What’s So Great About Open Source, Anyway?
Today an article on Slashdot talks about how Sun is (finally) fully open-sourcing Java within this calendar year. For those not familiar, Java is a programming language used by a lot of different programmers and companies. You probably use Java at work or at home in some shape or form and don’t even know it.
Why is it significant that they’re open-sourcing Java? Because for years red tape and bureaucracy kept Java from being free to the world. You could write code in it for free, but you couldn’t just outright include it or make it available with an operating system, for example, because of the licensing. You also couldn’t see the source code behind the language or any of Sun’s proprietary JVM (the run-time environment Java executes it’s code in) to better understand how it works.
So you see, open-sourcing Java removes those barricades and lets coders see how it works by looking at it’s source code, and thus will be able to write better, more efficient Java programs. And better programs means less aggravation for you and me.
Oh, another cool thing about Java? It’s cross-platform, so it can usually run whatever you’ve made in Java on a Mac, a PC, Linux, a hand-held PDA device, cell phones, and even some really cool appliances. It’s only a matter of time until SkyNet launches and we all get rounded up by the Terminators.