Sun has said it will give access to its Java Technology Compatibility Kit to all customers, provided they have an open-source Java project that is governed by Sun's General Public License (GPL).
By getting access to the test kit provided, developers can prove to Sun that their work complies with Sun Java specifications. Pass the compatibility test and you can use the official Java logo on your project.
Until now, open access to kit was restricted. Only Java licensees were allowed in. These were usually giants such as IBM and Motorola, or nonprofit groups taking part Sun's scholarship programme. Even the scholarship programme had terms and conditions that precluded shipping software under the GPL.
"The compatibility kit licence that has been out there in the scholarship programme had a few terms in it that would not work with GPL. So we changed the licence to allow developers to meet all their obligations under GPL," Sands said.
The new move significantly broadens the horizons of open-source programmers who want to participate in Sun's open-source Java project, called OpenJDK, which was formally launched in May.
The Java platform is a portfolio of software components that let programmes written in Java run on a variety of computers without needing to be specifically translated for each type of computer. The translation is done by a Java virtual machine, a component that uses libraries of pre-written code.
The move follows years of lobbying by open-source advocates who wanted Sun to make Java Standard Edition, the core Java technology, a truly open-source project.Comment on this article: firstname.lastname@example.org