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Are you prepared to choose the next JDK license?

Posted by felipegaucho on August 17, 2006 at 1:06 PM PDT

A lot of excitement these days about the
SUN plan
of releasing part of the Java Technology as

Open Source Software (OSS)
for the next few months. Reading
the news I've observed the key discussion for now is about the
license to be adopted by SUN to release its technologies. It is not
a simple decision and, besides the public discussion about the best
licenses, there is SUN needs to protect its commercial
interests and the relationship with its partners and clients.

After several years participating of both communities - Java and
OSS - I have a feeling that Java developers are not much worried
about the JDK license because we have ever used Java without any
restrictions anyway - even the code was always available for reading
and learning. On the other side, the Open Source community members
are serious thinkers about what is a license and what is its impact
in the software industry, specially in the Linux world.

Who knows what is the best license for new OSS projects?

The answer for this complex question could be:
ask the leaders of
the OSS movement
. Who? There is no one name, but the
crowd becomes more calm with the endorsment of persons like
Richard Stallman,
Eben Moglen,
David Turner and others. These
proeminent researchers and founders of the Open Source movement don't
have all the answers, but at least they can give a special cue about
the good choice to the new JKD license. It is not a technical requirement,
of course SUN can take decisions without any external interference, but
it is a confluence decision. Any independent decision taken by
SUN will be hard received with a lot of criticism and fear from the open
source community because they have a historical dissatisfaction against
current Java
licenses
.

I don't know how SUN is internally dealing with this question about
licenses, I believe in the company and I am sure people are doing the
best for the future of Java anyway. If I may put my two cents in, I
suggest the idea of including the leaders of the Open Source world
close to the discussions - for the good of everyone.

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