May 4, 2006 4:40 PM PDT

Sun to make Java more Linux-friendly

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Sun Microsystems plans to alter its licensing to make it easier to bundle Java Runtime Environment with Linux.

The company will announce the changes and possibly one other open-source move at the JavaOne conference later this month, Sun executives said during a press teleconference Thursday.

Laurie Tolson, a vice president in the Java platform group, said that Sun, which licenses Java to other software companies, has modified the terms to be more favorable to open-source operating systems, specifically Linux and OpenSolaris.

She said the changes affect the Java Runtime Environment (JRE), the software that needs to be loaded on PCs for them to be able to run Java applications. Typically, the JRE is downloaded separately rather than included with an operating system.

"The intention is to make it easier for distributors and developers to get their hands on the runtime with the operating system," Tolson said.

Joe Keller, a vice president of marketing for service-oriented architecture and integration platforms, referred to the change as "JRE already included."

Sun has faced calls several times to open-source Java, which advocates say would foster innovative open-source development.

The company has resisted formally open-sourcing all of the Java software, but it has dramatically changed the development process around Java and changed licenses to make it easier to see Java source code.

JavaOne 2006 may see Sun open-source portions of the Java Enterprise System, company executive Jeff Jackson said. Last year, the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company said it will eventually offer free access to the server software suite. It is currently "looking at everything," said Jackson, who is a senior vice president for Java development and platform engineering.

Another expected announcement at the conference, scheduled to begin May 16 in San Francisco, will cover Java Platform, Enterprise Edition 5. Sun plans to deliver a software development kit for Java EE 5 at JavaOne, executives said. Java EE 5 is the latest upgrade to the Java server standard and was ratified late last month. It is designed to make programming for Java server applications easier.

The creation of the Java EE 5, done via a committee co-chaired by Sun and Oracle, reflected Sun's intention to emulate open-source development processes, company executives said.

"We've done this entire development project with the (Java developer) community in plain sight," Keller said.

One related Sun code-sharing project is GlassFish, announced at last year's edition of JavaOne. The project aims to develop a Java application server based on the Java EE 5 standard, which uses an open-source license.

Representatives from BEA Systems, Oracle, JBoss and SAP said on Thursday their respective business software companies are in the process of building Java server software based on the new standard. Products are expected to be released over the course of this year and next.

Software based on Java EE 5 will support the Enterprise Java Beans 3.0 standard, which is meant to make it easier to access data from Java programs and write transactional systems.

Java EE 5 has also been tweaked to speed up Web development and creation of Web services. Software based on Java EE 5 will include prebuilt components for building Web applications using the AJAX Web development technique, according to Sun executives.

See more CNET content tagged:
JavaOne, Java, Joe Keller, Java server, Sun Microsystems Inc.

10 comments

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Very excited
Looks promising. Um, we'll see what happens. I hope it works out.
If it is supposed to meld with the GPL it should be pretty open source. I wonder how open source the compiler will be. I hope more then .NET.
Seems like a complicated subject with licensing. They will probably tier licenses based on other Java software. I hope they allow me to have a certain amount of control over the code. SUN shouldn't be afraid. C++ is totally open source and still the creator is the main updater for the language. He hasn't lost control.

Check out www.desktoplinux.com for hardcore analysis.
Posted by Blito (436 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Java did Sun no good..
..Sun is on its death bed, it could have been a great company, but its bozo CEO took it on a crusade against MS rather then focusing on making money. Its a capitalistic world if you dont make money you are toast. Linux pretty much was the final nail is Suns coffin and it still hasnt figured that out. They must be on dope big time.
Posted by FutureGuy (742 comments )
Reply Link Flag
You're 3 years behind the times.
Linux is becoming both more relevant and yet more irrelevant by the day. Look at IBM. Where is their software IP going? It's to the visor layer that runs underneath the OS. That's becoming the new OS. Otherwise programing to a specific OS should make little difference. Unless you're a propellerheaded fanboy...

And Sun still sells like $10 Billion/year in hardware. They make good products. And they're hardly in any financial trouble.
Posted by scdecade (329 comments )
Link Flag
final nail is Suns coffin?
IBM doesn't seem to think that Linux is a coffin nail.

IMO Sun's problem is a reluctance to accept Linux.


As far a Microsoft goes just about everyone is on a crusade to stop Microsoft.

:^)
Posted by cyber_rigger (70 comments )
Link Flag
This is a Linux problem
Software should be about choice, Sun should not be forced into releasing Java as GPL just so it can be included in Linux distros.

Sun is _not_ going to sue Red Hat, SUSE etc. for bundling their JVM binaries and I am sure they would even be willing to put it in writing.

Demanding _everything_ be OSS is not any more logical than demanding everything be closed source. Choice they say, pfft.
Posted by Dachi (797 comments )
Reply Link Flag
It is not.!!!
Nobody is forcing Sun to relase Java a GPL.

But the linux distributors are NOT allowed to distribute the JRE because in its license Sun says that you can ONLY download the JRE from THEIR servers (can't put it on the distribution's servers or CDs) unless you are bundle it as a requirement of an specific application. Take a look at the 2nd point at <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.java.com/en/download/license.jsp" target="_newWindow">http://www.java.com/en/download/license.jsp</a>
Posted by jdevora (1 comment )
Link Flag
Heading off a major drawback to desktop adoption.
Aside from the legal issues, which are important to a healthy environment for OSS, this will be a great boon for Linux and other open source operating systems. I have been a Linux user for quite a while now, and I am finally comfortable installing the JRE, but I can assure you that 98% of all potential desktop users would not be able to. Especially since the instruction page is always out of date and has the wrong version in the example instructions. It also assumes you have a pretty good understanding of *nix tree structure and file permissions. Windoz is d/l, one click and you are installed. For OSOS's to gain acceptance they need to make these plug-ins available in the initial distro.
Posted by JJPEC (1 comment )
Link Flag
Adapt or die
Sun knows that there are competing free languages.

If Sun doesn't adapt java
to integrate into the free software world
java will die.
Posted by cyber_rigger (70 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Shhhh!!! Don't Tell That To ...
the tens of thousands of software developers who have been busy porting, or at least wrapping, much of the legacy code that has been running on everything from embedded hand-held and desktop data entry terminals all the way up to mainframes and supercomputers, and everything else in between. You don't want to surprise the users of tens of millions of cell phones/PDAs who are running Java apps on their devices, and/or the servers behind the scenes providing the associated support services are doing so with Java more often, than not. This is primarily due to code portability, built-in code safety, and performance that is now generally at least 95% of that of equivalent C/C++ code, but without the bugaboos such as buffer overruns, dangling pointers, and other forms of memory mismanagement and abuse (among many other advanced features usually not readily supported by older software environments and hardware platforms, such as multi-threading, shared memory with protection between processes, strong typing, modular structure, well-defined interfaces, remote method invocation, easier code re-use, etc.).

Some JRE implementations done by others than Sun are actually more bug-free, have better performance, and better support for advanced features (such as those listed above) than Sun's implementations for those platforms.

As long as there are needs for features such as those discussed above, and easier-to-use development toolsets than those typically used for older languages, Java will be around probably until at least Y10K rears its ugly head. At least it will be easier to update the data structures and methods for handling dates in Java than it was for all that FORTRAN and COBOL code that needed to be hacked for Y2K (often without the source code, which had been lost long ago).

All the Best,
Joe Blow
Posted by Joe Blow (175 comments )
Link Flag
Shhhh!!! Don't Tell That To ...
the tens of thousands of software developers who have been busy porting, or at least wrapping, much of the legacy code that has been running on everything from embedded hand-held and desktop data entry terminals all the way up to mainframes and supercomputers, and everything else in between. You don't want to surprise the users of tens of millions of cell phones/PDAs who are running Java apps on their devices, and/or the servers behind the scenes providing the associated support services are doing so with Java more often, than not. This is primarily due to code portability, built-in code safety, and performance that is now generally at least 95% of that of equivalent C/C++ code, but without the bugaboos such as buffer overruns, dangling pointers, and other forms of memory mismanagement and abuse (among many other advanced features usually not readily supported by older software environments and hardware platforms, such as multi-threading, shared memory with protection between processes, strong typing, modular structure, well-defined interfaces, remote method invocation, easier code re-use, etc.).

Some JRE implementations done by others than Sun are actually more bug-free, have better performance, and better support for advanced features (such as those listed above) than Sun's implementations for those platforms.

As long as there are needs for features such as those discussed above, and easier-to-use development toolsets than those typically used for older languages, Java will be around probably until at least Y10K rears its ugly head. At least it will be easier to update the data structures and methods for handling dates in Java than it was for all that FORTRAN and COBOL code that needed to be hacked for Y2K (often without the source code, which had been lost long ago).

All the Best,
Joe Blow
Posted by Joe Blow (175 comments )
Link Flag
 

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