Free Java advocacy (was Re: Improving Java for Linux)

Tony Kimball alk at
Fri Nov 7 15:09:53 PST 1997

Quoth Jim Pick on , 7 November:
: That's not what Sun is proposing.  Sun is proposing that their JavaSoft
: division should actually be certified as a standards body.  That's really,
: really bizarre.  ISO has done this before with consortiums - but never
: with a division of a private company.

That is very weird.  I may have been excessive in some of my replies,
if this is the case.  Please understand, though, how I might desire
a clearer understanding of the basis for such a statement, however; as
it is very weird indeed.  I shall examine the web sites you mentioned
before commenting on this subject again.

: That's what I'm trying to say.  I don't think JFC or JavaBeans are
: necessary for "minimal java execution".

I don't understand JavaBeans, so I won't comment, but I do think
that JFC is going to be necessary in the very near future, because
AWT just isn't up to par for writing GUI apps.

: Take a look at the JFC and JavaBeans APIs.  They're HUGE.  

Every viable GUI API is huge.  See MFC, PowerPlant, MOTIF.

: At this
: point, the 20 or so hackers who have done real work on free Java
: implementations have only got a fraction of the base JDK cloned.
: Overall, it's a small percentage of APIs that Sun has available
: (or planned) for Java.  

One should make a clear distinction between the platform APIs
and the layered APIs.

: They have threatened to sue literally hundreds of people who were using
: the Java name.  

Certainly true.  I don't see that as a related issue, however.

: I just find it funny (hilarious even) that Sun is trying
: to bully Microsoft into pushing their APIs.  

Well, they did sign a contract to do it.

: The rhetoric is important.  Otherwise people will just blindly follow
: Sun's lead, and trap themselves in a proprietary situation. 

You seem to be arguing in favor of a proprietary situation, where the
property is public domain.  I don't think that's much better than a
proprietary situation where the property is private domain.  I want 
a standardized environment, which I think is better than either.
Whether the standard is de facto or de jure is much less important to
me than the fact that it is *open*, in fact only serves the end of
insuring that it is open, and no other.

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