Tuesday Jun 09, 2009

OpenJDK Board gets Google & Red Hat Members

Over the weekend, Mark announced he's updated the OpenJDK Interim Governance Board page to add details of the two new members Sun has asked to join the Board to navigate towards a permanent OpenJDK governance system. They are both well-known contributors to OpenJDK, and in fact when I asked Mark Wielaard to suggest the best pick for new Board members they were the names he suggested. They are:

  • Andrew Haley, of Red Hat, GCJ co-maintainer and Classpath corner-stone, and
  • Martin Buchholz, of Google, a developer of the JDK core libraries at Sun for many years.

I'm delighted they are joining the Board and, while there's no crisis to solve since the existing interim governance is mostly working fine, I hope their arrival will help us formalise arrangements at last.

Tuesday Jun 24, 2008

Old News - OpenJDK Still United

I'm not sure what it is that's making ZDNet treat the interviews I gave last month in Australia as new news, but to be clear, the comments they are reporting and that Slashdot and DZone have been trying to spin as divisive are nothing of the sort (if this all passed you by, please ignore - I'm not in the mode to give any of the above any link love). I note Rich Sharples is also helping tidy up. The work the IcedTea folks did to make OpenJDK 6 capable of passing the TCK have been contributed back to the OpenJDK community and are being integrated.

People are working together just the way one would hope they would. My previous comments about JDK diversity hold. And my delight that we finally have a Free, compatible Java implementation based on shared, open source code is still making me smile, as the audience here in Z├╝rich for Jazoon saw this morning.

Thursday Jun 19, 2008

Free, Compatible Java at last

Ripening pear

Yesterday was a landmark that plenty of us have been working towards for nearly a decade. As MR and I have been indicating for a while now, the remaining obstacles to a fully compatible and Free implementation of Java SE have all been removed by efforts like renegotiating the terms for the source of Java 2D and various community members (Sun and others) re-implementing some of the other code.

But the proof is in the fruit of the process, and yesterday it was confirmed that the implementation of OpenJDK 6 that the Fedora community has packaged does indeed pass the TCK. This is a huge achievement for everyone who has been involved - the Fedora team that Rich mentions in that last link, the team that MR leads at Sun, the team that I lead, plus the many, many people who have worked for a Free Java for so many years.

Some may fear, as Fabrizio does, that this (and the many GNU/Linux, OpenSolaris and BSD packages that will follow) will lead to such a diverse set of Java implementations that "write once, run everywhere" is doomed. I don't agree.

What made Java so compatible, in my view, was the fact that almost all versions found in the wild were built with Sun's class libraries even if they used a different VM. With Sun opening the reference implementation and then the community taking it on and embracing it, we now have that same basic code-base at the root of Free implementations everywhere. And we now have the benefits of community diversity to ensure many eyes are making bugs shallow and that innovation is accelerated.

Free, compatible Java everywhere. That's exactly what we all wanted, and we have it at last.

Monday Apr 07, 2008

An Adoption-Led Business Model In Action


If you've been following my series on the adoption-led market, you may have been looking for some solid examples of how a software vendor can build a business model that is designed for an adoption-led market. Solaris is already there, offering subscriptions for updates, defect resolution, indemnity and more of the values that the deployers of Solaris look for. I've kept looking to OpenJDK waiting for the same business model to emerge.

Well, today it happened. Sun announced Java SE For Business. It's not something that's likely to show up much in bids for new business. Rather, it offers companies that have already adopted the Java platform a new subscription that will reduce their overall costs and improve their success in using the Java platform to run their business. There are three levels:

  • Standard Support extends the life of existing Java applications for your organization and for your customers. Fixes provided to you will continue to be made available to Java SE for Business customers along with new operating system support and all other maintenance in quarterly updates. Perfect for customers whose primary interest is in running their Java applications much longer than ever possible before.
  • Premium Support adds the ability to have a fix provided to you by Sun to also be incorporated into Sun's next available bi-weekly standard revisions, ensuring your network of customers and partners can leverage that same fix, faster than ever before. Premium support is perfect for customers' whose Java application are critical for their and their customers businesses.
  • Premium Plus Support further adds the ability to request a quote for a Java SE for Business custom revision for an older update or revision of the Java platform (additional terms and conditions apply). Premium plus support is perfect for customers seeking maximum assurance for their Java applications from Sun.

No lock-in. No hard-sell. Just a value proposition that can be calmly evaluated on its merits. Java users have the complete freedom to work as they were, or to invest in a subscription and reap the benefits. Since Sun invests so heavily in the core contributors to the platform, it is uniquely positioned to offer the subscriptions. This is the heart of the primary business model for the adoption-led market and I believe we'll see a lot more of it.

[Previous: Why Adoption-Led Is Not Trialware | Root: The Adoption-led Market]

Tuesday Jan 29, 2008

How To Get $1m From Sun

You'll remember when I was in India I announced a $1m programme from Sun to recognise contributors to a selection of Free/open source communities (and gave a few more details afterwards). In the interim, each of those communities has formed a team to work out how they would like to direct the $175,000 Sun has allocated to them, and I'm delighted to announce that the six programmes are now live. Full details in the press release which links to each of the community sites.

Monday Dec 03, 2007

Getting Paid to Develop

Beaver photo (c) S Phipps

We've got an exciting development bubbling that I hope to be able to announce in full detail at FOSS.IN in Bangalore on Friday when I speak there.

Just to give you a glimpse of what's happening, Sun will be announcing a multi-year award program in support of fostering innovation and advancing open source within our open source communities. We'll be providing a substantial prize purse and working with the communities involved to develop the approach that works best.

I'm announcing it in India because that's where I expect the greatest open source community growth to come from in the near future - the FOSS.IN programme committee relaunched their CfP a while back with this in mind. If we can play a part in catalyzing the emergence of India as a key international open source power-house, the effect on the software industry will be huge. Not to exclude others in the region of course, so much is going on there.

This year's participants include OpenSolaris, GlassFish, OpenJDK, OpenSPARC, NetBeans, and OpenOffice.org. This is a great opportunity for members of these open source communities to take their passion and creativity and push the innovation boundaries - and get paid in the process!

Update: I've added more detail as well as information responding to questions in the comments here to a new posting.

Update Jan 2008: Details of the individual programmes are now available.

Sunday Nov 04, 2007

Red Hat Joins OpenJDK

I was very pleased just now to see that Red Hat has announced they are joining the OpenJDK community to work on and use the Java implementation being developed over there. They have signed the contributor agreement as well as the OpenJDK TCK license. I hope we'll see IcedTea become an OpenJDK project as a result of this - the Classpath folk have been doing an awesome job.

Creating an environment with licensing, code and governance acceptable to groups like Red Hat was one of the primary motivations of our choices around OpenJDK, so this is fantastic news all round, and an interesting counterpoint to the approach others have taken in other projects.

Update: Interesting comments from Mark Reinhold, positivity from Mark Wielaard, congratulations from Dalibor, early coverage on JavaLobby. And later still: NetworkWorld, CMP, eWeek (quoting this blog), WRAL, CNet and TechTarget (also quoting this blog, almost) and even later: InternetNews, which includes interviews with me and Shaun Connolly of Red Hat.

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.

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.

Sunday Dec 24, 2006

Happy Christmas!

Holly and Berries

In a move that seems a rarity for 2006, I am actually at home today with my family in Southampton celebrating Christmas. It's been an amazing year and I am truly thankful of the privilege of being in charge of Sun's Free and Open Source software strategy in the year that both SPARC and the Java platform were liberated. It's left me exhausted so I am not too much fun to be around, but everyone else is bouncing with energy so no-one will notice!

I hope the holiday season proves refreshing and joyful for you! If you feel need for some perspective, Minitaure Earth can provide all you need.


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


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