Not a bash, just the facts

Daniel Carrera daniel.carrera at
Sun Mar 26 22:43:01 UTC 2006

Ewan Mac Mahon wrote:
> There's something too what you say, but I think you're arguing against
> yourself

That's possible. The advantage of arguing against myself is that either 
way I'm right :)

Now seriously, I don't have my heart set on "Java must not be GPL", I'm 
just trying to see it from Sun's POV. I /can/ be convinced that GPL Java 
would be good for Sun.

> - if Java exists as a specification independent of the
> implementation (which it does, AIUI) then Sun could free their
> implementation while still maintaining the spec;

Sure. Though keep in mind that this would be a tightly controlled, 
Sun-only Java and if you made a fork you wouldn't be allowed to call it 
Java without going through the compliance process.

Would you be happy with that situation?

I ask because different people have a different ideas of what GPL Java 
means. Often they mean that there should be an volunteer community 
developing Java, and that's not going to happen. For the reasons cited, 
Sun's Java will remain tightly controlled by Sun.

>>But Microsoft might. It is not FOSS that Sun is afraid of regarding
> They could, but if they broke it so that it couldn't run existing Java
> code no-one would use it.

I'm not sure that I'd take the risk if I were in Sun's shoes. I'd have 
to see a compelling benefit to be worth the risk.

> if that happened Sun, Ubuntu and everyone else would be able to
> pick up the extensions since MS would be obliged to release their
> modifications.

But you don't want that! Then MS is in control and you're following 
behind them, which destroys the whole point of Java. Not to mention that 
these extensions might be incompatibile, or might depend on the Win32 
API, or might have patent restrictions or some other lock-in effect.

>>FOSS doesn't work that way. For example, Ubuntu and Debian are not
>>binary compatible.
> I don't see the connection; my point was that if (say) Ubuntu added a
> whizzy new feature to Python then Debian and everyone else would be able
> to pick up the source to that new feature and include it in their
> Pythons, thereby keeping the implementations compatible. That doesn't
> require binary compatibility, just source compatibility.

Distributions are not even source compatible (e.g. Red Hat and Debian).

    /\/_/   A life? Sounds great!
    \/_/    Do you know where I could download one?

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