Is Java Open Source?

Discussion in 'Java' started by Nicholas Potts, Sep 11, 2003.

  1. Hi, can anyone tell me if Java is actually open source as the
    development kit and compiler are available free?

    Thanks,

    Nick
     
    Nicholas Potts, Sep 11, 2003
    #1
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  2. On Thu, 11 Sep 2003 04:53:46 -0400, Nicholas Potts wrote:

    > Hi, can anyone tell me if Java is actually open source as the
    > development kit and compiler are available free?


    No. But the JDK from http://java.sun.com/ is indeed free. There actually
    is an Open Source implementation of java runtime and class libraries. I
    don't know much about them though.

    Mike
     
    Michael B Allen, Sep 11, 2003
    #2
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  3. Nicholas Potts:

    >Hi, can anyone tell me if Java is actually open source as the
    >development kit and compiler are available free?


    The JDK is free, and you can get all the source code (or at least
    almost all source code, src.zip for most of the class library, and you
    can get more under the Community License).

    However, the JDK is not distributed under one of the open source
    "change as you like as long as you redistribute your changes" license.

    Regards,
    Marco
    --
    Please reply in the newsgroup, not by email!
    Java programming tips: http://jiu.sourceforge.net/javatips.html
    Other Java pages: http://www.geocities.com/marcoschmidt.geo/java.html
     
    Marco Schmidt, Sep 11, 2003
    #3
  4. Nicholas Potts

    xarax Guest

    Marco Schmidt <> wrote in message news:<>...
    > Nicholas Potts:
    >
    > >Hi, can anyone tell me if Java is actually open source as the
    > >development kit and compiler are available free?

    >
    > The JDK is free, and you can get all the source code (or at least
    > almost all source code, src.zip for most of the class library, and you
    > can get more under the Community License).
    >
    > However, the JDK is not distributed under one of the open source
    > "change as you like as long as you redistribute your changes" license.


    and that is a very good thing, indeed. Sun must still maintain
    tight control over the language and JVM specifications. There are
    way too many harebrained requests for changes. Just think what
    would happen if control was lost to the masses. eek!
     
    xarax, Sep 11, 2003
    #4
  5. xarax wrote:
    > Marco Schmidt <> wrote in message news:<>...
    >


    >>However, the JDK is not distributed under one of the open source
    >>"change as you like as long as you redistribute your changes" license.

    >
    >
    > and that is a very good thing, indeed. Sun must still maintain
    > tight control over the language and JVM specifications. There are
    > way too many harebrained requests for changes. Just think what
    > would happen if control was lost to the masses. eek!


    Why? Sun still could maintain control over the language spec. And, if
    they released SDK/JRE under OpenSource licence, they'd still have full
    control over their own implementation. If some oddball harebrains rather
    would use a derived sdk, then what's wrong with that? Either they would
    just be a marginal user group, or a major user group. In the latter
    case, Sun sure could use the competition, obviously not capable of
    understanding and implementing Java users needs, and in the first case,
    well, I don't think that would be such a big problem.

    As far as I know there is no legal problem implementing a compiler and
    runtime from scratch following the Java spec. closely, and there would
    be nothing wrong adding and removing features to and from such an
    implementation either, the result just wouldn't qualify as Java anymore.

    Have a look at the waba/superwaba project. You can use almost any jdk to
    program waba programs. You can only use a subset of the java language,
    the libraries available aren't those from Sun at all, and your
    class-files run on the waba runtime, which is *not* a Java compliant
    runtime.

    --
     
    Jon Martin Solaas, Sep 11, 2003
    #5
  6. Nicholas Potts

    Dale King Guest

    "Jon Martin Solaas" <> wrote in message
    news:iA18b.2394$...
    > xarax wrote:
    > > Marco Schmidt <> wrote in message

    news:<>...
    > >

    >
    > >>However, the JDK is not distributed under one of the open source
    > >>"change as you like as long as you redistribute your changes" license.

    > >
    > >
    > > and that is a very good thing, indeed. Sun must still maintain
    > > tight control over the language and JVM specifications. There are
    > > way too many harebrained requests for changes. Just think what
    > > would happen if control was lost to the masses. eek!

    >
    > Why? Sun still could maintain control over the language spec. And, if
    > they released SDK/JRE under OpenSource licence, they'd still have full
    > control over their own implementation. If some oddball harebrains rather
    > would use a derived sdk, then what's wrong with that? Either they would
    > just be a marginal user group, or a major user group.


    That's a bad assumption. Micro$oft created a derived SDK that was not
    compliant with Sun's and at least at one time was probably the most widely
    used VM. I would not call M$ a marginal user group.

    > In the latter
    > case, Sun sure could use the competition, obviously not capable of
    > understanding and implementing Java users needs, and in the first case,
    > well, I don't think that would be such a big problem.


    That assumes that those deriving it have good intentions. Definitely wasn't
    the case with Micro$oft. The issue is that you have a platform you can rely
    on and that you don't have to deal with umpteen incompatible versions.

    > As far as I know there is no legal problem implementing a compiler and
    > runtime from scratch following the Java spec. closely, and there would
    > be nothing wrong adding and removing features to and from such an
    > implementation either, the result just wouldn't qualify as Java anymore.
    >
    > Have a look at the waba/superwaba project. You can use almost any jdk to
    > program waba programs. You can only use a subset of the java language,
    > the libraries available aren't those from Sun at all, and your
    > class-files run on the waba runtime, which is *not* a Java compliant
    > runtime.


    That's right. You can do whatever you want as you don't call it Java
    (although you can't use their source code as the basis for your new
    product). And SuperWaba does not call itself Java, because legally it can't.

    --
    Dale King
     
    Dale King, Sep 11, 2003
    #6
  7. Nicholas Potts

    Phillip Lord Guest

    >>>>> "Dale" == Dale King <> writes:

    >> Why? Sun still could maintain control over the language
    >> spec. And, if they released SDK/JRE under OpenSource licence,
    >> they'd still have full control over their own implementation. If
    >> some oddball harebrains rather would use a derived sdk, then
    >> what's wrong with that? Either they would just be a marginal user
    >> group, or a major user group.


    Dale> That's a bad assumption. Micro$oft created a derived SDK that
    Dale> was not compliant with Sun's and at least at one time was
    Dale> probably the most widely used VM. I would not call M$ a
    Dale> marginal user group.

    That's because M$ had the biggest user group.

    How many people developed for it, and used the non compliant parts
    though?

    >> In the latter case, Sun sure could use the competition, obviously
    >> not capable of understanding and implementing Java users needs,
    >> and in the first case, well, I don't think that would be such a
    >> big problem.


    Dale> That assumes that those deriving it have good
    Dale> intentions. Definitely wasn't the case with Micro$oft. The
    Dale> issue is that you have a platform you can rely on and that you
    Dale> don't have to deal with umpteen incompatible versions.

    There is a cost to Sun's attitude as well though.

    For instance the nature of Sun's license makes it a pain in the ass to
    use on linux systems, because it can't be repackaged.

    Phil
     
    Phillip Lord, Sep 11, 2003
    #7
  8. Nicholas Potts

    Bryce (Work) Guest

    On 11 Sep 2003 01:53:46 -0700,
    (Nicholas Potts) wrote:

    >Hi, can anyone tell me if Java is actually open source as the
    >development kit and compiler are available free?


    Big misconception you are propagating here:

    Open Source != Free

    and, to answer your question, the correlary is:

    Free != Open Source

    Open Source does not have to be free. In fact, there are quite a few
    decent open source business models.
     
    Bryce (Work), Sep 11, 2003
    #8
  9. Nicholas Potts

    Jezuch Guest

    U┬┐ytkownik Bryce (Work) napisa┬│:
    > Big misconception you are propagating here:
    >
    > Open Source != Free
    >
    > and, to answer your question, the correlary is:
    >
    > Free != Open Source
    >
    > Open Source does not have to be free. In fact, there are quite a few
    > decent open source business models.


    But which meaning of "free" do you use here?

    In Poland we have another problem. "Free (as in speech)" translates to
    "wolny", but this word means also "slow" :)) So people tend to think that
    free software is crappy by definition...
    --
    Ecce Jezuch
    "Did I have the dream, or did the dream have me?"
    -N. Peart
     
    Jezuch, Sep 11, 2003
    #9
  10. In article <bjqmig$6em$>,
    Jezuch <> wrote:
    >
    >In Poland we have another problem. "Free (as in speech)" translates to
    >"wolny", but this word means also "slow" :)) So people tend to think that
    >free software is crappy by definition...


    Hehe. The new slogan for the FSF: "Free (as in Saddam Hussein)" :)

    Cheers
    Bent D
    --
    Bent Dalager - - http://www.pvv.org/~bcd
    powered by emacs
     
    Bent C Dalager, Sep 11, 2003
    #10
  11. Nicholas Potts

    Roedy Green Guest

    On Thu, 11 Sep 2003 15:59:10 -0400, "Bryce (Work)"
    <> wrote or quoted :

    >Free != Open Source


    Examples:

    The Javac compiler itself is free, but Sun does not freely release the
    source code.

    Some of the programs I write cost money, but all come with source.

    I have never been clear on the terminology:

    does open source mean:

    1.you can peek at the source free, just not use it free.

    2.that source must be bundled free with the software, though the
    software itself may cost.

    3.that the source is available, perhaps at some extravagant price
    separately.

    Also, how do those terms apply to GPL and LGPL.


    see http://mindprod.com/jgloss/gpl.html

    --
    Canadian Mind Products, Roedy Green.
    Coaching, problem solving, economical contract programming.
    See http://mindprod.com/jgloss/jgloss.html for The Java Glossary.
     
    Roedy Green, Sep 11, 2003
    #11
  12. Roedy Green wrote:

    > On Thu, 11 Sep 2003 15:59:10 -0400, "Bryce (Work)"
    > <> wrote or quoted :
    >
    >
    >>Free != Open Source


    And sometimes Free != Free. To some, most notably Richard Stallman and
    the FSF, the term "free software" has nothing to do with pricing, but
    rather with liberty. The canonical comparison is free speech as opposed
    to free beer.

    > Examples:
    >
    > The Javac compiler itself is free, but Sun does not freely release the
    > source code.
    >
    > Some of the programs I write cost money, but all come with source.
    >
    > I have never been clear on the terminology:
    >
    > does open source mean:
    >
    > 1.you can peek at the source free, just not use it free.
    >
    > 2.that source must be bundled free with the software, though the
    > software itself may cost.
    >
    > 3.that the source is available, perhaps at some extravagant price
    > separately.


    The most widely held definition seems to be something like

    4. A source license permitting at least modification and reuse --
    perhaps subject to certain conditions, but not costing money -- is
    either explicitly or implictly part of every distribution, and the
    source itself is either included or readily available at no cost.

    There is no necessary connection with the cost to acquire the package at
    all, but once you have it you also have or can get the source, along
    with liberal rights to use the source.

    > Also, how do those terms apply to GPL and LGPL.


    Software released under the GPL or LGPL is definately open source by
    anyone's definition. The FSF draws a distinction between GPL'd software
    ("free software") and other open source software in the sense that any
    derivative of a piece of GPL'd software may only be distributed under
    the GPL itself, thus guaranteeing that the whole line is "free" (and
    therefore also open source).


    John Bollinger
     
    John C. Bollinger, Sep 11, 2003
    #12
  13. Nicholas Potts

    Brad BARCLAY Guest

    Roedy Green wrote:

    > I have never been clear on the terminology:
    >
    > does open source mean:
    >
    > 1.you can peek at the source free, just not use it free.
    >
    > 2.that source must be bundled free with the software, though the
    > software itself may cost.
    >
    > 3.that the source is available, perhaps at some extravagant price
    > separately.


    The official definition goes something like this:

    An Open Source software project is one which is distributed under one
    of the OSI certified Open Source licenses. See:

    http://www.opensource.org/licenses/index.php

    ...for a list of approved licenses.

    You can read the OSI's official "Open Source Definition" here:

    http://www.opensource.org/docs/definition.php

    > Also, how do those terms apply to GPL and LGPL.


    The GPL and LGPL conform to the Open Source Definition, and are thus
    Open Source licenses.

    Brad BARCLAY

    --
    =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
    From the OS/2 WARP v4.5 Desktop of Brad BARCLAY.
    The jSyncManager Project: http://www.jsyncmanager.org
    
     
    Brad BARCLAY, Sep 12, 2003
    #13
  14. Nicholas Potts

    Harald Hein Guest

    "Roedy Green" wrote:

    > I have never been clear on the terminology:
    >
    > does open source mean:


    Roughly "Open Source" is a term coined by people who didn't like the
    political connotation attached to "free software" by the people who
    invented free software. It is also meant to avoid the confusion about
    the term "free" (the "free" in "free software" comes from freedom, not
    from price). You seem to use the term in the sence "free of charge",
    which is not what was meant.

    > 1.you can peek at the source free, just not use it free.


    Without seeing the complete license this is difficult to judge. But
    most likely this is not open source. Using source code at will is the
    freedom that open souce / free software licenses try to secure for the
    users.

    > 2.that source must be bundled free with the software, though the
    > software itself may cost.


    Bundling is usually not required. But if you have one tool, it is
    usually simpler to bundle the source than to provide additional means
    of obtaining it.

    One aspect of open source is that you can get the source for free (a
    nominal fee for shiping, handling, media is allowed), modify it for
    your purpose and re-distribute it under the same terms as the original
    license.

    > 3.that the source is available, perhaps at some extravagant price
    > separately.


    Again might or might not be open source. If the source is available for
    free, AND if modification and re-distribution is allowed this might be
    open source.

    I think you are asking the wrong questions. You are looking at isolated
    activities one might or might not do with source code. Open software is
    about securing a number of rights for you, protecting your freedom to
    make use of software as you need it. And it is about securing that once
    the rights have been granted they can't be taken away.

    > Also, how do those terms apply to GPL and LGPL.


    Both are free software licenses. The inventors don't like if they are
    called open source licenses, but they of course qualify.

    The LGPL is less restrictiv, because it allows to integrate the free
    software in non free software, and distribution of the result under a
    non-free license. You have to meet certain criteria, too, for the free
    parts of the software. The LGPL was originally created for things like
    compiler libraries. Before the LGPL one couldn't compile and distribute
    a non-free program with a GPL compiler, because the resulting code
    contained parts of the library.
     
    Harald Hein, Sep 12, 2003
    #14
  15. Nicholas Potts

    Tim Tyler Guest

    Nicholas Potts <> wrote:

    : Hi, can anyone tell me if Java is actually open source as the
    : development kit and compiler are available free?

    Java does not qualify as "Open Source" under "The Open Source Definition":

    http://www.opensource.org/docs/definition.php

    E.g. it fails to meet the third condition: "Derived Works".

    I would describe it as "proprietary code from Sun Microsystems".
    --
    __________
    |im |yler http://timtyler.org/
     
    Tim Tyler, Sep 13, 2003
    #15
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