Q&A: Sun's Jonathan Schwartz on Java's future
He's not so sure about the idea of an open-source Java
Computerworld - SAN FRANCISCO -- Jonathan Schwartz, executive vice president of software at Sun Microsystems Inc., spoke with Computerworld during the recent JavaOne conference here about the possibility of Java becoming open-source, the potential market for Java in mobile devices and Java's relationship with IBM. Excerpts from that interview follow.
Should Java be made fully open-source? The problem with open-source is that [victory] goes to volume, and that's evident in the Linux community today where ISVs [independent software vendors] are qualifying to Red Hat and abandoning everyone else. Why? Because Red Hat has volume.
If Java were open-source, Microsoft could take it, deliver it as they saw fit and drive a definition of Java that was divergent from the one that the community wanted to be compatible. And to the victor would go the spoils of that nefarious action.
To the extraordinary credit of the Java Community Process [JCP], we have a uniform compatible standard that now spans hundreds of millions of devices, hundreds of millions of smart cards, hundreds of millions of desktops and tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of servers. So you have to really be careful in understanding the distinction between open-source and open standards.
Jonathan Schwartz of Sun Microsystems Inc.
Some developers who attended your JavaOne conference said they think Java should be open-source. I think the licensees understand the integrity that the Java Community Process drives. It's interesting about the Java Community Process, because the only companies that really don't like the community process are the companies that have approached me or one of my direct reports with an attempt to try to do something outside the JCP and leave everyone else behind. We don't talk a
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