Java News from Friday, May 19, 2006

Yesterday at JavaOne Sun said they're going to open source Java, though apparently they haven't decided exactly when or how (i.e under what license). Here's one vote for the full, unadulterated GPL. It's the most free license out there, and by far the most resistant to forking.

Personally I've never had any doubt that Sun was going to open source Java one of these days. If the Cathedral and the Bazaar had been written a couple of years earlier, Java likely would have been open source from day one (i.e. when the engineeers still controlled it, before the suits noticed what they had). I know there've been debates about this inside Sun for years now. It probably hasn't helped that James Gosling never seems to have understood the difference between trademark and copyright. Sun's always had a love-hate relationship relationship with open source software going back to its earliest days, way before Java. However, they've been on a slow but steady path to open source since they were founded. One of the advantages of open source (and the GPL especially) is that when a company takes two steps forward, it's really hard for them to take one step back.

Thomas Bitonti of IBM has released the Nested Archive Toolkit for Java. "The Nested Archive Toolkit for Java contains a collection of Java classes that provide enhanced capabilities for working with virtually any ZIP and JAR files, including J2EE and nested J2EE archives. Because it is a utility, one is able to efficiently scan, access, and update selected files within a nested archive. An API is provided that allows random access to archive entries. A portion of the tool provides interchangeability between archives and directories. A command line interface provides access to most functions. Access through Java API calls is provided. An Eclipse plug-in provides a view of archives, including all raw archive data and a tree of nested archives."