Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Sun looks to free up the rest of Java

Company eyes Linux installations as potential new users

Sun Microsystems is stepping up efforts to boost Java usage in Linux shops by working to remove some final encumbrances in the open-source Java platform.

By freeing these up, Java can be fully open-source and thus be packaged more easily with Linux distributions. In conjunction with this activity, Sun is talking with Linux distributors, including OpenSuse, Ubuntu and Fedora to have them offer an updated version of OpenJDK, which constitutes the open-source Java platform. Sun plans to offer the updated OpenJDK soon and clear the last few encumbrances later.

"We're hoping to see some movement [with the] Linux distributions in the very near future, hopefully by JavaOne," said Rich Sands, group manager for developer marketing at Sun, in an interview on Tuesday. The JavaOne conference is to be held in San Francisco in two weeks.

OpenJDK is based on Java Platform, Standard Edition (SE) 6. The open sourcing process began in November 2006. But a few components, including some encryption libraries, graphics libraries, the sound engine, and some SNMP management code still could not be offered under the GNU General Public License. These components accounted for 4 percent of the platform.

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