Java guru James Gosling has no intention of giving his baby to the open source community, or for Sun to join the Eclipse Foundation.
Sun's model for Java is already close to open source, and its policy of requiring tests for Java compatibility is enough to reassure users, said Gosling in an interview before next week's JavaOne conference. Gosling is chief technology officer for the Java enterprise and developer group at Sun and is considered the father of Java.
"There's a bunch of people out there getting all hyper, and I don't believe there's anything there for them to get hyper about," Gosling said when asked about the possibility of a full open source route for Java, something Sun has been arguing against for years. .
Source code for Java already is available and has been for 10 years, said Gosling, adding that the current model for Java is close to an open source model.
Java developers, meanwhile, want to preserve interoperability and reliability, which is maintained by the current rules governing Java, Gosling said. To be certified as Java-compliant, software must undergo a test suite.
"They really like the fact that we're very compulsive about the whole testing thing," Gosling said.
Despite some assertions to the contrary, Sun is making good money from Java, he said. The company earns money with its Java Enterprise System network services software and also in selling services and support, Gosling said.
Gosling did not support the possibility of Sun joining the Eclipse Foundation for open source tooling, remaining, with Microsoft, one of the only two major technology vendors outside Eclipse.
"It would be a big step down. NetBeans was an open source project a long time before Eclipse ever came out," Gosling said.
The Eclipse endorsement of the Standard Widget Toolkit (SWT) destroyed that organisation's interoperability story, according to Gosling. "It's a toolkit based on the Windows API and getting it to run on other platforms is problematic," he said.
An Eclipse spokesman disagreed: "I don't believe James really understands how Eclipse works," said Ian Skerrett, Eclipse marketing director. The Eclipse platform works well on Linux, Solaris, Macintosh, and Windows, and the SWT API is dependent on the deployment platform, he said.
"The strength of SWT is that it actually uses the native APIs of the platform," Skerrett said.
Eclipse also is not a step down from NetBeans, Skerrett said. "I think Eclipse is a very popular, well-used, full-functioned IDE that has the dominant market share in the Java space," he said.
Gosling said that scripting languages such as PHP would not take the spotlight from Java, but co-exists with it: "Many of the people who build PHP and Ruby applications actually end up using Java," Gosling said.
Despite his role at Sun, Gosling said he did not know if Sun CEO Scott McNealy's recent departure was something he wanted or not. "That's a question for Scott to answer," Gosling said. The company has been beset by poor financial performance in recent years, leading to prior speculation that McNealy would go.
At JavaOne in San Francisco, the newly released Java Enterprise Edition (Java EE) 5 will be a key focus. "The big thing that we're going to be emphasising is all the stuff in Java EE 5," Gosling said. Java EE 5 was unveiled last week and features ease of use improvements and Web services programming enhancements. Reducing complexity for developers is a prime objective in Java EE, according to Gosling.
The show will include a focus on integrating units such as handhelds with back end systems such as manufacturing systems, he said.
For the future of Java, Gosling stresses networking. "It's all about integration. It's all about building connected systems that are extremely diverse," he said.
"The cell phone is tomorrow's desktop," Gosling said.
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