Open-Sourcing of Java Almost Complete

Sun is announcing today that they’ve completed re-licensing — to GPL version 2 — the core of Java. With this move, Sun hopes to get some help with the rest that isn’t yet GPLed:

Sun hopes the open-source community will help it resolve the issue of Java source code that remains “encumbered,” where Sun doesn’t hold enough rights to release the code under GPLv2, according to Rich Sands, community marketing manager for OpenJDK community at Sun. While he declined to put a percentage on how much of Java’s 6.5 million lines of code are encumbered, Sands said the issue was primarily with Java 2D graphics technology, particularly around font and graphics rasterizing. While open-source alternatives are already available, they don’t currently support all the necessary features of the Java 2D API (application programming interface).

This is a good move by Sun to get Java embedded in scaled Linux (i.e., handhelds and smartphones) projects, as well as by distros like Ubuntu.

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