More from Bruce Perens

By Steven Vaughan-Nichols  |  Posted 2004-02-27 Print this article Print

Perens though thinks that Sun, and not the other JCP members, has been the real problem with making Java truly open. "Sun has a multiple personality disorder when it comes to open source. With Java, Sun was afraid that IBM would run away with it if they open- sourced it."

So whats different now? According to Perens, "Perhaps Sun is waking up to the fact that it has too many enemies. It cant fight Microsoft Corp. and IBM and open source. It needs friends somewhere." And, in particular, its getting "late in the game and Microsofts Visual.Studio.Net continues to gain supporters."

Stacey Quandt, principal analyst for the Open Source Development Labs (OSDL), agrees. "For many end-users the issue is not so much the battle for the enterprise platform but about applications. With so many customers making decisions about Java vs. .NET there would be a tremendous benefit if IBM and Sun could agree on an open-source implementation of Java."

Raymond seems to think that Sun is taking this seriously. In a note to, he wrote, "I am having interesting conversations with people inside Sun. More detailed comments than that would be inappropriate at this time." Other reports have IBM and Sun already meeting to discuss open-sourcing Java.

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols is editor at large for Ziff Davis Enterprise. Prior to becoming a technology journalist, Vaughan-Nichols worked at NASA and the Department of Defense on numerous major technological projects. Since then, he's focused on covering the technology and business issues that make a real difference to the people in the industry.

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