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Java Programming [Archive] - Java not free?
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Posts:13,769
Registered: 00-11-29
Java not free?  
Jun 10, 2004 11:21 AM



 
Check this out: http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/java-trap.html

In it he states "Sun's implementation of Java is non-free." Can someone explain this to me? I'm a little confused by that. I didn't think you had pay Sun anything to use Java, even for commercial software. Am I missing something? in what was is Sun's implementation of Java non-free?
 

Posts:7,258
Registered: 1/31/02
Re: Java not free?  
Jun 10, 2004 11:28 AM (reply 1 of 66)



 
to quote Mr. Stallman - "free" as in freedom, not "free" as in free beer.

Their point is that we can't distribute the source (for the platform?) with out stuff - the FSF wants a clean-room implementation of everything so it can all be distributed under GPL.

I think.
 

Posts:7,258
Registered: 1/31/02
Re: Java not free?  
Jun 10, 2004 11:30 AM (reply 2 of 66)



 
(um - I meant "free speech", not "freedom" - but, see, I was reading this book:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0596002874/qid=1086892200/sr=8-1/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i1_xgl14/103-0246020-7331053?v=glance&s=books&n=507846

so it's understandable)
 

Posts:1,577
Registered: 00-02-25
Re: Java not free?  
Jun 10, 2004 11:30 AM (reply 3 of 66)



 
Because, to the Free Software Foundation, "free" has nothing to do with money.

As far as I can tell, their primary definition of 'free" is that you can modify and/or redistribute the code without breaking a licensing agreement ... which translates into the GPL's licensing agreement says, in effect, "if you modify this code but don't make it available to anyone else, then you break this licensing agreement."

(those who don't have functioning sarcasm detectors should just ignore this post)
 

Posts:13,769
Registered: 00-11-29
Re: Java not free?  
Jun 10, 2004 11:43 AM (reply 4 of 66)



 
OK I get it. I personally don't care.
 

Posts:6,750
Registered: 1/25/04
Re: Java not free?  
Jun 10, 2004 12:00 PM (reply 5 of 66)



 
I read that article and the struck me as a fringe nut. :-) I think he's deluding himself if he really thinks most people are going to start rejecting software they don't have to pay for because it isn't "meta-free" or whatever we can call that concept. Most people, just like you (and me) do not care.
 

Posts:6,750
Registered: 1/25/04
Re: Java not free?  
Jun 10, 2004 12:01 PM (reply 6 of 66)



 
the guy struck me
 

Posts:13,769
Registered: 00-11-29
Re: Java not free?  
Jun 10, 2004 12:06 PM (reply 7 of 66)



 
the way it is now, Sun was able to sue MS when they tainted Java. They wouldn't be able to if it were 'free' would they?
 

Posts:349
Registered: 1/8/04
Re: Java not free?  
Jun 10, 2004 12:07 PM (reply 8 of 66)



 
Because, to the Free Software Foundation, "free" has
nothing to do with money.

My impression is that it doesn't even have anything to do with the user of the code. You're not free to use the code any way you like - you must release any changes back to the world for free. Instead, the code is free from any shackles you might want to place on it.

Very different from the BSD license, for example, in which you (the user) are free to do anything you like with the code - use it, change it, sell it, hide it, etc.

For more information, you can read just about anything at Slashdot.
 

Posts:386
Registered: 11/2/01
Re: Java not free?  
Jun 10, 2004 12:13 PM (reply 9 of 66)



 
I read the article, and my concept( which could totally be off base) was that he was inferrering that we can create java apps that are free, but we are shackled to 3rd party software that is isnt, so therefore it really isnt free. Well whoop to doo!
 

Posts:5,627
Registered: 3/22/04
Re: Java not free?  
Jun 10, 2004 12:18 PM (reply 10 of 66)



 
the guy struck me

the guy struck me as a communist.

There is a debate, renewed by SCO, that the GPL is viral. I'm not an IP lawyer so I can't comment if this is true or not but from my naive view it is. Even if it isn't, I don't think it serves the interests of capitalism.
 

Posts:11,200
Registered: 7/22/99
Re: Java not free?  
Jun 10, 2004 12:20 PM (reply 11 of 66)



 
I think he's deluding himself if he really thinks most people are going to
start rejecting software they don't have to pay for because it isn't
"meta-free" or whatever we can call that concept. Most people, just
like you (and me) do not care.
So what do you do when the company that has been maintaining that free "as in free lunch" software decides that it doesn't suit them anymore to give out freebies, or worse, stops enhancing and supporting the software totally and you have terabytes of important data stored in some format that only that software supports?
 

Posts:13,769
Registered: 00-11-29
Re: Java not free?  
Jun 10, 2004 12:22 PM (reply 12 of 66)



 
I read the article, and my concept( which could
totally be off base) was that he was inferrering that
we can create java apps that are free, but we are
shackled to 3rd party software that is isnt, so
therefore it really isnt free. Well whoop to doo!

No that's what I thought but it's really easy to create software without buying a thing. I do it all the time. And they are talking about what Sun provides.
 

Posts:31,095
Registered: 4/30/99
Re: Java not free?  
Jun 10, 2004 12:25 PM (reply 13 of 66)



 
So what do you do when the company that has been
maintaining that free "as in free lunch" software
decides that it doesn't suit them anymore to give out
freebies, or worse, stops enhancing and supporting the
software totally and you have terabytes of important
data stored in some format that only that software
supports?

Pretty much the same as what you do when the company that has been charging you $4000 a year to "support" the software it wrote decides to stop doing that.
 

Posts:13,769
Registered: 00-11-29
Re: Java not free?  
Jun 10, 2004 12:29 PM (reply 14 of 66)



 
So what do you do when the company that has been
maintaining that free "as in free lunch" software
decides that it doesn't suit them anymore to give out
freebies, or worse, stops enhancing and supporting the
software totally and you have terabytes of important
data stored in some format that only that software
supports?

I don't really think it's possible to have data that can only be used by one language.

As fars as whether they continue to support it... Well, that's a risk you take with almost anything, open source included. There are many open source projects that have languished. I think if Sun decided it didn't care to support Java anymore, they'd just make it open source.

I'm not against open source but I think there are some issues with it. Chaotic systems work well when they have bounds. Completely anarchy tends favors thugs, bullies, and despots. I think that applies to software too.
 
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