Martin @ Blog

software development and life.


Java available under GPL

It’s official: Sun will release Java under the GPLv2. Probably we will see Java by default in most Linux distributions. I think this announcement will also mark the start of a competition between the other ‘higher level’ development environment: .Net. Mono is also available under the GPL and is included by default already in most popular Linux distributions (Ubuntu, Fedora, Suse, Mandrake). Mono has a slight advantage in that it has the possibility to use native widgets for several operating systems, however, this requires to make different versions of a user interface for various operating systems. Java, on the other hand, has Swing – which is cross-platform, and also SWT. The latter is also cross-platform but also uses the native widgets of most operating systems. Also, there are more professional open source development environments for Java: Eclipse and NetBeans.
In my opinion this is a major step for the open source community. I wonder what the impact would be on the other open source Java implementation, known as GCJ/Classpath. Red Has is a major contributer to this project, but I doubt they will continue to invest in this project when there is a viable alternative already available. On advantage that GCJ had on J2SE is that GCJ has the possibility to compile Java programs to binaries which probably run faster.

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