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News: Interview with Sun Open Source Programs Manager

  1. Interview with Sun Open Source Programs Manager (16 messages)

    java.sun.com is hosting an interview with Danese Cooper, who manages Sun's Open Source (OS) Programs Office. The interview reviews Sun's progress in making good on its promise to allow OS versions of its specs, compatibility branding for OS projects, the reason why JBoss can't be J2EE branded, etc.

    Read Open Source Advocate Danese Cooper on Open Source.
  2. It's a good interview overall. But I guess issues like certifying JBoss is beyond what she can really talk about. Also, I'd suggest Danese drop her geekish glasses :)
  3. I got this error:

    Sorry! We couldn't find your document.

     
  4. Interview with Sun Open Source Programs Manager[ Go to top ]

    Interview was there! I guess it will
    surface again cenzored. Sun will find
    any excuse not to sertify Jboss.
    It (sertification) will hit WL,WS, etc.
    There is some money/political ballance
    currently, but not not very
    stable one.

    Just image bad dream:
    Sun sertifies JBoss, BEA goes out of business,
    IBM and Sun start throwing stones over SWT
    and Apache. Java is forked. Bill count
    extra money...

    Or better dream:
    Sun sertifies JBoss, WS and WL drop prices,
    managers faster agree on resonable purchases,
    Sun puts jboss as a standart into their's
    *unixes (saving money on developing its
    own, similar to Tomcat story). Sun make
    huge efford to release JSF (with complex
    components) by the end of this
    year. And several IDE integrate it into
    VISUAL environment.

    ......

    AlexV.
  5. <q>
    Interview was there! I guess it will
    surface again cenzored. Sun will find
    any excuse not to sertify Jboss.
    It (sertification) will hit WL,WS, etc.
    There is some money/political ballance
    currently, but not not very
    stable one.
    </q>

    Obviously there is money and politics involved. WebSphere (4.x) is certified J2EE 1.2 but it does not support 100 % of the JSP (1.1) spec.
  6. Do you have any proof that IBM doesn't support all of JSP 1.1? I thought it should since it's J2EE 1.2 certified.

    What exactly is not supported?

    G.
  7. Hey,
    Interview is back on Sun website. Did anyone tried to compare with uncensored version?
    Seems to me like they didn't change anything, but I didn't bother to compare it word by word.
    Rah
  8. try this?
    http://java.sun.com/features/2002/08/cooper.html
  9. There are only a few questions, in the version of the interview now available were there more before?

    From what is there I found the interview a bit too much like a marketing brochure. I was particularly put off by her dooms day for developers prediction, C++ was a disaster, and Java will save the world type comments.

    I have worked with C++ before and currently with Java and J2EE and I must admit I prefer Java but her comments were a bit dramatic.

    Tendayi
  10. No, that's an old interview. I guess the new one got pulled...
  11. sun really does a bad job when it comes to the open source issue. How long can they stand in the storm? Perhaps its a good time to replace the CEO. Shareholder Value is bad anyway.
  12. Where is the interview? I got an error.
  13. /** UNCENSORED COPY */

    Open Source Advocate Danese Cooper on Open Source

    by Janice J. Heiss


    Danese Cooper
    September 16, 2002 -- Danese Cooper is known in the open source community for her forthright wit, keen analysis, and support of open source. She manages Sun Microsystems' Open Source Programs Office, and has been involved with every source code distribution project inside of Sun since March of 1999. She was instrumental in Sun's adoption of the Sun Public License for NetBeansTM software, the creation of the Sun Industry Standards Source License and the new Joint Copyright Assignment, and in the adoption of a dual- licensing strategy, including selection of the LGPL (the GNU Lesser General Public License) for OpenOffice.org.

    We met with her recently to get her perspective about open source developments.

     On March 26, 2002, Sun announced at the JavaOneSM Conference an agreement with the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) and members of the Java Community ProcessSM (JCPSM) program to expand their ability to implement JavaTM technology specifications in open source. This means that JCP Specification Leads will be able to release reference implementations and test kits in open source, that Sun-led specifications will allow open source implementations, and finally, nonprofit open source and academic groups will have access to test kits at no cost. Sun has gone even further, by setting up a fund to assist those with free TCK access by providing support so they can learn to run the TCKs. At the time, you said on java.sun.com, "It's going to take a lot of work to make good on these promises, but we're committed to doing the right thing to make Java technology even more open."

    How's it going?

     
    "The agreement with Apache is a big deal, because it allows the open source world new access to the Java programming language."
     
     Great! We recently announced at LinuxWorld that we've completed setup of the Scholarship Fund, which is an important part of the commitment we made in that announcement. I think the agreement with Apache is a big deal, because it allows the open source world new access to the Java programming language. First, it allows open source Java Specification Requests (JSRs) at the Spec Lead's discretion. A couple of projects were already doing that, and a couple had Sun's tacit approval, like Tomcat. But actually, according to the rules of the JavaTM Specification Participation Agreement (JSPA), which is the agreement everyone signed to be part of the Java Community Process, it was problematic. It was occasionally a problem even for approved projects, like Apache.

    In October of 2000, they wanted to finalize a version of Tomcat long before Sun was ready to finalize the rest of the JavaTM 2, Enterprise Edition (J2EETM) spec. When we said no, they re-read the JSPA and saw that they could be on shaky legal ground. So, they held off from shipping their final version for 12 months, because the J2EE spec wasn't final for 12 months. Apache originally approached Sun to try to change that situation, and there's a guy named Jason Hunter from Apache who has been formally working for a couple of years on JSR 99, which is the JSR to produce the next version of the JSPA. This announcement was the result of that work.

    Another change is that in the previous JCP it wasn't required that an expert group reveal its licensing terms until the specification was final. Apache and others wanted that to change so everyone would know up front whether they wanted to make contributions based on whether they would have access to that work later. Open Source JSRs allow every accepted contribution to be useful to the contributor and will make it possible for projects like Apache to run Tomcat like all their other open source projects.

     
    "What's eventually going to have the deepest impact on Java technology is our promise to allow all Sun-led specifications to have compatible implementations alternately under any license."
     
    In my opinion, what's eventually going to have the deepest impact on Java technology is our promise to allow all Sun-led specifications to have compatible implementations alternately under any license. So, if you implement to the specification (without ever looking at our reference implementation) and you pass the technical compatibility kit (TCK), then you'll be "compatible" (which means perfectly interoperable) with our reference implementation.

    That's how it's supposed to work. Now, in the past, for a variety of reasons, on JavaTM 2 Platform, Standard Edition (J2SETM), you had to also use pieces of our code. There are pieces of our code that we didn't have TCKs written for, and we still don't. Like Swing and Abstract Window Toolkit (AWT) and, to a certain extent, the bytecode verifier.

    These were areas where it was just too hard to resolve the technical problems of trying to write a test. For instance, Swing and AWT are interfaces. They're GUIs, so trying to write a test harness that makes sure that the GUI is always performant in exactly the same way is very difficult because there are too many permutations. And then there's the added difficulty that for headless servers, which is one of the ways that people like to use Java technology, there can't be an interface so if you require that headless servers contain SWING and AWT you're undermining the headless sever. No interface is the point. It's a headless server, right? So, there were a lot of "Mother, may I?" problems. But, heretofore, we required that developers use our reference implementation code for the pieces with no TCK coverage, and since our code was not under the Sun Community Source License, which is not an open source license, they couldn't possibly do a legal open source reimplementation.

    JBoss Compatibility
     In a recent survey, a lot of developers want to know when Sun will allow JBoss to be branded as compatible with Java technology.

     Yeah, that's a really tough situation. JBoss is an open source project that wants to say they are compatible with J2EE, but they are also a for-profit project, so they can't apply for zero-cost access to the TCKs under the new rules. Recently JBoss launched its own certification program, which is interesting. Open source wisdom says that it's really hard to maintain a fork. It will be interesting to see how they do. I'd really like to see Sun and JBoss work together to find a solution to the problem. They got great coverage at the 2002 JavaOneSM conference -- several awards. It's a very popular effort.

    /* CONTINUE */
  14. Interview with Sun Open Source Programs Manager[ Go to top ]

    /* CONTINUE */

    Giving the Java Language to the World
     What would happen if Sun gave the Java language to the world?

     I believe that if, in a generous gesture, we gave the Java language to the world (if we released our reference implementations under an open source license), Java technology would become even more popular because the community would build bridges between the Java language and languages like Perl and Python that are often entry points for new programmers.

    Here's an example from Project JXTA: JXTA is peer-to-peer transport infrastructure with an eye to the real-world problems of enterprise implementation. Some folks at Sun looked at the peer-to-peer world and said, "Yeah, we can see Moore's Law is creating processors fast enough that peer-to-peer is a viable architecture now, and we can see these people playing with GNUtella. And we can see that they're not working much on the basic issues of security, of sustainability, of network fabric, and we know a lot about that."

    The resulting design we released for JXTA was like deep plumbing. Only very experienced programmers were able to approach it, as it was explained to me by Clay Shirky, a great guy in the peer-to-peer community, who said, "Microsoft's .NET is like instructions for how to replace the kink joint in the plumbing in your bathroom sink. It's pretty straightforward how you tell a homeowner to hook that up. JXTA is like the plans for how to core down through the street outside to the water main -- you have to think about the pressure of that pipe." Clay believed JXTA would take off only when layers were added in the middle that would make it accessible to those who aren't road architects.

    There was a lot more work to do to make it most useful, but it's happening from within the community. JXTA tools are appearing. And the open source community did that work. They ported it to several languages and added other transports. They wrote sample applications. There are 10 non-Sun developers with commit access for every one Sun developer on jxta.org!

     Some people are afraid that opening up the source code will ruin Java technology. What is your take on this?

     I don't think so. In fact, at the time that Tomcat was launched, there were many separate attempts to create something that was going to fill the Tomcat space. And, Microsoft's Active Server Pages was already out there. As soon as Tomcat was released, everything else disappeared. Everyone looked at Tomcat and thought, "Well, okay, we'll go in this direction now."

    It takes a lot of energy to maintain an open source project. Most participants will try to harmonize within the community rather than forking and working against whatever momentum the primary project has. There's a major cultural taboo against wasting energy like that.

    I understand the fear that Open Source will ruin the Java language, but those people don't realize that putting your code into Open Source doesn't mean you have to accept "all" the contributions. It doesn't mean that ice weasels will descend on your codebase and rip it to shreds. We've run into that fear on every open source project we've set up so far, but its been unfounded.

    Sun's Open Source Projects
     How are the various Sun open source projects doing?

     They're all doing pretty well. OpenOffice just released 1.0.1 and has 60,000 registered members. These are people who watch the mail lists every day. The ratio of Sun to 3rd party developers is still 2.5 to 1 but considering that it's eight million lines of code, it's not a bad thing. It's been translated into 25 languages. There are about 15 platform ports in progress including a famous port to MacOSX. They passed their five millionth download before they ever hit 1.0., so they're really doing well.

    The OpenOffice.org community is interesting because they've actually forged a whole new world, which may be threatening to the traditional notion of who drives open source. There are just huge numbers of non-programmer end-users using OpenOffice.org software because it's an end-user application suite.

    These people can't code but want to do "something" to help the effort. So, they are contributing where they can. Non-Sun folks are building really professional marketing collateral that they put out on the Web in PDF. Others download this collateral, have it printed and translated into other languages, and they become the official marketing representative in whatever country they're in.

    Then there's NetBeansTM, which was our first Sun-sponsored project. Sun recently made the decision to use the NetBeans framework for all of our developer tools going forward. They're using NetBeans as the interface rather than the old ForteTM Developer interface. So, Sun's C, C++ and Fortran compilers will soon be shipping on NetBeans framework instead of what they were using before. Sun is leveraging an open source project to influence other products, which is great! And perhaps the best indicator of their success is the recent emergence of the Eclipse IDE project from IBM, which is an attempt to co-opt the momentum of NetBeans.

     
    "JXTA has successfully attracted the highest ratio of non-Sun developers to Sun team members who have write access (10 to 1)."
     
    JXTA has successfully attracted the highest ratio of non-Sun developers to Sun team members who have write access (10 to 1). That community has created JXTA for Perl, for Python, for Ruby, for C in addition to the Java technology and J2ME versions, which were Sun's main focus. Of course, we're still in the early days of P2P, but there are several books on JXTA already published and a couple even peer-reviewed on JXTA.org before publication. I think we're going to see amazing things come out of that community.

    Not many people realize that Sun sponsors another open source project called Grid Engine. Grid computing is much in the news these days of course, and Sun released Grid Engine to open source over a year ago. Interest has been growing and if you go there you'll see lots of information about how to use Grid Engine to massively distribute projects.

    GPL and BSD
     Could you explain the difference between General Public License (GPL) and BSD?

     Well, I'm not a lawyer, but here's a go at it: The GPL requires that any code that you add, modify or combine be made publicly available. The BSD doesn't require that. So, the GPL has been protecting Linux from embrace and extend, because proprietary companies can't co-opt Linux code without contractually being required to liberate their code (or suffer really damning PR if they challenge the GPL in a "Goliath sues David" lawsuit.)

    The BSD, on the other hand, lets you do whatever you need to with code and contribute back as a cultural norm instead of a legal obligation. In the Apache variant of the BSD, the added restriction is that you not use the trademarked name of the project without permission. Tomcat is developed under this license.

    These distinctions are not clearly understood by all open source developers. So, people who think that the GPL is the right license for Java source code think that the obligation to publish all modifications or additions would discourage predators but miss the fact that the "inheritance" characteristic of the GPL (that's the one that says if you combine non-GPL code with GPL code then the non-GPL code must become GPL) can also have a chilling effect on beneficial contributions from commercial entities.

    Also BSD advocates believe that there's a fair amount of illegal misuse of GPL code that goes unnoticed. Sun contributes to projects under both types of licenses by the way. We've also written a license that tries to walk a middle ground.

    The SISSL license (Sun Industry Standards Source License), which is both a Free and Open Source license, tries to live in the middle. It references a standard and then acts like the BSD as long as you aren't deviating from the standard, but acts more like the GPL if you do extend the standard (requiring that you publicly document your extensions or modifications and provide a reference implementation). As with our Joint Copyright Agreement, we get lots of requests from outside to use the SISSL and we always say yes.

    /** END UNCENSORED COPY */
  15. Interview with Sun Open Source Programs Manager[ Go to top ]

    Well, thanks Dharma. The uncensored interview is interesting. She seems to be an intelligent lady.
  16. I can't believe how different these two interviews are.
  17. What does JBoss Group charge?[ Go to top ]

    Does anyone know what The JBoss Groups charges per hour for consulting fees?