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32BitsOnline: An Open Letter to Bill Joy

Sep 13, 1999, 16:41 (10 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Clifford Smith)

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"Please refrain from asking the Open Source Community to fight your fights for you. Microsoft might be our enemy, but not for the reasons you might think. And, certainly, not as a result of your little legal snit concerning Java."

"You are fighting with MS over what amounts to the ability to own/subvert the Java code, change it and keep/charge/exclude anyone you choose for/from the use of it. No amount of spin changes this. If you want to control Java absolutely, then say so. Don't dress it up in a set of open source platitudes and then change your mind/hold out a clause in the EULA or the Developers' License that gives you the "out" when someone refuses to play fair. If you had opened the source for Java under the GPL in the first place, MS would have painted themselves into a corner by attempting to subvert/punk out your code, and as a bonus, they would look like the clueless pirates they are. You want us to believe that Sun is behind the open source community. That's very admirable and cool sounding, but I have not seen anything in your inventory open-sourced yet. Your promises concerning Jini are a little pale when one day after the judge in the MS case threw out the injunction, y'all started talking about CHANGING THE JAVA LICENSE....to make it more restrictive, as I understand it."

"I don't believe that for one minute you won't do the same thing if you feel threatened by the Open Source Community, to take whatever improvements might be made in Jini, for instance, and withdraw the license, or bail out of the Open Source game altogether.....Oh, yeah. For a lot of us, Linux is not a stepping stone to "real" UNIX. For many of us, Linux is the SOLUTION to "real" UNIX. You might want to think that one over for a little while."

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