Confusion surrounds Open-sourcing of Java

It’s no surprise that Sun Microsystems Inc. put the source code for the next big version of Java up on the Internet recently. OK, maybe it’s a little surprise. For most of a year, Sun has resisted a campaign by IBM Corp. to convert Java into an open-source project. Sun executives have said over and over that Java will not be open-sourced — no, never, forget it. That’s been the word all up and down the Sun chain of command.

And sure enough, Sun didn’t open-source the forthcoming version of Java, code-named Mustang. Instead, the Mustang source code went up on the Net under the Java Research License.

If you aren’t sure just what that means — well, neither is Sun.

Sun’s director of Java tech