32BitsOnline: An Open Letter to Bill Joy

“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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