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Sun Reaches Java Open-Source Milestone

The announcement is an important milestone, but not unexpected: Sun first talked about its intention to open-source Java a year ago, and since then has gradually been doing so. Though some parts of the platform aren't yet fully GPL, there are no significant barriers to making them so, and Sun will probably get its wish of having its version of Java included with many Linux distributions.

The parts of Java that haven't yet been open-sourced are mainly involved with multimedia. This is key to Sun's attempts to make desktop Java a viable Flash competitor, so some potential users may be dissuaded until the platform is entirely open-source. However, multimedia is much less important for enterprise SOA, so open-source Java should already help Sun against IBM and BEA Systems on the server side.
Andy Dornan
Contributing Editor

Sun Microsystems this week said it has released an open-source version of Java, a target it set less than a year ago.

Specifically, Sun released a fully buildable Java Development Kit version of Java Platform Standard Edition--Java SE. The code was released to the OpenJDK Community under a GNU General Public License.

All told, Sun has released implementations of Java Platform Standard Edition, Enterprise Edition and Micro Edition as free software under the GPL. Also available today is all the source code for Sun's future release of Java SE 7, the company said.

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