Saturday, January 06, 2007

Free Java - I told you so :-)

I predicted this a year and a half ago. Java was going to be Open Source. However, I was both overoptimistic and not optimistic enough. I thought it would happen in 2005 itself, but we've had to wait until 2007 to see the first dribbles of Sun's code. But I never dared to dream that Sun would choose the GPL as the license for Java. I'm still speechless. Yes, someone I know suggested this as far back as 2004, but to see it actually take place is a pleasant shock.

What do I think is the likely impact of an Open Source Java? Well, what happens when a logjam is finally cleared?

Here's the technology stack we have today ("HILTS"):


Java has been the inconvenient piece in the middle preventing the whole stack from being freely distributable. What Sun has done with its latest announcement is effectively make the whole stack free, not just Java. Now we'll start to see Linux distributions that set up complete application platforms as part of their installation. This will significantly lower the cost of adoption of Open Source.

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