If there was a high quality (read: production ready) open source Java JVM available, I would be interested. I don't demand it. In fact, who does?
Everyone is free to ask, right? Or, maybe you think it's wrong to ask this, like, maybe it's impolite or something? ESR asked Sun to consider open sourcing Java. Many people think there are good pragmatic reasons to open source Sun's JVM or to have Sun support some other high quality open source JVM. I really have not seen anyone demanding
Personally, I feel it is not my place to demand anything from Sun, other than some basic ethics, like honest and open communication, sane business practices and so on. Personally, again, I would feel "safer" if there was a production quality open source JVM. So, from my perspective, it is a "nice to have" thing for Java, but I do not (and realistically cannot) demand it.
I like free software and open source software. I'm not ashamed of it. And I'm not a zealot.
I see everything as connected to everything else. I do not see software engineering as existing in a void. I see it as being part of life and I see how our software engineering practices and values influence our life and vice versa, how our life values and practices influence software engineering. Passion is part of life. Pretending that passion bears no impact on engineering is simply idealism (wishful thinking) -- the kind of idealism that you seem to denounce. What I stated just now, I think is a well justified opinion. I do not think it is zealotry. Zealots do not care for cogent reasoning, but I do. I don't want to get too philosophical on you, but let's just say, not only have I considered these issues, but that I always consider them and I am always willing to change my mind if new information indicates I should do so.
What I am trying to tell you is that a person can disagree with you, and even a person can agree with a band of zealots, but yet not be a zealot themselves. It's possible that zealots are right for reasons they do not themselves understand. Zealotry is blind belief. If you think I exhibit blind belief, please do open my eyes. I welcome it.
Businesses operate on profits, not promises.
That's an oversimplification and the one I am tired of hearing. If I may return a favor and throw some stereotypes your way, it smacks of market fundamentalism. There is no profit without trust. Business is based on transactions. Transactions are based on trust. Always. It's impossible to 100% nail everything down and verify and double check everything. Business is based on trust and on reputation. Trust implies a promise.
But looking more deeply, business is simply another way humans interact, and as such, it is subject to ethics and morals. So, a company is not exempt from standard person-to-person ethics via a silly disclaimer like "oh, it's just business -- nothing personal". I call BS! It's a lie. It is all personal, sorry. Because it is personal, let's play nice. This is one thing that is so very very hard for a company like Microsoft to understand. Microsoft refuses to understand that there are real live human beings on the other end of the table. All those companies Microsoft has run into the ground via unethical business practices are not just statistics. Real live people have suffered in real ways as a result.
It would be nice if we could all be impersonal, I suppose. Then no one would need to feel regret, remorse, or joy, or accomplishment, or any of those things. No one would be generous, but no one would be greedy. No one would have any goals. It is not real though. It is idealism that will never materialize in real life.