Java free at last

Yeah, I know, it’s been a while, have been very busy with my studies…

Most of you will already know this, but just in case it escaped someone, Sun has generously decided to license the free software version of Java under the GPL! ( There will be live webcast announcement at 9:30am PT today ( Unfortunately I will be at the university being annoyed with C++ at that time, but I guess it will show up on YouTube.

Anyway, this great news, thanks a lot Sun!

On a different topic, why did jME improve so much lately? I have to change so much in my project, that i might as well start over. :wink: Thanks, guys!

well sun gets more and more reasonable :slight_smile:

Ugh…personally I wasn't too thrilled they are open-sourcing Java.  It will likely become like an Apache project.  Lots of features, lots of trashy code, and lots of stability issues.

I wish they would have kept it under their control, they've done well with it thus far and there were a few things the previous license didn't allow for, but all-in-all I think it was better for the language as a whole.

i don't really understand what you mean. the java language specification didn't become GPL.

and they still have the jre and jdk's under control. as far as i understand the only difference is that other people will be able to modify the compiler and classes internally and redistribute them. the same story as with unix and linux. there will probably be more jvm distributions floating arround (probably with specific optimizations) but they will still have to conform to the language specification. otherwise it wouldn't be java anymore.

The problem is Sun has been very slow in fixing bugs, it sometimes takes them years and several releases. These bugs are often very critical for some people. GPL is by far the best way of fixing that problem, without being unreasonable to Sun (eg. BSD like jME is).

It will also improve things like applet integration (eg where it doesn't even exist yet, like some 64 bit platforms that have been out for years now), and it will solve all distribution problems for the run time, except of course for Windows.

and perhaps finally some game related additions…sun has been neglecting the game industry from start, and still does(even if they claim differently)…too many old dinosaurs at sun…

open source rules

Yeah, eg. I guess this also means if you want to port java to one of the consoles you can do it without ever asking Sun. Eg. you can also use GJC with the Sun class libraries to do such a thing.

For the games-with-java market this can only be good, IMHO.

Are GPL all the runtime machines of Java Sun or just the J2SE? I am interested in J2ME, if it is open source this could mean I can implement different features in respect of CLDC and MIDP specifications.

J2ME, J2SE, and J2EE (Glassfish, which is already CDDL open source) will all get a GPL license. This includes the compiler, vm (including the mobile "kvm" as some still call it, in the case of j2me), runtime, etc.

Mind you, the source of all these was already public . It'll also be available under the GPL now, and there will be a more open development process.

On a related note, maybe will get a few improvements too now, since they'll host all that here now.

As long as forking doesn't become an issue - I'd hate to have numerous JVMs that aren't compatible. Or will that be avoided somehow?

The Java trade mark is still protected. I can't remember where I read it, but you can only call it a Java VM if it's passed the Sun tests. Otherwise you can't use Sun's Java trade mark. IIRC.


stodge said:

As long as forking doesn't become an issue - I'd hate to have numerous JVMs that aren't compatible. Or will that be avoided somehow?

Yeah, I'll be happy to as long as they don't fork it up  ;)  XD

I don't think, that more incompatible VMs will spawn. Quite the contrary. GPL VMs like Kaffe or GJC/Classpath will mostly likely become more compatible. Harmony will disappear, or fade into insignificance, i think, cause they are under the Apache License and cannot profit from Sun's GPLed VM.

I don't think major forks will appear. Forks of big projects are usually only successful if there are very good reasons to use a fork (like XFree86/ or GCC/EGCS).

Anyway, you can easily be on the safe side by stating that your Application will only run on Sun-certified VMs.