Thursday, November 16, 2006

Java is now under GPL

That was really some amazing news. Yesterday was like a dream thinking of how bold Sun had been. Later I was thinking of what this really means for the language.

The obvious things are better community interaction with things like bug fixes and ports(palm anyone??).

Java SE will soon be bundled in almost all Linux operating systems. I think Gnome was using some Mono based applications. Now they could actually have the Java VM distributed. A whole new range of Java based desktop apps will be released. Its important to note that version 7 has been released now and version 6 will also be released later. That means that all free implementations of Java will use version 5+ Api's and so the fancy features like Generics, Enums and foreach etc. Java 6 also has a whole range of desktop specific enhancements so the "feel" of Java apps should also improve.

I am not sure if it is possible to deploy the Java ME VM without paying Sun any license fees. I want Sun to make money of Java, but if they can deploy Java to most phones/devices that would be great. Could this be the next platform after all.. almost making Java appear as an Operating System?

Of late Java lost a bit of steam. The language is mature and there are a large number of libraries to help in most tasks but age is also showing. Dynamic languages like php and ruby(with rails) provide features for faster webapp development. Even C# has some really cool features. This announcement will provide some extra steroids. In the future it will be interesting to see how "dynamic" Java can get.

To conclude.. Sun just made a lot of hackers really happy. This will definitely have some positive effects for the company and the language.

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