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Open source community attacks Sun

Tells Schwartz it's not happy
Mon Nov 29 2004, 07:03
SUN CEO Jonathan Schwartz's claim that his Java Community Process is the only true open source has greatly miffed the open source movement.

Eric Raymond, president of the Open Source Initiative, has hit out in an open letter that Schwartz's claims that Linux didn't even get a vote when it came to being close to the open source ideals.

According to Raymond, it has nothing to do with voting, it is all about the "right to fork". Apparently if you dislike Linus Torvalds decisions about Linux, you have the right to strike off in your own direction. But Java users never get the chance to do that, Raymond said.

"Sun can vapour on about voting and committees all it wants, but at the end of the day JCP is still a single point of control, the Java reference implementation and class libraries are under a proprietary license, and nobody can legally fork them," Raymond wrote.

"As long as that continues to be the case, Java will be firmly stuck in cathedral-land and any claim otherwise will be disingenuous crap."

While he welcomed Sun's open sourcing Solaris, he wondered why the company was not doing the same thing with Java.

"I think Mr. Schwartz's time would be better spent explaining why he thinks those reasons don't apply to Java—especially when IBM's intention to release a fully open-source JRE (Java Runtime Environment) and class libraries within the next year or so is about the worst-kept secret in the industry. IBM executives scarcely even bother to deny this any more," Raymond wrote.

The full nine yards can be found here. µ


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