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Sun makes open-ended open source promise

Sun Microsystems has again promised to eventually make its Java operating system open source, but has put no timeline on the move.

At its annual JavaOne conference in the US, senior Sun executives promised to make the widely used OS open source, but said the main barrier to such a move was deciding how it was to be done.

Java has a rapidly growing developer community and any move to open source would have to be carefully planned to avoid any compatibility and integration problems, said Sun Microsystems chief executive officer Jonathan Schwartz.

Sun hopes that by promising to eventually make Java open source, it will win more converts to the OS among the open source community, particularly as its main Solaris OS is already available under an open source licence.

At JavaOne, the company did make elements of Java open source. These included Sun Java Studio Creator, Sun Java System Portal Server, and Sun's Java Message System-based message queue and web services interoperability technology.

In addition, as previously reported, Sun announced the operating system distributors’ licence for Java, which allows Linux OS distributors to bundle the desktop Java Runtime Environment (JRE) with their Linux packages.

By bundling JRE with Linux, Sun hopes that more end users and developers will be encouraged to use Java applications. JRE usually has to be separately downloaded and is needed to support Java on the desktop.

 


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