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Java Developer : Article

Sun's Schwartz: IBM's Request "Seems a Little Bonky"

Sun's Schwartz: IBM's Request "Seems a Little Bonky"

You have to hand it to Jonathan Schwartz. He has a way with words.

Who else would have described IBM's call-to-arms to Sun, expressed in an open letter released last week and reported here, as "bonky"?

It can only be assumed that this is a variant of "bonkers" as in around the bend, balmy, barmy, bats, batty, buggy, cracked, crackers, daft, dotty, fruity, haywire, insane, kookie, kooky, loco, loony, loopy, nuts, nutty, round the bend, wacky, whacky.

Commenting on the open letter in the middle of a Sun "Chalk Talk" session with the media in San Francisco, Schwartz compared and contrasted Sun's vision for Java with the Linux community's vision for Linux.

The essential difference, as he sees it, is that the Linux community positively celebrates choice and encourages forking, with dozens and dozens of different flavors and distros, while "In the Java world, we had the opposite motivation, which was to ensure that compatibility ruled the day."

So IBM's Rod Smith may have to wait, by the sound of it, for word from Sun that it is ready to collaborate "an independent project to open-source Java" - which was what Smith's open letter to Sun's chief engineer Rob Gingell suggested.

CBR Magazine's Gavin Clarke interpreted what Schwartz said more encouragingly:

"Sun Microsystems Inc is open to relinquishing stewardship of Java to a neutral third party, but is apparently against releasing the language to open source under GPL." writes Clarke.

"The company's software chief said an organization such as certification and program management specialist KeyLabs could be suited to managing Java," he continued.

According to Clarke, Schwartz said Sun is "open" to giving up control to an organization like KeyLabs.

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JDJ News Desk monitors the world of Java to present IT professionals with updates on technology advances, business trends, new products and standards in the Java and i-technology space.

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Most Recent Comments
Jack 06/08/04 05:52:06 PM EDT

There seems little difference between IBM and Microsoft in the area that both try to dominate others and tell people what other should and should not do.

Steam rolling once way is not the ideology behind the open source community. What Sun does with its idea of contributing community is great. It maitains a standard as also gets contribution from the larger community as a whole.

Open sourcing java may just ruin this beautiful language by having it fragmented. Sure would not like to something like SUN java, IBM java and so on so forth going around the place. Choosing and studying the different version will just add on to the headache which the different distros would confuse by saying my dad is stronger than yours. Quit squabbling IBM and contribute further.

Jim Mitchell 03/05/04 08:58:10 PM EST

"Sun Microsystems Inc is open to relinquishing stewardship of Java to a neutral third party, but is apparently against releasing the language to open source under GPL."

Sun is not a ''steward'', or caretaker of Java, but it''s creater and owner! A party not in ownership of an asset has no right to decide or even sugest what should be done with the property. To suggest ohterwise is presumptuous at best, anarchistic at worst.

Perhaps you wold begin to understand if the guys working in the office down the street began to ''suggest you share'' your car with them, and on their terms! Then deride your ''stewarship'' if you decline!

Whatever Sun does with Java, it is their sole right to do so... with or without input from others.

That they seek the input of the community is commendable, but should in no way be interpreted as relinguishing ownershp.