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Open Source Java: "I For One Think Sun Has Got This One Right," Says Kirk Pepperdine
Classpath exception pinpointed as being the key valve
By: Java News Desk
Nov. 20, 2006 02:45 AM
Application performance guru Kirk Pepperdine (pictured) added his two cents to the ongoing Web discussions about Sun's announcement last week that it is open sourcing its implementation of Java. He pinpoints the Classpath exception as being the key valve that "leaves business free to build upon yet protects the underlying implementation."
Pepperdine, a former Enterprise Editor of Java Developer's Journal, identifies two controls that, he says "offer us protection from incompatible forks that come with the Java label."
The first is that the Java specification is still controlled by the JCP and so "you can’t call something Java unless it passes the compatibility test suite (CTS)." The second key element is the choice of license, the GPL.
Pepperdine seeks to clear up a widespread misapprehension about the GPL:
"What people fear is that GPL license requires that anything that touches a piece of GPL’ed code must be published. The implication is that all Java applications that make use of Sun’s JDK/JRE would be copy-left’ed into the world of open source. This is where the Classpath exception comes into play.Pepperdine joins a host of thought leaders and commentators who have lauded Sun for its move, including former J2SE Project Lead Calvin Austin and Nexaweb CEO Coach Wei.
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