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I Wish

Posted by editor on August 18, 2006 at 7:45 AM PDT

What do you want from open-source Java?

Obviously, the big topic this week has been the concrete steps Sun has taken towards open-sourcing their JDK implementation. We now have a timeline -- javac and HotSpot this year, everything else by the end of 2007, oh, and CDC and CLDC too.

So, what are you going to do with it?

For a lot of people, that decision depends on what you can do with it, under the terms of whatever license it eventually appears under. Obviously, there's a huge difference between releasing it under the GPL, which would require any derivatve products to also be GPL, versus something more permissive like the Apache license. If it's any hint as to Sun's eventual plans, both NetBeans and GlassFish (which is effectively the open-sourcing of Java EE 5), use CDDL.

This issue, of course, is the source of our latest Poll question, which asks "What license would you like Sun's open-source JDK to use?" Cast your vote on the front page, then check out the results page for results and discussion.

Having said, all that, it's still an open question just what people are going to do with an open-source Java. I used to think that the point of open-source anything was to "fix it or fork it", but the former's been possible for a long time as part of the JDK community here on, and the latter will surely be disallowed, at least if the fork is incompatible and wishes to use the Java name. And maybe even then it won't matter. As Bruno Souza has pointed out, Java is not one VM or one code-base, it's a standard goverened by the JCP, and any implementation of the standard is exactly that: an implementation of a standard. So maybe a "forked JVM" is as much a non-concept as any other software that declines or fails to implement a standard correctly, like a word processor that doesn't support OpenDocument or a music player that doesn't support MP3. Or maybe I'm wrong and we're headed for J# (90% pure Java, 10% meat by-products) all over again. What do you think?

In Java Today,

Carla Mott updates the status of GlassFish in GlassFish V2 Milestone 1 available: " We are currently working on the V2 release which adds more enterprise level features. Today we promoted milestone 1 for the V2 release which contains JAXWS 2.0.1, clustering and many bug fixes. Check it out!" Also, in GlassFish V2, Transparency and Continuous Feedback, Eduardo Pelegri-Llopart notes the project's enhanced transparency: "you should have noticed the New Community Wiki that has all our plans and Milestone Roadmap. You may also have noticed a substantial increase in traffic in the DEV mailing list, including the recent messages from Dirhu, the GF V2 technical lead describing the public Review of New Features in GF V2 and Tracking New Features in GF V2."

The ninetieth issue of the JavaTools Community Newsletter is online, featuring tool news from around the web, announcements of two graduations from the incubator (UnitCover and Crawler), and a Tool Tip on how to find or fill a job with, via the JobsWiki.

Mark Reinhold's blog At Sixes and Sevens explains why the JDK 7 project (formerly "dolphin") is open before JDK 6 (formerly "mustang") is even out the door. "Now the world doesn't stop turning--and developers don't stop hacking--just because JDK 6 is in stabilization mode. Engineers both inside and outside of Sun are already working on fixes and features for JDK 7, so the question arises: Where should those changes go?"

Michael Nascimento Santos says he's been Bitten by the class literal change in Tiger, in today's Weblogs. "If you are not aware, the way expressions such as MyClass.class are handled by the compiler changed starting with Java 5. The collateral effects can cause working to code to fail in a hard to diagnose way, so read this entry for more info."

The Big One, Joshua Marinacci offers the
"first in a series of blogs about the new Java 6 improvements to the Windows Look and Feel (with pictures!)"

Finally Joerg Plewe explains
Why I don't use Groovy: I just cannot.
"Groovy is a cool language and I'd like to use it. But somehow it is very hard..."

In today's Forums,
leouser wonders
If Windows were allowed to be non-rectangular, should Components be as well?
"I'm not sure if awt/swing will ever have non-rectangular windows, but if it did I was wondering how far it should go? Should the toplevels be the only target for trianglur, circular, ovalish, etc... shapes? Or should it be taken further, and allow odd shapped Components? I was reading about an X extension library a little while ago and it seemed to indicate that it allowd things like non-rectangular buttons and such. Which made me wonder how far can the non-rectangular go in Java?(and yes I understand you can create the appearance of non-rectangular components already but if it was baked in the cake it may just be easier)."

disciple285 argues that Java has fallen behind in a basic area, writing in
Better String manipulation methods needed:
"I have mentioned this once somewhere else... why is String class missing so many helpful methods. So that I have to import the jakarta commons stringUtils library?? This is so stupid, C# has methods in the string class lacking in Java. Java has essentials like substringBetween(vdvd,adsvfd) and others missing But then they have Regex expressions in string methods... but not simple methods to do things. My recommendation: put most of StringUtils into the string class and save developers from importing a library or being frustrated."

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What do you want from open-source Java?