miércoles, abril 01, 2009

Un tercer aspecto de la (posible) venta de Sun

Eugene Ciurana, en un post en The Sever Side, agrega un factor más a las razones de la compra de Sun, ahora apuntando a su (eventual) estrategia futura para Java. Según especulaciones de Stephen Colebourne, Sun perseguiría retornar Java a un desarrollo propietario:
Stephen Colebourne argues that there will be no Java 7 because of the ongoing disagreements between the Apache Software Foundation, Sun, and the JCP regarding Apache Harmony, the independent, open source, compatible Java SDK.

Stephen argues that Harmony's success motivated Sun to return to a proprietary Java development model and is blocking Harmony from getting the JDK compatibility kits it needs for validating that its Java implementation is up to snuff.
[Según Stephen Colebourne] Apache's implementation of the Java SE 5 JSR specification is Apache Harmony. However, when Apache came to obtain the testing kit for the specification a whole political game started. Instead of Sun offering the testing kit as normal for each of the other 25 JSRs, they offered a testing kit where the results of the tested code would not be Open Source

Obviously, Apache couldn't accept this limitation, which is against the legal agreement signed between Sun and Apache. Apache complained 2 years ago, but has yet to receive an acceptable response. And no, there is no way a charity not-for-profit like Apache is going to sue a multi-national corporation - who do you think would get the better lawyers?

The key point is that Sun's tactics here were quite deliberate. They knew exactly what they were doing by offering a testing kit with a restrictive license. They wanted to ensure that Apache Harmony couldn't be certified as complete. Sun was going out of its way to ensure that there was no competition to its own JDK.

In the meantime, Sun played the OpenJDK card. It announced the release of the JDK under the GPL license [...] I think this shows a gross lack of perspective - the code may now be GPL open source, but the specification is now no longer open. Which is more important?

Thus, the next release will be JDK 7, not Java 7.

This means that there won't be an open Java 7 specification. This would mean that what makes it into Java is what Sun choses to release in OpenJDK, not what's agreed in the JSRs. This returns control of Java back to Sun and prevents its standardization.

Stephen made a second posting where he documents the ongoing discussions between the Apache Harmony and Sun regarding the Java 7 specifications, using the JCP Executive Committee meeting minutes to support his argument.
An interesting read, to say the least, and a potential threat to having an open Java specification.

¿Qué peso puede tener esta hipótesis? En este caso es simple: el tiempo le dará su lugar en pocos meses.

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