Java: Always Open now Free!
Back in May 2006, Sun announced during the JavaOne conference it would release Java as open source, licensed as GPL software. While it was released as GPL, it still contained about 5 percent proprietary, non-free code – the Java trap, as the FSF calls it. The FSF called to dismantle this trap, and now the IcedTea project has reached an important milestone.
The IcedTea project, launched by Red Hat, built on the foundations of the GNU Classpath project to replace the proprietary code in the OpenJDK.
The Java Test Compatibility Toolkit is quite the comprehensive test suite, consisting of over 1 million lines of source code, which tests if a Java implementation conforms to Java specifications. Passing the test ensures your implementation is proper Java.
This means Java is now 100% Free Software.
Open-Source Java Communities
As the heart of the Java platform, Java SE is the execution engine and core development technology that enables the Java technology’s “write once, run anywhere” promise. By open sourcing the Java Development Kit (JDK), Sun’s implementation of Java SE, Sun hopes to make the Java platform a new foundation of innovation and enhance its value as the ubiquitous, essential infrastructure of the Internet experience. Visit the community!
Mobile & Embedded
The Mobile & Embedded community site establishes a central location for the collaborative development of open source Java ME technologies and applications. Deployed in over 1.5 billion mobile and embedded devices, Java ME represents the ideal development platform for the creation and deployment of mobile data services. By open sourcing implementations of Java ME, Sun will enable the community to accelerate platform innovation, reduce development costs through the Java ME ecosystem, and, ultimately, drive a more consistent application platform. Visit the community!
The GlassFish open-source community collaborates on developing the Java EE Reference Implementation. The community delivers production-quality code, including a fully featured application server, TopLink Essentials, a Maven repository, and other components and tools that multiple companies and groups now use. Visit the community!
James Gosling’s Letter to the Java Community
Dear Java Community,
As you can see, we’re making progress with our plans to open source Sun’s implementations of the Java platform. I’m happy to see Java technology embarking on a new journey with this official open-source licensing announcement.
Java technology has been a cornerstone of software development for more than a decade now — the community is ready for the next chapter, and the timing is right. As we stated at the JavaOne conference last May, the most crucial part of this decision was that we realized developers want to preserve compatibility, interoperability, and reliability. We intend to take steps to help make sure Java technology remains compatible, interoperable, and reliable. And we know the Java community feels the same way.
We will continue to do an immense amount of testing with the Java platform. Everything we do will get checked, rechecked, and we will debug rigorously. We expect that people who care about reliability and compatibility with the Java specification will continue to use and enhance Java technology.
One reason Java technology remains so popular is that it’s remarkably successful at spanning a lot of different domains. You can write software for application servers, cell phones, scientific programming, desktop applications, games, embedded software — the list is endless. We’re intend to maintain the support of this broad span of domains.
Sun continues to embrace open source, and I invite you to join us. There are all kinds of contributions you can make. If there’s a bug that you really care about, you can go work out a fix. (That’s one area where developers have made tens of thousands of contributions over the years.) I also invite you to help us add new features. If there’s new functionality that you really want in Java technology, the process is there to help you to add that to the platform as well.