So congratulations are clearly in order for Simon Phipps, one of my favourite sparring partners. I’m sure that when he started at Sun to open source Java he had no idea what a long and winding road it would be. I definitely applaud his perseverance.
This was certainly a bold move by Sun, and they deserve kudos for their embrace of the GPL, the world’s most popular free software license. I believe that this will do much to kindle new enthusiasm and adoption of Java.
But what really struck me watching the web conference was Sun’s embrace of a permeable, transparent development process across their software engineering organization. I believe that is just as important as the licensing decision. It seems that the entire software industry is taking the best practices from true open source licensing and development and using them to either create new and interesting platforms or reinvigorating existing ones. Open source licensing and community-based development are clearly the direction the industry is moving for its broadly adopted platforms.
So the first half of my prediction was clearly wrong. I’m looking forward to hearing about the governance model that they will implement. They seemed to saying all the right things today, so let’s keep our fingers crossed.