Posted by: Anonymous Coward
on November 17, 2006 02:43 PM
OK, you're being awakened--partly.<nobr> <wbr></nobr>:-) From the aforementioned Sun FAQ:
"Q: What license did you choose for the open-source JDK components?
"A: GPL v2 for almost all of the virtual machine, and GPL v2 + the Classpath exception for the class libraries and those parts of the virtual machine that expose public APIs."
Thus, it looks to me like the class libraries are indeed GPL'd. However, you do seem to be right about the version 6 code:
"Q: Which version of the JDK do these components come from? Are you open sourcing the latest code?
"A: We're open-sourcing these components from a very early build of JDK 7. In order to prepare these components to be open sourced, we not only changed the license text but we also simplified the build process in order to make these components more easily buildable outside of the full JDK source tree. JDK 6, is nearly finished, hence we're releasing these components from the JDK 7 tree. The only other differences between the JDK 6 and 7 versions of these components are minor bug fixes and enhancements that have already been integrated into the JDK 7 tree. When we open-source the full JDK we'll make the sources for both JDK 6 and JDK 7 available. The community will have both a stable release - JDK 6 - on which to focus quality improvements, and JDK 7, the next feature release where all the action will be for innovation and new capabilities."
You made a good catch. A careful reading of this shows that Sun is talking up the GPL'ing of the "early" v7 code. But while they express their future intent, never do they say that they actually have done likewise with the v6 code. It's pretty clever wording, IMO.
So, it looks like, to some degree, we're back to my original statement: "First, LET'S SEE THE CODE." Sounds like you agree.<nobr> <wbr></nobr>:-)
BTW, I am in no way suggesting that we are obligated to use the entirety of Sun's apparently--and at this time--alpha-quality v7-based implementation. What I *am* saying is that now we can simply include the pieces that we want into GNU Classpath, and improve those pieces along the way. It's like OpenOffice.org vs. its "stable", but non-Free progenitor, StarOffice 5.2. It took a while for OO.o 1.0 to arrive, but it did, and look how far we've come. Same with the Mozilla source code (not the logos, of course.<nobr> <wbr></nobr>:-) ). So, even if Sun decides to keep the "stable" Java v6 code non-Free, history's on our side here.