Welcome!

Weblogic Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Michael Meiner, Michael Bushong, Avi Rosenthal

Related Topics: Java IoT

Java IoT: Article

"Let's Bundle Free Java with Linux," Says IBM's Sutor

"Let's Bundle Free Java with Linux," Says IBM's Sutor

"If you could get every Linux distribution with an official, certified Java implementation where you could count on what it did, what its characteristics were, that would be a very powerful thing," said IBM's Bob Sutor last week, as a follow-up to Sun's dismissal - as "bonky" - of his suggestion that IBM and Sun should team up on open-sourcing Java.

When asked who would provide such a Linux-Java distribution, Sutor replied that this was precisely one of the things IBM wants to talk to Sun about.

Sutor disagrees with Sun's Jonathan Schwartz that Java would fork just as Linux has done, if open-sourced. He thinks that the "forking" argument is, as he puts it, "overstated." He even threw Schwartz's "bonky" characterization back in his face, saying that the market is capable of deciding for itself:

"Yes, there are different Linux distributions, but there are main distributions, and the kernel tends to be very consistent. If you're doing 'bonky' things then the market will reject them very quickly, you have to give the market, and the customers, credit."

Bundling open-source Java with Linux distros would create a compelling OS platform that would help to further boost Java's standing in the market, in Sutor's view. Plus such an implementation could also benefit "from the combined expertise of each Java vendor."

"IBM does some things better than others, maybe others do some things better than IBM," Sutor conceded. "If we could pool our collective resources and arrive at the best possible common implementation that is widely available, it would mean we could put fewer resources on this."

The week will doubtless bring a response from Sun and indeed from other Java vendors.

More Stories By Java News Desk

JDJ News Desk monitors the world of Java to present IT professionals with updates on technology advances, business trends, new products and standards in the Java and i-technology space.

Comments (21) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
Maynard 03/10/04 05:14:59 PM EST

Why? They already gave the community Eclipse, and they do provide a lot of information on their webstie about devloping for Linux and so on.

Laura D 03/09/04 01:10:07 PM EST

IBM is just messing around with Sun and Java.
Open sourcing Java would be the beginning of end-of-life for Java.
"IBM does some things better than others" - yes bonky things. (example: SWT)
Java is already free, why do anybody want it open source?

umeshphirke 03/08/04 08:18:01 PM EST

How about IBM giving WebSphere giving to the open source community

Randy Poznan 03/08/04 05:15:07 PM EST

This is more of the AWT vs SWT saga between Sun and IBM. Ibm wants SWT and probably other technology added to Java and would like a open source way to do this. Sun doesnt want to lose control over what goes into standard API's and they hate SWT. My wish list for Sun would be to support every OS/hardware platform where there is demand. OpenBSD FreeBSD and sparc/linux etc. Also I have a feeling that someday if Java was GNU based OS utilities, shells, Daemons, and Servers could be written in Java. These would be immune from the type of bugs that C/C++ programs face.

CallMeIshmael 03/08/04 02:33:00 PM EST

Do we see massive forking of programming languages that ship standard with Linux today such as C++ or Perl? Why or why not? How can this similar experience help with Java?

Gorath99 03/08/04 08:57:00 AM EST

I really hope this works out. Not because "free as in beer" isn't good enough for me (it is), but because it'll help focus the Java community.

We want Java's greatest supporters on one line, so they can face the growing competition of C# instead of bickering among themselves about whose VM/Gui toolkit/IDE/Compiler is the best.

Getting an OSS Java is just a nice bonus.

javaxman 03/08/04 08:56:03 AM EST

IBM has maybe made more money from Java than Sun has...

There's also a great deal of ambiguity here as to what the heck might be open sourced. Does it mean there'll just be one open-source implementation which will be tested against the Java Compatability Kit for free, and other commercial ventures will have to continue licensing from Sun? Does it mean that not-for-profit ventures can get a copy of the JCK free? What would the license be like?

A big part of the problem here is that one of the strong points of Java is having a standard API with expected behaviors across all platforms. What Sun will ( and should ) *not* allow is some arrangement where I can grab the source, add some random API or change some existing API behavior to something non-compliant with the JCK, then release it as "x-man Java" or something. That would be very, very bad, and very likely kill Java.

Archangel 03/08/04 08:53:25 AM EST

Sun has publicly said they will talk to IBM about this. This doesn't amount to agreeing to do that which is proposed - open-sourcing java.

What they HAVE basically said is "We have officially turned to look at the road that may lead to an open source Java". This isn't the first step on the road to Sun being involved in an open source Java. But it's the precursor to that step, so I think anyone interested in Java will take note.

Just my 2c

David Mohring 03/08/04 08:52:14 AM EST

Just the Java J2ME,J2SE,J2EE Libraries

It would benefit the entire Java based industy, including the free software, open source and proprietary based vendors, to open license the core J2ME,J2SE,J2EE libaries and Java to bytecode compilers.

Java's primary strength, the ability to write code which is constantly portable across many vendors platforms, would be greatly enhanced if all of vendors were using the same core libaries.

To insure that the standard base core would not become polluted with incompatable forks, the source could be licensed with a clause requiring any incompatable changes or any additional classes or methords to be moved to and occupy only the vendors namespace. Another clause would require that the vendor version of Java bytecode compiler and any GUI IDE defaults to generating portable bytecode, without embedding any vendor specific references.

Contributions to the core standard would be required to licensed under the same open source license. The existing JCP standard body could decide what becomes part of the Open Java Core.

It should not be necessary to open source license Sun's JVMs. In the long run it could greatly benefit Sun to develop the JVM under a dual license as it doing with OpenOffice.org and selling StarOffice.

[first posted to
http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/wlg/4465
and
http://lwn.net/Comments/72093/
]

njcoder 03/08/04 08:23:51 AM EST

There are open source versions of Java. The problem is, as they are now, they are no where near as good as the "commercial" implementations. Begging Sun to open source Java is pretty much an admission that the open source community cannot develop on its own something as good as what Sun has developed.

Java is a very popular language. Look at the statistics, more people are using Java than most other free languages such as Perl and PHP. More companies are looking for people with Java experience rather than other languages as well including Python.

What Sun should do is get rid of some of the stupid things in their license.

What IBM might consider sponsoring Debian in some way so that a highly optimized Java platform can be developed for Debian. SUSE has licensed the source from Sun for this very purpose. With debian gaining ground in the server market this would be a great thing to have.

I mention debian because of its popularity and its commitment to being free. If there could be a way to make Java free for cetrain things like free linux without making it free for everyone that would be great, but I don't think that is possible.

shirov 03/08/04 08:21:34 AM EST

I think the big advantage(s) of "open sourcing" Java will be seen when things such as the mess with the logging API''s and the use of the assert keyword are avoided.

qotra 03/08/04 08:03:52 AM EST

I use Debian, and generally speaking, if it isn't free enough for Debian, it isn't free enough for me. Beyond my hatred for the lack of JRE in the main unstable tree (which is really annoying), there is also an ethical ideal of truly free software that is being violated by Java.

Many people believe RMS is too hardcore about sticking to his guns on this issue, but I do believe he has a good point. Many programs are "free" for temporary use, and Java is one of them. Other examples of superficially free software are Windows Media Player and Adobe Acrobat, for which there are no guarantees of future freedom. These programs, like Java, introduce standards and structure that other people build on. If the freedom of these platforms was to be compromised, many poeple could stand to lose a great deal of work. The only way to guarantee the possibility of future support is to open source it.

NotFree 03/08/04 08:02:58 AM EST

It is NOT free enough because it cannot come by default with linux distros. License states that third parties cannot distribute Java Development Kit. It will be free enough for me when I can do:

apt-get install j2sdk-1.4.2

Now it is not. Of course having source available and having the right to modify and distribute your own version (e.g. optimized for athlon or modified to conform to debian-standards) of Java would be a HUGE bonus, but it is not THAT necessary.

BenBenBen 03/08/04 08:01:47 AM EST

As Schwartz says, the question -- or the worry -- is more around how to prevent somebody from forking Java and kill the "Write Once, Run Everywhere" idiom.

BaronAaron 03/08/04 08:00:51 AM EST

Any fork from the Java specifications would simply not be Java anymore.

I would imagine Sun would act as a gatekeeper if Java went open source. Anything code that breaks compatibility would not be included in the "offical" Java feed.

TheRaven64 03/08/04 07:59:49 AM EST

Actually, an Apache style license would be better. With the GPL, Microsoft could copy the core VM, remove a few classes, and add com.ms.* packages in large numbers that did not reference any GPL''d code directly, which would result in an incompatible implementation (they probably wouldn''t, since they''re ignoring Java completely in favour of .NET at the moment). Worse, another open source group could fork the project and change the behaviour of some of the core classes, making an incompatible implementation (which would still be bound by the GPL). If this implementation gained even a 5% market share it would be a problem.
With an Apache-style license, companies like Apple could incorporate the Java implementation into their OS, but would not be able to call it Java if they made any changes to the source. Sun (and possibly IBM) could then charge for performing compliance testing on a particular implementation, and allow use of the Java trademark to any implementation which passed the tests.

JPriest 03/08/04 07:59:07 AM EST

Maybe if they chose GPL we could have as many JVM''s as we do Linux distros.

leomekenkamp 03/08/04 07:58:36 AM EST

One problem: Sun successfully challenged MS in a court of law because MS ''polluted'' Java by putting incompatible stuff in java.lang and similar packages. You cannot (under the current Sun Java license) distribute any Sun Java stuff if you do that.

If Sun were to place Java under the GPL Microsoft could pull the same trick, and this time get away with it, thereby successfully polluting Java in such a way that a lot of developers will develop for MS-Java only.

gusmao 03/08/04 07:57:07 AM EST

The question is not whether someone will or will not turn java down because it is not free, but how much more wildly adopted and improved the language and the VM can become.

Futurepower 03/08/04 07:56:28 AM EST

One thing that needs to be said is that this is worth millions of dollars in free publicity for IBM. There are many programmers who, before IBM started supporting Open Source, would not have considered working for IBM.

I''m not saying that IBM is asking for Java to be open source because of publicity. But that support has a wonderful side-effect for the company.

It''s great to have a large organization like IBM that can use its voice to do something that has long been needed. The world needs better GUI support for Java.

JavaCre 03/08/04 07:55:12 AM EST

For my needs and preferences, Java is "free enough". Anyone who ever has turned Java down in favor of something else, because it is not free?

@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Avere Systems, a leading provider of hybrid cloud enablement solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Avere Systems was created by file systems experts determined to reinvent storage by changing the way enterprises thought about and bought storage resources. With decades of experience behind the company’s founders, Avere got its ...
High-velocity engineering teams are applying not only continuous delivery processes, but also lessons in experimentation from established leaders like Amazon, Netflix, and Facebook. These companies have made experimentation a foundation for their release processes, allowing them to try out major feature releases and redesigns within smaller groups before making them broadly available. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Brian Lucas, Senior Staff Engineer at Optimizely, will discuss how by using...
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lead...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CAST Software will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CAST was founded more than 25 years ago to make the invisible visible. Built around the idea that even the best analytics on the market still leave blind spots for technical teams looking to deliver better software and prevent outages, CAST provides the software intelligence that matter ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Daiya Industry will exhibit at the Japanese Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Ruby Development Inc. builds new services in short period of time and provides a continuous support of those services based on Ruby on Rails. For more information, please visit https://github.com/RubyDevInc.
As businesses evolve, they need technology that is simple to help them succeed today and flexible enough to help them build for tomorrow. Chrome is fit for the workplace of the future — providing a secure, consistent user experience across a range of devices that can be used anywhere. In her session at 21st Cloud Expo, Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, will take a look at various options as to how ChromeOS can be leveraged to interact with people on the devices, and formats th...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Yuasa System will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Yuasa System is introducing a multi-purpose endurance testing system for flexible displays, OLED devices, flexible substrates, flat cables, and films in smartphones, wearables, automobiles, and healthcare.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Taica will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Taica manufacturers Alpha-GEL brand silicone components and materials, which maintain outstanding performance over a wide temperature range -40C to +200C. For more information, visit http://www.taica.co.jp/english/.
Enterprises have taken advantage of IoT to achieve important revenue and cost advantages. What is less apparent is how incumbent enterprises operating at scale have, following success with IoT, built analytic, operations management and software development capabilities – ranging from autonomous vehicles to manageable robotics installations. They have embraced these capabilities as if they were Silicon Valley startups. As a result, many firms employ new business models that place enormous impor...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SourceForge has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SourceForge is the largest, most trusted destination for Open Source Software development, collaboration, discovery and download on the web serving over 32 million viewers, 150 million downloads and over 460,000 active development projects each and every month.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dasher Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Dasher Technologies, Inc. ® is a premier IT solution provider that delivers expert technical resources along with trusted account executives to architect and deliver complete IT solutions and services to help our clients execute their goals, plans and objectives. Since 1999, we'v...
As popularity of the smart home is growing and continues to go mainstream, technological factors play a greater role. The IoT protocol houses the interoperability battery consumption, security, and configuration of a smart home device, and it can be difficult for companies to choose the right kind for their product. For both DIY and professionally installed smart homes, developers need to consider each of these elements for their product to be successful in the market and current smart homes.
SYS-CON Events announced today that MIRAI Inc. will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MIRAI Inc. are IT consultants from the public sector whose mission is to solve social issues by technology and innovation and to create a meaningful future for people.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Massive Networks, that helps your business operate seamlessly with fast, reliable, and secure internet and network solutions, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. As a premier telecommunications provider, Massive Networks is headquartered out of Louisville, Colorado. With years of experience under their belt, their team of...
SYS-CON Events announced today that TidalScale, a leading provider of systems and services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TidalScale has been involved in shaping the computing landscape. They've designed, developed and deployed some of the most important and successful systems and services in the history of the computing industry - internet, Ethernet, operating s...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, will discuss how from store operations...
In a recent survey, Sumo Logic surveyed 1,500 customers who employ cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). According to the survey, a quarter of the respondents have already deployed Docker containers and nearly as many (23 percent) are employing the AWS Lambda serverless computing framework. It’s clear: serverless is here to stay. The adoption does come with some needed changes, within both application development and operations. Tha...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM has been named “Diamond Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, will lead you through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He'll look at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering ...