Today, Sun has officially turned Java open source, they have given the source code to the Open JDK Community. This is the next step (and a very important one) in a series of changes in Java licensing structure. In 2006 Sun has promised to turn Java into open source and now, after more then a half year they finally did it.
First the java complier, then a hotspot engine and now finally Java is an open source. I think that Sun has chosen good strategy in fight with Microsofts .NET, which has conquered the internet (and intranet) by the storm. There are not too many firms still holding to java and the best way of fighting back is giving the source to the people, so the enthusiasts can hack and improve it. This will give the world a big topic for a discussion as well, which can produce a good word of mouth and more people may consider choosing or coming back to Java’s world.
This announcement comes right in time, so the developers still have time to contribute for the next JDK SE, the seventh one, Codename Dolphin, which should arrive somewhere in 2008. Btw, a good link on this topic is an Wikipedia article about history of Java versions.
Being a lot of years a Java enthusiasts i am just thinking that it would be much better for all of us, if it would have happend some 5 or 6 years ago, but a lot of things has changed since then, and Java is not anymore an internet favorite or open source darling. I hope this step change some things in the future, though there are not much space for maneuver, but we will see – open source community have proven quite a lot of times that there are mountains that can be moved (remember firefox?) … =O)