Sun Microsystems announced it is releasing its implementations of Java technology as free software under the GNU General Public License version two (GPLv2).
Available today are the first pieces of source code for Sun's implementation of Java Platform Standard Edition (Java SE) and a buildable implementation of Java Platform Micro Edition (Java ME). Details are available at: http://www.sun.com/opensource/java. In addition, Sun is adding the GPLv2 license to Java Platform Enterprise Edition (Java EE), which has been available for over a year under the Common Development and Distribution License (CDDL) through Project GlassFish at http://glassfish.dev.java.net.
This announcement represents one of the largest source code contributions under the GPL license (under which the GNU/Linux operating system is also distributed) and the open sourcing of one of the industry's most significant and pervasive software platforms. With more than 3.8 billion Java technology enabled devices, Java technology is showing explosive growth, appearing in volume everywhere. From mobile phones and smart cards to enterprise applications and supercomputers, Java technology provides a unifying platform for software innovation. By open sourcing Java software, while offering commercial products with indemnity for our customers, Sun expects Java technology to become even more pervasive.
"By open sourcing Sun's implementation of Java technology, we will inspire a new phase of developer collaboration and innovation using the NetBeans Integrated Development Environment (IDE) and expect the Java platform to be the foundation infrastructure for next generation Internet, desktop, mobile and enterprise applications," said Rich Green, executive vice president of Software at Sun. "With the Java Development Kit (JDK) released as free software under the GPL, Sun will be working closely with distributors of the GNU/Linux operating system, who will soon be able to include the JDK as part of the open source repositories that are commonly included with GNU/Linux distributions."
"Everyone has been expecting that one day Sun would open source Java technology, but no one expected just how far they'd go - GPL. A bold move, and a great opportunity both for Sun and for free and open source software, " said Tim O'Reilly, founder and CEO of O'Reilly Media.