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By gregrluck
via gregluck.com
Published: Oct 03 2010 / 23:40

This year's JavaOne conference let a lot of people down. Attendees I spoke to said they would not be back. Should we fork the conference? And for that matter should we fork Java? Should we rely on Oracle to sustain the community that Sun created, or should we take the bull by the horns and just fork the whole thing. A new name, foundation, conference, code fork - the lot.
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User 694429 avatar

cristian.chiovari replied ago:

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It is not the time for such thing.
There is a big community but forking java will lead to more standards and more problems.

User 161039 avatar

mheath replied ago:

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I'm not convinced that it would lead to *more* standards. I think if Google, HP, IBM, Red Hat, VMWare, etc. all came together to form a non profit foundation around a forked OpenJDK, the JCP would become irrelevant overnight. The JCP might try to push forward new standards but who cares? No one would use them.

Frankly, with such a foundation I think we would have less problems. The foundation wouldn't be focused on trying to make a profit and wouldn't get distracted by silly ideas like JavaFX.

User 431781 avatar

william1104 replied ago:

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agree

User 694429 avatar

cristian.chiovari replied ago:

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I do not understand why you excluded Oracle from this ?
Without Oracle java would have not been adopted as widely in today enterprise world.
All companies you mentioned are part of some JCP so why reinvent the wheel ?
Only to exclude Oracle...?

User 356888 avatar

evaamo replied ago:

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I think we could say Oracle has been working very hard to become excluded if we review their (in)actions ... don't you think?

User 161039 avatar

mheath replied ago:

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I don't mean to exclude Oracle. If Oracle wants to come to the free/open Java table, they're invited just as ANY other company willing to contribute to such a cause. Given the fact that Oracle, after the Sun purchase, has done more to hamper the JCP than contribute to it, I don't think a truly open Java is in their game plan.

User 393686 avatar

RawThinkTank replied ago:

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Its too late now, Oracle is an outcast now

User 466195 avatar

danto005 replied ago:

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hp?????

User 277934 avatar

jfpoilpret replied ago:

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I think it is good to ask this question, that's why I voted thin up. I am not sure, however, whether Java should be forked now...

User 276519 avatar

amir75 replied ago:

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I agree: good question, worth asking.

I guess there's a fear that 'Lava' would become monopolised by another massive corporation, e.g. Google or IBM. I guess an appropriate license would prevent that.

The JCP seems to be pretty unsatisfactory, so perhaps an improved standards methodology could be designed in it's place.

What with so much of the Java 7 coolness being pushed back into Java 8 (and maybe further into 9, 10 etc), I am starting to get itchy feet ...

User 208597 avatar

sskjames replied ago:

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I feel this is the right time to fork Java and create a non-profit open source foundation to prevent a single company bullying others in the name of patents.
Hey, wait.. isn't Apache Harmony a fork already?

User 276519 avatar

amir75 replied ago:

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I think Harmony is an implementation of the Java standard, just like all those other JVMs which came (and went) in the past

I think a fork of Java itself could mean divergence from the standard, and portentially adding new features ahead of the current Java standard.

User 427173 avatar

gregrluck replied ago:

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I am not a lawyer but forking OpenJDK within its rules gives you a license to source code and patents. Not sure that Harmony has those advantages.

User 338269 avatar

Miloskov replied ago:

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You are correct gregluck, The problem of Harmony is does not have those advantages cause they didnt fork it from OpenJDK, that is why the Google/Oracle lawsuit, That fiasco of the lawsuit it is about Android using a subset of Harmony. If Google could implement the subset from OpenJDK there will be no lawsuit. So a fork of Java based on OpenJDK it will give those advantages. Almost all the Java ecosystem will follow the new fork so the standard Java could become the new fork as the author called it "Lava" and the Oracle Java could pass to second level because it will be only supported by Oracle. Nobody wants or likes to be in a walled garden(Oracle Java).

User 694429 avatar

cristian.chiovari replied ago:

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Well i hope that Java will not have the destiny of all big empires that were finally were divided and soon after disappeared.

User 755021 avatar

devent replied ago:

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Forking Java? A very good idea. It's the right time, too. After Solaris and OpenOffice.org was forked it's now time for Java. There are enough companies behind Java that have a fast interest in developing it and not paying up to Oracle. Like Google, IBM, SAP, VMware.

User 204561 avatar

Ignacio Coloma replied ago:

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+1 to the fork. Actually I feel like I am witnessing a train wreck in slow motion.

User 694429 avatar

cristian.chiovari replied ago:

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ok ...let's say for will be done.
BUT for on the java language or fork even on JCP ,jsr's etc ?
I still want to have standards !!! Then what to follow oracle standards ? ibm's or google's ?
fork is not good!

User 379465 avatar

aruld replied ago:

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Forking is really a bad idea. I do not believe there is enough reasoning for a fork and a rumor is no different. I think if you do believe one, you should consider Apache Harmony and make it a first class citizen among the community. I agree the frustration, but it is too early.

User 431781 avatar

william1104 replied ago:

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How about fork the JCP, but not the language. The forking is to avoid any company to have 'full control' on it....

User 427173 avatar

gregrluck replied ago:

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That is really what James Gosling wants to do. He refers to Oracle's committment to create an independent organisation to control the JCP. They proposed and voted for it on 5 December 2007. See Resolution 1 at http://jcp.org/aboutJava/communityprocess/summaries/2007/December07-summary.html.

User 379465 avatar

aruld replied ago:

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FWIW, here is a recent announcement that looks interesting : Oracle and IBM Collaborate to Accelerate Java Innovation Through OpenJDK (http://www.oracle.com/us/corporate/press/176988)

User 338269 avatar

Miloskov replied ago:

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+1 to fork Java, Where I sign to contribute for the fork????. We need a non-profit Java foundation as Eclipse foundation that drives the future of Java.

JCP, JSR's, Oracle Java is a dead end.

User 91624 avatar

mraible replied ago:

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I'd like to see further enhancements made to the JVM, but not so sure that Java the language needs to keep evolving.

User 276519 avatar

amir75 replied ago:

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Are you thinking of features like Jigsaw? I was really disappointed to see Jigsaw pushed back to [probably] Java 8

User 427173 avatar

gregrluck replied ago:

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Matt, agree with you. I see the innovation going on in languages like Clojure, Scala etc which just need the JVM.

User 338269 avatar

Miloskov replied ago:

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Clojure a lisp ripoff, yuk, who likes that syntax? parenthesis spaghetti. Scala is ok but it is complex. We need a high speed as Java but with the easy of groovy or Python. Maybe Phantom?!.

User 393686 avatar

RawThinkTank replied ago:

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Fork with Java+-

User 427173 avatar

gregrluck replied ago:

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In terms of Oracle's plans, one tweeter pointed out this: http://www.oracle.com/us/corporate/press/173782 which reads innocuously enough. But then look at what was done with Solaris. First it changed from free to a free 90 day evaluation (http://arstechnica.com/open-source/news/2010/03/solaris-10-no-longer-free-as-in-beer-now-a-90-day-trial.ars) and then OpenSolaris got axed in favour of Solaris 11 Express (http://opensolaris.org/jive/thread.jspa?threadID=133043&tstart=0). And the community responded with OpenIndiana (http://openin.org/)

User 208540 avatar

fabriziogiudici replied ago:

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Apart that there's at the moment I don't see any reason to fork, apart from histeria or getting a lot of attention in a blog, I don't think that nobody - including the big corporates mentioned - has the ability to start any foundation, unless until the Google lawsuit is over and we know how it ended. Frankly, I don't see reasons for which Oracle should be blamed at this point, especially after the roadmaps for Java 7 and 8 announced at JavaOne. Instead, we have just to follow them up and verify whether facts will follow plans.

User 755021 avatar

devent replied ago:

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Why wait for Oracle? A language like Java, which a lot of companies depends on, should not be in the hand of one entity. It's like C/C++ should not be in the hands of one entity. If the big players, like Google, SAP, etc. are not going to stand up now and create a foundation they will be for ever at the mercy of Oracle and whichever company will buy the IP of Java in the future.

The JDK is for now GPL but in 5 years Oracle can turn around and offer an "enterprise" Java and a "community" Java, where the "community Java" is one or more features behind. Then the companies depended on Java will have no choice but to pay up to Oracle. Oracle doesn't care about the community or open source, it will do what ever will bring the biggest profit.

I think after the forks of the other Oracle's open source projects the time is right to fork the last remaining. And also because the Java community is not happy at all how Sun/Oracle handled the JCP.

User 694429 avatar

cristian.chiovari replied ago:

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I am not a lawyer but do you think is possible to turn around a GPL and to make it closed source ?
However you are talking about "what if" scenarios !
As i remember Java was open sourced by Sun around 2006 (i might be wrong but i am lazy to google) and before that things were quite ok no ?
There were other alternatives like JRockit (in terms of JVM) ,there is Apache Harmony...
Small mention : I am not employed by Oracle BUT I don't understand this hate against Oracle ...
They bought Sun which was in a difficult financial situation...now since they are the lead they try to impose some of their ideas which will be ok or not ...but let's just w8 to see and talk about fork a little bit later...
After all we all do this from passion BUT also for money so let's not be hypocrites and blame Oracle...

User 338269 avatar

Miloskov replied ago:

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It seems you dont understand nothing not the GPL and not what is a fork, so better STFU. Oracle sucks big time how they handle Java ecosystem, community and the JCP that is the standard body of Java.

User 338269 avatar

Miloskov replied ago:

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By the way the people that claims that everything is "OK" how Oracle handle right now the Java ecosystem they really want to see Java dead soon?. Or Java become the next Cobol?. Me I want a healthy Java with an open standard or foundation so "YES" is time to FORK Java!!.

As I said tell me where I sign to begin to contribute to FREE Java once and for all!!.

User 208540 avatar

fabriziogiudici replied ago:

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I think that everybody is forgetting that being GPL(+CPE) the owner of the forked version could not offer dual licensing. That is, the thing that many big corporates require for Java, for instance for indemnification support. GPL hasn't been chosen by chance, after all. Only the owner (Oracle) can. If you don't understand what I'm saying, please re-read all the blogs from one year ago about the MySQL problem (Stallman's arguments and the related EU stall of the acquisition process). Indemnification is fundamental for many large customers, hence I don't think that they would be minimally interested in Lava.

User 338269 avatar

Miloskov replied ago:

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Yes you are right in that point fabrizio but Java is not exclusive for fortune 500 that need the Indemnification because management say so but Java is used everywhere by thousands from Medium to Small companies and other users that really they dont need or think about Indemnification and they are happy using OpenSource Software.

Maybe if a big bunch of Java developers move to Lava, Google and IBM will follow so that way will be pressure for Oracle to free more Java and let the JCP be more of an open standard or foundation. If Oracle is only interested on their own Walled Garden(their fortune 500) and no listen to the community or to the other big players as Google or IBM will be the end of Java as we know it.

User 755021 avatar

devent replied ago:

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Linux is GPLv2, there is no indemnification either, and look how well it's doing everywhere. I think a system kernel and the thousand of applications around it are infringing way more patents then Java or MySQL.

I don't say that Oracle is doing a good job or not, and not that Oracle will destroy Java or not; I'm just saying that a language like Java, which with so many businesses depends on, should not be in the hands of one corporation. It should be an ISO standard or at least ECMA and the companies that are using Java so much like SAP, Google, etc. should pressure Oracle to let Java free.

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fabriziogiudici replied ago:

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Instead, it seems Linux indemnification is very important for some industry segments - in fact, it seems that all the major providers (Oracle, Red Hat, IBM, HP) provide it in some way. Now, what I'd like to understand is how this is possible to happen with Linux and whether there are some differences e.g. with MySQL (or whether Stallman was just wrong, which I have some difficulty to believe) and - if there are really differences - whether Java falls in the Linux-like or MySQL-like camp.

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fabriziogiudici replied ago:

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Of course many companies don't need that. But exactly for that reason, a fork would fracture the users in two groups: those who need it and those who needn't. In contrast, so far both have been users of the same technology. That's the reason for which a fork of Java should be seen as a last resort.

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Miloskov replied ago:

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I forgot about IcedTea but you are right already there is a fork of OpenJDK6 and OpenJDK7 supported by RedHat.

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