The Sun / Red Hat Java announcement: 2002 or 2007?

A few hours back I read Steve O’Grady’s latest daily links, and found therein a link to Mark J. Wielaard’s post Friends.

Mark’s post is about Red Hat and Sun Collaborate to Advance Open Source Java Technology, a joint press-release by Sun and Red Hat dated November 5, 2007.

When I first read Mark’s post I thought it was a spoof, as the quotes he gave in his post made me come close to laughing out loud.

Here are some excerpts (emphasis added), with my comments in italics.

Red Hat (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced an agreement with Sun Microsystems to advance open source JavaTM software. Red Hat has signed Sun’s broad contributor agreement that covers participation in all Sun-led open source projects by all Red Hat engineers.

Note the “Sun-led open source projects.” Aren’t projects supposed to be led by a core team of developers, not a company? Also, why do companies such as RHT and Sun often say they are the “best” or the “leading” when it comes to open-source? This should be decided by the beholder, not the proclaimer.

In addition, Red Hat has signed Sun’s OpenJDK Community TCK License Agreement. This agreement gives the company access to the test suite that determines whether an implementation of the Java Platform Standard Edition (Java SE) platform that is derived from the OpenJDK project complies with the Java SE 6 specification.

Sigh. Sun is still refusing to open up the test kit, an issue I discussed almost a year ago in my “What If?” series.

As a contributor, Red Hat will have full access to the OpenJDK code base as well as the Java SE 6 TCK to eventually deliver a JRE for Red Hat Enterprise Linux that would significantly enhance Java software applications.

Why do you have to be a contributor to get access to the code base? Shouldn’t anyone be able to access the code base of an open project?

“Red Hat fully supports Sun’s courageous decision to open source Java technology…”


Earlier this month, Red Hat Middleware LLC division was re-elected by program members of the Java Community Process (JCPSM) to the Executive Committee (EC) for the Standard/Enterprise Edition (SE/EE).

Re-elected? Not by a community, but by a Sun-controlled entity. Sigh.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

If this announcement had been made in 1999, or 2000, or 2001, or even 2002, then it might have been real news.

Learning of it in 2007, especially given the language used, makes it a joke, at least to this observer.

One Trackback

  1. By Open Source mobile edition on November 7, 2007 at 12:27

    […] to why Red Hat was so late with the IcedTea, Dave Shields suggested, the answer might be SunTea. Despite making OpenJDK open source, Sun still insists on complete […]

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