Sun makes no decision on open-source Java


Sun makes no decision on open-source Java

Sun Microsystems has not yet made a decision as to whether or not to release its Java platform under an open-source software licence, despite contary reports.

According to one report, a Sun engineer said the open-sourcing of Java will happen, indicating a major shift in Sun's policy of releasing the Java code under a non-open-source licence.

However, a company spokesman said that no decision had been made and that the decision would have to be made at a fairly senior executive level.

Sun has been criticised by open-source developers for refusing to release its Java software under an open-source licence, which would allow developers to freely modify and reuse the Java source code without the compatibility restrictions that accompany the existing Java software licence.

Sun has, in the past, said that a switch to an open-source Java licence might place the platform at risk of forking into a series of incompatible products.

Most people have been concerned about open-source Java, said Java creator James Gosling in April.

"Developers value Java's cross platform interoperability and reliability. They're afraid that if Java is open-sourced then someone will try to fragment the community by creating incompatible versions of Java and ignore the community process," he said.

Gosling confirmed that Sun had still not made a decision on whether or not to open-source Java.

"Despite any of the articles, the debate is still going on, fast and furious," he added.

Sun confirmed that it will release its Solaris operating system under an open-source licence.

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