their way into other JVMs & class libraries over time, and everyone wins.

Free software development is not at all like one of those Highlander movies, where everyone tries to chop each other's head to gain their power. Compared to the vast numbers of people who don't use & write programs for Java yet, framing the opening of Sun's source code base as a showdown between Sun on one side, and Classpath & Harmony on the other sides, is like framing a bunch of goldfish fight for the supremacy of a virtual fish bowl, when they are actually all swimming in a large pond.

webmink
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I agree with Dalibor. When Sun's Java implementations are "liberated" (as a recent correspondent described it), that further validates the openness of the Java platform rather than negates the need for other implementations. Java is not .Net, after all.

To the point the root message makes, if it was all that transparent it would already be open source! Don't worry, we're nearly there.

dgilbert
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Personally, I think that if Sun does a good job of opening their implementation, then GNU Classpath *will* fade away. Why wouldn't it? The primary goal of Classpath is to create a free(-as-in-freedom) runtime that is compatible with Sun's spec/implementation, so that people can run free Java software without needing a proprietary runtime. If Sun delivers their implementation under similar free terms, then it is going to trump Classpath in most important areas (such as performance, completeness and compatibility) and Classpath's target audience is going to move on. Unless I missed something? Furthermore, I'd be surprised if Redhat (a major sponsor of Classpath) continued to put resources into the project, in a world where Sun's runtime presumably checks all their boxes.

Don't get me wrong - GNU Classpath is a super project and has a group of the most talented developers I've ever come across. It is rightly the number one free runtime, and it continues to get better and better. But Sun is going to take away its raison d’être. Don't worry, that's just progress.

I've always contributed to Classpath on the basis that it is like an insurance policy, one that pays out in the case that Sun never "opens" Java. Did you ever get back from a trip abroad and look at your travel insurance policy and think (with 20/20 hindsight) "that was a waste of money"? Rationally, you know that it wasn't a waste, and likewise with GNU Classpath.

Anyway, I'm not writing off Classpath just yet - Sun's implementation is not free yet, and although I have a lot of confidence in their follow through in this case, big companies can mess things up in interesting ways. It will be fun to watch this unfold over the next year.

atripp
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> I've always contributed to Classpath on the basis
> that it is like an insurance policy, one that pays
> out in the case that Sun never "opens" Java. Did you
> ever get back from a trip abroad and look at your
> travel insurance policy and think (with 20/20
> hindsight) "that was a waste of money"? Rationally,
> you know that it wasn't a waste, and likewise with
> GNU Classpath.

Actually, it almost certainly was a "waste", independent of whether you cased in the policy or not (i.e. died). You can calculate whether it's a good deal or not by looking at the cost, payout,and likelihood of payout. With most insurance and most lotteries, you'll get back about half what you should.

In the case of spending time on Classpath, if you've miscalculated the likelyhood that it will survive and be useful, then you have wasted your time. I suspect the difference in my calculations vs. yours is in the likelihood of Classpath every being useful (independent of whether Sun ever opens Java). I put the chances of that at an incredibly low number, thinking that there are relatively few people who care whether it's truly FOSS or not.

dgilbert
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> I suspect the difference in my calculations vs. yours
> is...

...that we value things differently. Which is fine by me.

robilad
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Oh, and JamVM 1.4.4 just got released. :)

theuserbl
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The point is, that I think, that GNU Classpath, JamVM and so on will be irrelevant when Suns Java is OpenSource.

And it will be OpenSource!

The problem is, that it isn't easy to open Suns Java.
Read at
http://www.sun.com/emrkt/innercircle/newsletter/0906feature.html#6
Simons comments.

[i]Question: "There are some people who claim that Sun is delaying the open sourcing of Java technology. Why not just pick a license and be done with it?"

Simons Answer: "If it were that easy, Sun would have open sourced Java a long time ago. But open sourcing commercial software is more than just picking a license. Existing developers need to be respected. And, it's important to figure out how the governance of the project will respect the contributors. There are also issues about proving relicensing rights — not to mention producing an environment in which a well-designed and backwards compatible implementation of the Java platform can be kept in the marketplace. So, Sun isn't delaying. Sun is figuring out which license will work best, devising governance, reviewing copyright ownership and so on. We'll make releases incrementally over the coming year. That model worked for OpenSolaris, and I intend to make sure it works for the Java platform, too."[/i]

Also I like the comment of a people called "M wie Meikel" at
http://www.pro-linux.de/news/2006/10400.html
Someone writes there, that GNU Classpath will be completely Java 1.5 compatible before Sun have opened up its Java-implementation and so it would be unimportant if Suns opens Java, because GNU Classpath exists.
The answer of "M wie Maikel" is there, that he have already heard somethink like that, before Suns sayd, that they want to make StarOffice as OpenOffice.org OpenSource.
He said, that there existing people who sais, that KOffice would be much better and so OpenOffice would be unimportand and so on. And that Sun never will make the SourceCode of StarOffice OpenSource.
I think, he is right. Today OpenOffice.org exists as OpenSource and it is much better then KOffice.

Why would be a GNU Classpath better than an opensourced Suns Java?

trembovetski
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You might want to take a look at the presentation on Danny's blog:
http://blogs.sun.com/dannycoward/entry/touring_europe

The pdf:
http://blogs.sun.com/dannycoward/resource/Java7Overview_Prague_JUG.pdf

It might answer some questions.

Dmitri

timbell
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I can tell you there has been an enormous amount of internal activity (scroll to the Simon Phipps comments on this message thread for some of the high points).

There will be a lot more to say in the next 24 hours. Start reading here:

http://blogs.sun.com/mr/entry/one_giant_leap

And then tune in here, 9:30 AM PT Monday, 13 November:

http://www.sun.com/2006-1113/feature/index.jsp

Cheers -

brettneumeier
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OK, I take it all back. At this point I'm completely satisfied with the visibility of open-source Java progress.

Cheers,

bn

robilad
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IKVM released 0.30 back on Aug 18th, gcj has entered stage 3 along with the rest of gcc for 4.2 release a week or two ago, and JNode 0.2.4 was released two weeks ago, as well. I hope to have another version of Kaffe kicked out in time for the Etch freeze, thumbs crossed.

GNU Classpath is chugging along nicely towards finishing 1.4, with now just a few dozen methods missing, rather than whole packages or classes like a year ago. See http://sab39.netreach.com/Blog/Blog/12/pm__18/vobId__318/ for pointers.

Over on #classpath on irc.freenode.org, rkennke has been looking at reusing Cacao's fast vmgen-generated interpreter in Jamaica, which should make it easier to use it in other VMs as well. I'd love to find a volunteer to replace Kaffe's interpreter with it, as well. Wink, nudge.

Gcjwebplugin has been seeing bug fixing work lately, raif wrote a GNU MP based Bignum implementation (i.e. you get really fast crypto), fchoong implemented HTMLWriter, etc. The next GNU Classpath release should bring several JNDI, CORBA networking and NIO improvements, beside all the good work going into the GUI side of APIs.

Stuff's happening, it's just not widely publicized. :)

If you are interesting in helping out please join #classpath on freenode, or use the respective mailing lists.

cheers,
dalibor topic

robilad
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Maybe we should publicize things happening with open source implementations more ... on java.net, for example. Chris, what do you think?

dgilbert
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Hi Brett,

GNU Classpath hasn't stalled at all. I keep up to date with the CVS version, and there are some nice improvements coming for the 0.93 version, which I'd expect to be out this month (although I don't have any inside information on the timing of the release).

I posted something recently about some Swing HTML improvements that have gone in:

http://jroller.com/page/dgilbert?entry=small_steps

There is a lot more of course, but I tend to focus on the AWT/Swing aspects because that is what interests me.

Regards,

Dave Gilbert
JFreeChart Project Leader

theuserbl
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Have a look at
http://news.yahoo.com/s/infoworld/20061025/tc_infoworld/83138&printer=1
http://www.computerworld.com.au/index.php/id;75654747;fp;;fpid;;pf;1
thats the newest news.

In august there stands in the news, that in last october the first parts will be OpenSource. Also it was planned, that onj end 2007 Java will be completely OpenSource.

Now the actual plans are, that the first parts will be in the end of this year OpenSource (I think together with the release of Java6) and the rest in the first quartal of 2007.

[i]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.[/i]

Thats because Sun is a company. I also don't understand it, why Sun not publish step by step of the JDK-Code as OpenSource. But because its a company, Sun published the code as big bunches.

Thats the same like the Swing-contribution by Intekl for Apache Harmony. They also not contributed class by class for the project. They have presented the complete thing at once.

Thats something, what a lot of firms do. But after it is OpenSource, it goes the normal OpenSource way. Then the changes on the code are also a few but often and not much and seldom.

Greatings
theuserbl