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Sun announces commitment to open source Java

At opening keynote of JavaOne, Sun execs say the question of open sourcing Java code is no longer a matter of whether, but how.

San Francisco, Calif. – The answer to the question will Sun Microsystems Inc. open source Java is a qualified yes.

"It's not a question of whether but of how," answered Rich Green, executive vice president at Sun Microsystems, when CEO Jonathan Schwartz popped the question during the opening keynote at JavaOne at Moscone Center.

Green, who at Schwartz's instigation returned to Sun a week and a half ago to lead the open source effort, explained that Sun is trying to reach dÉtente between two competing forces over the issue of making Java open source. On the one side is the entire open source community demanding it. On the other side are the vendors of everything from mobile music players to serious enterprise systems who want to be assured that the consistent interoperability they count on in Java will not be lost, Green said. The danger is that open source Java might split into various flavors and lose that interoperability.

However, Green said he is confident the issues and concerns around open sourcing Java can be solved.

"So we'll go do this," he told the packed auditorium at the Moscone, to the applause of the JavaOne attendees.

Schwartz reiterated that it is not a matter of whether but how.

Stressing that Java relies on the developer community for its innovation and support, he urged the audience to become members of the Java Community Process and work for the eventual open sourcing of all Java tools and technology.

"We want to make sure all of you have your voice heard," Schwartz said.

To demonstrate Sun's move to open source, Green announced that as part of the company's OpenJavaEE initiative, it is releasing key Java components for Web services and SOA developers. He said Sun is open sourcing Java Studio Creator, Java System Portal Server, the Business Process Execution Language (BPEL) Engine from the Sun Java Composite Application Platform Suite (Java CAPS), the NetBeans Enterprise Pack, the Java Message System (JMS), and Web Services Interoperability Technology (WSIT).

Sun announced that information about downloading all the newly open sourced Sun Java technology will be available online beginning this week for the following tools:

  • The first open source release from the SeeBeyond acquisition, the Java CAPS BPEL Engine, is available as part of the OpenJava ESB Community at:
  • NetBeans Enterprise Pack, with code taken from the Java Studio Enterprise product, is available today with full sources on
  • Java Messaging System (JMS) is available through the Java MQ project, hosted on
  • Web Services Interoperability Technology (WSIT), a collection of WS-*-based technology for security, messaging, quality of service, metadata support, and Microsoft .NET interoperability is available at

Beyond the open source question, Schwartz and Green used the keynote to build support for NetBeans, Sun's Java IDE that competes with the technology from the Eclipse Foundation.

For more information

Will Sun open source Java?

Sun Microsystems: Left behind at Web services altar?

Mark Fleury, CEO JBoss Inc., which is being acquired by Red Hat Inc., came on stage to announce that JBoss is moving into the NetBeans camp. Ed Zander, CEO of Motorola, also came on stage to announce his company's support for NetBeans.

Zander, a former Sun employee, also lent some historical perspective to JavaOne. He noted that at the first conference 11 years ago when he was evangelizing Java before an audience that was miniscule compared to the one today, Java didn't even have top billing. Java played second banana to Netscape and some mostly forgotten technologies.

In opening remarks at the keynote, John Gage, chief researcher at Sun, predicted that when the final attendance numbers are tabulated, JavaOne 2006 will be the largest conference in the 11 year history of Java One.

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