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News: James Gosling sets the record straight on the Sun-MS settlement

  1. James Gosling sets the record straight on the recent Micosoft Settlement. He discusses Rick Ross' views, those of Richard Stallman, and the views of others that have been expressed through blogs and forums. He claims that The Register's quote about Rich Green is the opposite from the truth.

    Introduction
    "Since the announcement of Sun's settlement with Microsoft over Java, there has been a lot of rampant speculation echoing back and forth over the net. A lot of it reads like bad conspiracy-theory stuff. People have been reading between the lines and making stuff up. This echos around the rumor mill and gains the appearance of fact. I'd like to try to set the record straight on a number of points"
    Read James Gosling's thoughts on the settlement.

    Threaded Messages (18)

  2. Solid explainations on all fronts.

    btw:

    Why is the FOSS community (RMS, Raymond, et al) crying out against Sun to "open source" java. As Gosling pointed out, Sun is not keeping anyone from developing an open source implementation of the JVM/JDK.

    The real question is, why aren't RMS, Raymond, and co. pleading with Linus and co. to release Linux under a less restrictive license than the GPL? Why not "free" Linux under a _truly open license_? (e.g. Apache, CPL, or BSD)
  3. Licenses[ Go to top ]

    Why is the FOSS community (RMS, Raymond, et al) crying out against Sun to "open source" java. As Gosling pointed out, Sun is not keeping anyone from developing an open source implementation of the JVM/JDK.
    There are some efforts in that direction, like GNU Classpath to create GPL'd versions, GCJ (Java front end for GCC - I think it compiles to native code though). None of them are ready for prime time though. I don't really care if Sun makes Java open source or not, but I would like to see the compatability test kits made available to enable creation and testing of open source JVMs.
    The real question is, why aren't RMS, Raymond, and co. pleading with Linus and co. to release Linux under a less restrictive license than the GPL? Why not "free" Linux under a _truly open license_? (e.g. Apache, CPL, or BSD)
    That would be like Bill Gates asking Dell to ship machines with something other than Windows! ;-) RMS in particular - didn't he author the GPL? To those guys a _truly open license_ is one that forces the source and all modifications to remain open for all time and any reason. Apache, CPL, BSD allow you to take the code, modify it, and close it up. Personally I prefer BSD style licensing, though I can appreciate how GPL has probably encouraged the development of Linux by keep all changes out in the open. Helps you keep from getting a kernel that's been "monkeyed around" with and not being able to look at it and fix it or figure out what's up. It does bug me how dogmatic RMS and Raymond can be though and they really get on my nerves sometimes.
  4. The GPL is a viral form of "free" software license that was intentionally designed to coerce other software developers into having to give their software away if they happen to choose to combine it with any software that is licensed under GPL. For folks that like to make a living off their skill and knowledge as software developer, the GPL is the kiss of death. The key to successfully making use of any free open source software is to make sure to avoid incorporating use of anything that is under GPL. Fortunately a lot of good (great) stuff is not under GPL. The GPL is a menace to freedom and the right to make a living via one's skill and knowledge.
  5. GPL is designed to encourage sharing[ Go to top ]

    For folks that like to make a living off their skill and knowledge as software developer, the GPL is the kiss of death. The key to successfully making use of any free open source software is to make sure to avoid incorporating use of anything that is under GPL. Fortunately a lot of good (great) stuff is not under GPL.
    Fair enough, if you want to write proprietary, closed source applications, then
    don't use GPL software. No problem with that.
    The GPL is a menace to freedom and the right to make a living via one's skill and knowledge.
    I assume that you're smart enough to know that nobody is forcing you to use such GPL software. So where is the menace? If anything, it is just that GPL software is gaining such momentum and quality that it is seriously competing with the big software firms. Remember, we're talking commoditized software here, not custom business apps. So yes, in that respect it is a menace, and I'm quite happy to support it. Wanna stop this?
      Too bad, you'd have to change Copyright law... Isn't the GPL great?
  6. The truth from Goslings interview is so oposite the statement made by TSS that Green left because of the settlement. Why does TSS make up things. Its sounding more like a "cheap news paper" these days.
  7. The truth from Goslings interview is so oposite the statement made by TSS that Green left because of the settlement. Why does TSS make up things. Its sounding more like a "cheap news paper" these days.
    TSS didn't make anything up. It was simply referring to an article by The Register, and I argued then that it smells fishy because the drive-by anonymous quote of "disgust" implied that Green said it.

    Sometimes The Register act as a cheesy propaganda/FUD mouthpiece for knee-jerk "M$" and "$un" bashers.
  8. So why did TSS even refer to this "fishy" article in the first place. There are so many such sites with so many quotations which are well over the "fishy" mark, we shouldnt report them without a proper verification. I as a TSS reader for years feel bad that withing a week we have 2 articles contradicting each other that too on a level of Green`s and Gosling`s. Its a shame and a good lesson learnt for TSS.
  9. So why did TSS even refer to this "fishy" article in the first place. There are so many such sites with so many quotations which are well over the "fishy" mark, we shouldnt report them without a proper verification. I as a TSS reader for years feel bad that withing a week we have 2 articles contradicting each other that too on a level of Green`s and Gosling`s. Its a shame and a good lesson learnt for TSS.
    I think you should take all news items with a grain of salt and not at their face values, regardless of their sources. These days news spread all over the Internet like wild fire. There's a difference between reporting what someone says and endorsing it. No one has the time or resources to verify the veracity of every news item.
  10. Linking to the article[ Go to top ]

    We had a source that told us that the Rich Green infomation was true (before we heard that we didn't post it).

    As it turns out, I actually believe the source was lied too, and also hope that is the case.

    We try hard to link to valid information, but it isn't a simple task.

    I definitely concur that you should seriously think about items that you read anywhere. This is why if you read "X if great", you should consider the argument made, play with it yourself, etc... rather than just thinking "ok it must be".

    Also, note how we published this news and didn't try to "hide" anything. We will put both sides info out there (who really knows other than Rich Green?) and let you decide.

    Dion
  11. Why is the FOSS community (RMS, Raymond, et al) crying out against Sun to "open source" java?

    Allow me to quote from the SunSource.Net page titled "Why is Sun Doing Open Source?":

    We believe in shared innovation. We believe in the customer and partner benefits of Open Source. We believe in the increased quality and security of Open Source software. We believe in Open Source beyond platforms and utilities. We believe in developing a shared code literature. Hear. Hear.

    Or how about the entry from the Sun Open Source F.A.Q:

    Q: Why is Sun doing open source? A: Sun participates in open source because it helps spark innovation, improve software quality, and fosters community. Producing open systems has been the hallmark of Sun's business philosophy since its founding. Today, what better avenue for openness is there than open source?

    For links and more see the Viva! Open Source Java Strategy page @ http://viva.sourceforge.net/strategy.html
  12. Why is the FOSS community (RMS, Raymond, et al) crying out against Sun to "open source" java
    If anybody would bother reading what RMS has to say on the subject they would notice that he does not ask Sun to open source Java anywhere! In fact he's asking people to help on the monumental task of making an open source implementation of Java.
  13. Case closed[ Go to top ]

    James Gosling has put his reputation on the line with this statement, time to move on and let time be the judge.
  14. Case closed[ Go to top ]

    I think so! I feel better after having read this!
  15. this is my favorite[ Go to top ]

    James Gosling: "Unlike GPLd software, the Java sources don't come with a viral infection clause that requires you to apply the GPL to your own code".
  16. Mixed messages[ Go to top ]

    Many open source advocates don't trust Sun, and that quote won't help. How am I supposed to reconcile his statement with Sun's support of StarOffice/Open Office and the Java Desktop?

    Then a senior official at this company makes this statement? Immediately after the MS agreement? Don't people think about the implications of their statments?
  17. OpenOffice is not a platform.

    To quote Gosling:

    "This is just context for the real point I want to make: when you have platform software like Linux or the JDK, the platform interface (in the case of Java, the VM and API specifications) divides the world of developers into two groups: those who work under the interface to implement it, and those who work above the interface and build applications based on it. These two communities have needs that conflict. In particular, a blanket freedom for developers under the interface, to do whatever they damn well please, is incredibly disruptive and damaging to developers above the interface. The catch in the Sun Java source license is all about defending the needs of developers who work above the interface. This ends up being constraining to folks who work under the interface, but in a way that is hugely beneficial to those who work above. We believe that for a developer who has built a Java application they have a right to trust that when some other developer says "I have a Java VM for you to use", that their application will work.

    So yes, like the GPL, our source license does have an agenda. It's not a hidden one, and we believe it's a very beneficial one (at least, to application developers!)."
  18. pleasant sanity[ Go to top ]

    It was a very pleasant experience this morning to read some sane remarks about Java and J2EE, compared to all the insane comments out there. Perhaps in the next year or 2, some make may learn a little more, and be a little chagrined at some of their previous posts. Thank you Mr. Gosling.
  19. Ironic[ Go to top ]

    It is somehow ironic that James Gosling complains about the "virality" (which really is recursiveness) of the GPL:
    In the early years (1984 to 1988), the GNU Project did not have a single license to cover all its software. What led Stallman to the creation of this copyleft license was his experience with James Gosling [...] over Emacs.

    While Stallman created the first Emacs in 1975, Gosling wrote the first C-based Emacs (Gosling Emacs) running on Unix in 1982. Gosling initally allowed free distribution of the Gosling Emacs source code, which Stallman used in early 1985 in the first version (15.34) of GNU Emacs. Gosling later sold rights to Gosling Emacs to UniPress, and Gosling Emacs became UniPress Emacs. UniPress threatened Stallman to stop distributing the Gosling source code, and Stallman was forced to comply. He later replace these parts with his own code. (Emacs version 16.56).

    ( from The History of the GPL )
    Exactly this incident led to the creation of the GPL by Richard Stallman.