GPL Java

Michael Torrie torriem at
Tue Nov 7 23:07:18 MST 2006

On Tue, 2006-11-07 at 21:48 -0700, Bryan Sant wrote:
> Sounds like Sun's implementation of Java will be released under the
> GPL sometime this winter.  woot.
> Java has actually been "open" for years.  You could download the
> source, tinker, compile, contribute, etc.  You just couldn't release
> your version into the wild, and other GPL projects couldn't pull in
> code.  Once it's GPL'd, you will be able to do all that.  The GPL is a
> good choice because it protects the codebase from being raided by
> Microsoft and others (unless MS wants to GPL .NET :-), and it allows
> open source purist distro's like Debian to ship it.
> This is great news.  Expect your next releases of Red Hat, Ubuntu,
> OpenSuse, and FreeBSD to have Sun's Java shipped standard.  GCJ will
> soon rock with a fully implemented java class library.  Mono may be
> able to benefit from the Java codebase (though if you don't run mono
> on SUSE you may get sued :-).

Of course the Java class libraries are of necessity not under the GPL.
(Neither are the GNU Class Libraries).  So it will remain to be seen
whether or not we really can take code from the class libraries and
merge it into GNU.  Of course if the license is compatible, better to
only really have one class library (starting from Sun's code).

The Java compiler and VM, though, will be the parts that are GPL, which
is excellent news.  I think this is a witness to the fact that Sun is
beginning to see the writing on the wall for them.  The GPL is really
the only way to give Java a life of its own under the direction of Sun,
but outside of Sun.  It's really the only way to combat .Net.

> wordToYourMother -- camel case rules!
> -Bryan
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