James Gosling talked with Robert Eckstein about making JavaTM technology open source.
One of the reasons for a delay in opening the code was legal, but management of the source code also presented issues that needed to be worked out. Gosling said CVS would not work well for large-scale projects.
To prevent fragmentation of the code, the Java Community Process will still define specs and test it. Gosling said, "... it shouldn't give anybody any concerns as far as fragmentation. We're not just going to let random people check random code in. Just like every other open-source project, we will end up with a set of rules for who's allowed to check in a lot. Everything will get checked and rechecked and debugged."
Gosling discussed what he thought the financial effect of making Java open source would be: "From a financial point of view, the Java platform has been free to all of these enterprises and such since day one. And so from that point of view, this really isn't going to have an effect on our financial situation." Jonathan Schwartz said it will create more market opportunity for Sun and for Sun's customers.
Developers can contribute features they would like to see in the technology. "If there's a method missing from the string package that you really want, you can add that and contribute it, so long as it passes through the community evaluations. There's a track to get it through the community process. And then there are whole new packages, similar to what happens with the JCP expert groups."
There are hopes of getting Java distributed with Linux, now that licensing issues are not in the way.
Gosling has made Duke available also via a link on his blog (even surgery doesn't slow him down much). Duke images are available to the Java community; java.net says "All we ask is that you treat Duke with the same respect that Sun has."
In his letter, he stated, "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." He encourages developers to join in the innovations.
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