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A License To Innovate

Posted by terrencebarr on November 22, 2006 at 6:46 AM PST

As the latest James Bond movies makes its way around the world I thought it fitting to recycle the tagline A license to kill into A license to innovate.

This is really what open sourcing Java ME is all about. As you may have noticed Sun released Java SE with the classpath exception, but Java ME was released without the classpath exception. Of course, the community immediately picked up on this (and I'm glad you did!), for example here.

So why did Sun chose to release Java ME under GPL without the classpath exception? Does this limit Java ME developers in the way they can innovate, and more importantly, does the viral nature of GPL infect any and all application code running on top of a Java ME open source platform implementation?

Answers: See below, no, and no.

Sun has every interest in encouraging innovation in the Java ME application space. The reason we have chosen not to add the classpath exception to Java ME is simply because Java ME applications are typically not shipped in a bundle together with the platform implementation and therefore an explicit classpath exception is not needed. For more details please see the this thread, including my clarification posted at the end of the thread.

So, there you have it: A License To Innovate.

-- Terrence

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