Monday Sep 17, 2007

Glassfish v2 swims free

News today from the Glassfish community is that their new version is released today, including the new version of Java DB (that's Sun's supported version of Apache Derby). There's a bunch of news from the team so go take a look. Meanwhile, it's interesting to see the maturity and scope of this open source project. The Free software at its heart is having a real impact, both by being widely used (even by competing projects) and by becoming a significant player in the Java EE market. Congratulations to the whole community!

Thursday Aug 09, 2007

OpenJDK has a JCK License


After many weeks of soul-searching, I'm delighted to say that the OpenJDK community has v1 of a license for use of the Java SE 6 JCK. I was going to blog all about it but I see Tom has given pointers to everything with hard facts, Rich has gone for the philosophy and context behind the thing and Dalibor has spoken wise words that I think I completely agree with.

So just some footnotes.
First, I think the license is a huge achievement. It gives OpenJDK and the communities around it very easy access to the JCK, far easier than I feared would be possible. We got rid of five whole pages of terms in the discussion process.
Second, despite this, I regret that it wasn't possible to meet all my own goals for it. In particular I would have liked the confidentiality terms to go too, and there are a few people who I know are disappointed by some things - sorry, let's keep working on it. Nonetheless, it hit all the goals I set for it in March.
Third I'd encourage people to engage positively and point out what's stopping them progressing - and then progress when we fix it!

Tuesday May 08, 2007

Java Liberated

Today is the day I have been working towards for the last seven years, and I am delighted. Sun just made the source code to Java SE Free software in the OpenJDK open source community. There is a fully buildable JDK available, complete with a set of projects for NetBeans to allow an easy start with the code. I am also delighted to have been asked to join the interim OpenJDK Governance Board and I'm humbled by the challenge that faces us to create an inclusive and effective governance for OpenJDK.

Sunday May 06, 2007

In SF for J1, C1, and more

Finally made it to San Francisco ready for CommunityOne today (I'll be at RedMonkOne as much as I can) and then JavaOne the rest of the week. Hope I'll see you here, not least at the Thirsty Bear on Wednesday evening.

Tuesday Apr 24, 2007

Open Source at JavaOne

Ripening Coffee Beans

I recorded a podcast yesterday with Sys-Con about the new open source stuff that's part of the programme at JavaOne this year. In the teaser for it, they got their wires a bit crossed, so here are some details. This is by no means all the cool free/open source stuff that's at JavaOne, I'll provide some more updates later.

  • First, there's a new, no-charge pre-conference called CommunityOne, which has Tim O'Reilly as a keynote. It includes OpenSolaris, NetBeans, Glassfish, even RedMonk (running their very first RedMonkOne UnConference). Although it's free of charge, we're expecting a large crowd so you must sign up if you want to get in - NetBeans Day already has over 800 registered delegates, and the rest of the tracks are filling fast. Oh, and as Barton says, the Solaris vs Linux track looks pretty interesting too.
  • The .Org Zone on the exhibit floor at JavaOne Tuesday to Thursday is open to bona fides .Org FOSS communities - I wrote about it earlier. I gather it is over 90% full so you'd better hurry
  • There's an Open Source Track at JavaOne itself, where I will be moderating a panel with Eben Moglen and Cliff Schmidt of Apache - great place to compare-and-contrast licensing philosophies.
  • There's a new unConference called JavaOne Camp taking place on site - JavaOne attendees must register (for free) to attend.
  • There's a place to park your boss while you attend JavaOne - the new Business Day on Tuesday. I'll be speaking at that about open source models.
  • Finally, my group (Sun Open Source Group) is running an unBOF at the Thirsty Bear on Wednesday evening, including the traditional Blogger's Beer Bash.

Lots of new stuff, big focus on open source - see you there!

Thursday Apr 19, 2007

Full Java Stack In Ubuntu

Sun at FISL in Brazil

I just got back from Brazil, where I was honoured to be a speaker at FISL 8. Attended by over 5,000 people, FISL is one of the world's largest Free software events. I gave them an update on progress making the Java platform Free software in an open source community. The reaction was overwhelming - I kept having people come and thank me for Sun's contribution to Free software.

I wondered why so many people were so grateful, and once it was explained I understood. In Brazil, almost all the banks have online banking interfaces written as Java applets; the tax authorities have a tax filing applet; the use of Java is pervasive. This was great - except for people on GNU/Linux. It turns out that making the JDK available in Debian made an enormous difference to the Brazilian Free software movement, since they were finally able to gain the same access to the necessities of modern online life as those trapped on proprietary operating systems.

So I assume they will be delighted with today's announcement, made a little while ago by Sun software EVP Rich Green in a speech in São Paulo. The news is that a full Java developer stack with tools is available from today in the Multiverse repository for Ubuntu 7.04 (that's Feisty Fawn). It includes JDK 6, the Glassfish Java EE server, the NetBeans development environment and the Java DB database. From today, Ubuntu becomes a first-class Java developer platform (just like Solaris Express already is). That also makes deployment easy - having Glassfish or Java DB as a dependency becomes almost trivial. More details on Sun's GNU/Linux page. Ubuntu gets a new colour!

Monday Apr 16, 2007

Dot-Org Zone at JavaOne

Back in January, Geir asked for an area for open source communities at JavaOne. Well, after much negotiation with the show organisers (not actually Sun, you know), we've been able to secure a ".Org Zone" at JavaOne for Free and Open Source communities.

If you represent a bona fides FOSS project, have a .org domain and would like to staff a presence in the .Org Zone at JavaOne this year, consider applying to be in the Zone. You'll have to staff a table for one or more two-hour slots, and you'll get a pass for JavaOne that allows you attend keynotes on the day you are there as well as gain access to the exhibit pavilion. And you get to come to our party on Wednesday night too!

First come, first served, and we're at about 40% capacity as of start of business today. To apply, write to Laura-dot-Ramsey-at-Sun-dot-Com right now and ask for details.

Thursday Apr 05, 2007

JavaOne Business Day (Free T-Shirt Too)

I'll be speaking at a new event at JavaOne this year. We've arranged for a day of content for your business people so they can come with you to JavaOne in San Francisco. JavaOne Business Day will happen on the opening day of JavaOne, Tuesday May 8th.

It includes access to the keynotes and then a great track of sessions for business and marketing people wanting to understand trends in the Java market, including the move to open source, the secrets of the Java branding programmes and a great panel moderated by Anne Thomas-Manes from the Burton Group. I'll be speaking about open source principles and practice - please bring your business and marketing guys and girls along with you for the day on Tuesday.

To make it just that bit more tempting, there's a free t-shirt involved. Bring a colleague to Business Day and, as long as they mention you when they book, you'll get a free t-shirt.

Friday Mar 30, 2007

JavaOne Discount

Word to the wise: If you're coming to JavaOne, registering before next Wednesday will save you money. And if you're coming, remember the blogger beer bash is Wednesday evening at the Thirsty Bear.

Friday Mar 23, 2007

JavaOne Beer: Save-The-Dates

I've been at Sun for seven years this June. My very first day was the opening day of JavaOne in 2000. I have attended every JavaOne; indeed, I was responsible for IBM attending the first one in 1996 when I managed to find a colleague with budget to pay for it (hi, Gabriel!)

So it's with some pleasure that this year I actually have a substantial involvement with the event for the first time since I joined Sun. My team is running some stuff on May 7 that will soon be announced there; we are acting as managers for the open source track which is appearing there for the first time this year; and we are helping connect people for track sessions, demos, informal events and even (we hope) announcements.

I also hope to host a bloggers beer bash again at the Thirsty Bear on the Wednesday evening, so if you have a blog save the date. And if you will be in San Francisco on Monday May 7, save the whole day, something good (and free) is coming!

Tuesday Mar 06, 2007

Getting OpenJDK a JCK

One of the questions that has kept coming up at events considering OpenJDK and its use of the GPL (most recently at FOSDEM) is how the compatibility tests - the JCK - will be made available to the OpenJDK community. I keep pressing for answers on this one and while Sun is still thinking it through, there are a few general principles that will be true:

  • Sun will keep testing the OpenJDK code base against the appropriate JCK as it builds Sun's JDK product distribution. That means the code will be maintained in a ready-for-compatibility-testing state.
  • Because we're starting from that known-compatible code, it's easier for others to test for compatibility. Sun will make a JCK easily available to community members. That way the OpenJDK community can be sure things built under the GPL are actually compatible with the specs.
  • We'll also find a way to make it clear how communities can use the word "Java" to describe this code. We expect people will want to use Duke as the logo - that's why we open sourced him too! For companies that want to use the "cup and steam" logo (and the term "Java" in the usual commercial usages), the fastest and simplest path to gain the right to use them on an implementation will be to start from the OpenJDK code base, or from Sun's licensed product sources (the same code, different licenses).
  • For people who want to start from codebases other than OpenJDK, the existing JCK processes (and their associated scholarship schemes) will remain in place. OpenJDK isn't about taking anything away; it's about adding new options and evolving the next stage of the Java environment.

This is still a work in progress, but we know how important compatibility is to the free and open source Java software community. Sun is committed to making sure that there is a clear path forward for OpenJDK-based implementations to test for Java compatibility.

I've also no doubt that we're likely to make mistakes as we work things through, especially as our business models around Java things evolve. Apologies in advance, help us fix them as they show up. But we're confident that with the GPL, OpenJDK will succeed in creating an exciting community in which innovation stays in the open. I'm confident this will create opportunities for both businesses and developers that otherwise wouldn't happen and at the same time protect everyone's freedoms.

Monday Mar 05, 2007

Open Source Java Gaming

My colleague Chris Mellisinos is a busy guy, what with his video podcasts and the number of games I know he plays. But he's found time to make the Project Darkstar technology he's been working on open source. In the words of the project web site:

The first technology release under this project, the Sun(tm) Game Server, is a game agnostic, platform agnostic server technology that provides online game developers the ability to create a wide variety of games that can be provisioned through a single server platform. From mobile to desktop, online game development is about to change forever.

I gather it will be released under the GPL in a month or so , giving Java developers a whole new arena to program. Pretty cool stuff.

Sunday Mar 04, 2007


Back home after several weeks filled with technology, it's time for an Eclipse Celebration. You can see my photos of it online.

Wednesday Feb 21, 2007

Almost-Sir James Gosling

Scanning my news feeds just now I spotted the fact that James Gosling has been named an Officer of the Order of Canada. Tim Bray's view as a fellow Canadian is that this is the first appointment of a programmer to the Order, and a welcome change from honouring people famous just for being famous. James is one of the nicest geeks I know on the planet and I am delighted that he's been honoured with Canada's equivalent of a knighthood. Congratulations, James!


Thoughts and pointers on digital freedoms and technology markets. With a few photos too.


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