Free Java Licensing

As many people know, Sun are planning to make their Java implementation free software. The biggest open question, upon which Simon Phipps continues to be tight-lipped, is what licence or licences they are going to use.

There are two free Java efforts – divided by licensing. There’s the GPL effort, containing projects like Kaffe and Classpath, and the Apache effort (“Harmony“), using the ASL.

As Dalibor Topic wisely points out, when picking their licence Sun need to choose which side to be compatible with – or, better, be compatible with both. A third free Java implementation, further splitting the community, doesn’t bear thinking about.

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