Sun Open Sources Java Platform and Releases Source Code Under GPL

Sun Microsystems, Inc., the creator and leading advocate of Java technology, today announced it is releasing its implementations of Java technology as free software under the GNU General Public License version two (GPLv2). Available today are the first pieces of source code for Sun's implementation of Java Platform Standard Edition (Java SE) and a buildable implementation of Java Platform Micro Edition (Java ME). Details are available at: http://www.sun.com/opensource/java. In addition, Sun is adding the GPLv2 license to Java Platform Enterprise Edition (Java EE), which has been available for over a year under the Common Development and Distribution License (CDDL) through Project GlassFish at http://glassfish.dev.java.net.

This announcement represents one of the largest source code contributions under the GPL license (under which the GNU/Linux operating system is also distributed) and the open sourcing of one of the industry's most significant and pervasive software platforms. With more than 3.8 billion Java technology enabled devices, Java technology is showing explosive growth, appearing in volume everywhere. From mobile phones and smart cards to enterprise applications and supercomputers, Java technology provides a unifying platform for software innovation. By open sourcing Java software, while offering commercial products with indemnity for our customers, Sun expects Java technology to become even more pervasive.

"By open sourcing Sun's implementation of Java technology, we will inspire a new phase of developer collaboration and innovation using the NetBeans Integrated Development Environment (IDE) and expect the Java platform to be the foundation infrastructure for next generation Internet, desktop, mobile and enterprise applications," said Rich Green, executive vice president of Software at Sun. "With the Java Development Kit (JDK) released as free software under the GPL, Sun will be working closely with distributors of the GNU/Linux operating system, who will soon be able to include the JDK as part of the open source repositories that are commonly included with GNU/Linux distributions."

"Everyone has been expecting that one day Sun would open source Java technology, but no one expected just how far they'd go – GPL. A bold move, and a great opportunity both for Sun and for free and open source software, " said Tim O'Reilly, founder and CEO of O'Reilly Media.

Java SE

Sun is releasing three significant software components today for the ongoing development of Sun's open source implementation of Java SE in the Java.net community: Java HotSpot technology, the Java programming language compiler (javac) and JavaHelp software. Sun expects to release a buildable JDK in the first quarter of 2007, following established free software community practices for licensing virtual machines and their associated libraries. Java HotSpot technology and javac are two of the most important elements of Java SE; Java HotSpot technology is the Sun implementation of the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) and the core component of the Java Runtime Environment (JRE), which translates Java code to the specific operating system and chip architecture, allowing Java software to run everywhere and javac is the compiler that analyzes Java source code for correctness and generates proper bytecodes for execution. JavaHelp software is the documentation system to complement the JDK.

These first components of the OpenJDK project will allow developers to experiment with the compiler, try out new language features, learn how a world-class virtual machine is built, port the JVM to new hardware architectures and operating systems, fix bugs and contribute new features. Through the OpenJDK project, developers will be able to directly influence the future of the JDK implementation, participate with their peers in an open community and help take Java technology where it hasn't been before.

Java ME

Available immediately in the Java.net community, is the source code for Sun's feature phone Java ME implementation, the next generation version of the platform that currently enables rich mobile data services in more than 1.5 billion handsets. Also available is Sun's Java ME implementation for the emerging advanced phone segment and the Java ME testing and compatibility kit framework, the foundation for Sun's Java ME compatibility tests. Later this year, Sun will release additional source code including the framework for the Java Device Test Suite.

Sun is releasing these technologies as free software in order to accelerate the development and evolution of the platform, reduce fragmentation and drive down development costs throughout the Java ME ecosystem. In addition, this move will provide easy access to the latest versions of Java ME platform technologies and, for the first time, enable the whole Java ME community to follow the activities of and participate in the development of these technologies.

Java EE

Sun is also announcing that it is now releasing the source code for Project GlassFish (part of the GlassFish Community) under a dual open source license. In addition to CDDL, Project GlassFish will also be available under GPLv2 in the first quarter of 2007. By adding a second license, we simplify the process of combining and distributing GlassFish code with other GPL licensed communities. By offering the Java platforms under a common license, Sun will allow developers to more easily distribute updated versions of Java SE, Java EE and Java ME together.

NetBeans and Sun Development Tools

The NetBeans IDE can dramatically simplify getting started with JDK development because the open source components have already been configured as NetBeans projects. Developers can download the source code, open it in the NetBeans IDE, and use the Build Project command to build it. For further information and a step-by-step tutorial go to: http://nb-openjdk.netbeans.org. In addition, an application developer project is available as part of the Mobile & Embedded community, with links to resources such as the NetBeans Mobility Pack, the Java ME authoring tool that delivers a whole new level of sophistication and ease for drag-and-drop screen design. Sun is also making available the world-record producing Sun Studio development environment for the development of the platform-specific native code in the Java HotSpot virtual machine.

The recently announced NetBeans 5.5 contains a variety of new features, including: Java Persistence API and JAX WS 2.0 productivity tools, Subversion support, and enhancements to the NetBeans GUI Builder (formerly known as Project Matisse). NetBeans 5.5 is the first and only freely available IDE to provide comprehensive support for Java EE 5, the industry standard for developing portable, robust, scalable, and secure server-side Java applications.

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