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java,open source,sun,competition,tck,redhat

Sun's Open Source Java Right Around the Corner... doh!

News trickled out this morning that Sun is a few months out from preparing the last pieces to it's own fully Open Sourced/free version of Java -- after getting the company behind Java2D rendering technology to agree to Open Sourcing the code and decided to rewrite the sound APIs when the author company refused to play ball.

This, following last week's news that RedHat's Open Source version of Java, IcedTea, had finally passed the Java Test Compatibility Kit (TCK) which I believe is the biggest hurdle to becoming a "real Java implementation".

Given RedHat's position in the market and platform deployment reach (customers), is anyone else worried that this is the beginning of Java's fragmentation that has been discussed in the past? I doubt RedHat is going to kick IcedTea to the side in a few months after Sun releases their work. So now we have two actively developed Java platforms that are almost compatible with eachother, or compatible enough that they seem interchangable to most folks? (they never are... not a code base that big, and not with only 80k tests verifying it)

I'm normally a fan of choice, but in this case I don't see choice... I see incompatibility nightmares.

Maybe I'm just being pessimistic... anybody want to point out to me how this is awesome news? I will conceede that RedHat's announcement likely pushed up any Sun plans to Open Source the JDK, so that part probably helped, but then again I don't think Sun would have sat on their hands w.r.t. to the Open Sourcing of Java given all the fan-fair over the years... so it was coming anyway... now we just have two.

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