Java is free!

Mark Webbink continues to do an excellent job over on Groklaw of covering the Oracle v. Google trial. One tasty tidbit he highlights is a link to a post by Tim Bray of Sun in 2006 that shows up in Oracle’s trial exhibits.


This is the link. Here’s a quote:

Java is Free

When I took the job at Sun in early 2004, I had a long talk with John Fowler, about this blog among other things. John said: “You might end up happier if you don’t blog about open-sourcing Java.” That was then. Today’s story is simple: Unmodified GPL2 for our SE, ME, and EE code. GPL2 + Classpath exception for the SE libraries. Javac and HotSpot and JavaHelp code drops today. The libraries to follow, with pain expected fighting through the encumbrances. Governance TBD, but external committers are a design goal. No short-term changes in the TCK or JCP. There are a ton of presentations and an (excellent) FAQ and so on, all to show up at sun.com/opensource/java sometime in the next few hours. I wanted to add a couple of remarks on areas that stuff doesn’t highlight.

Why Free? ·

I’m committed to Open Source but not generally a member of the Free Software movement. For Java, though, it’s the only thing that makes sense. It’s been given away freely for so long, and it’s worked its way into so many places, that it should belong to the community, and if anyone figures out how to make it better, they should just bloody well give that discovery back. So for my money, the GPL’s the only sane choice.