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Sun Releases Java 2 Source Code

Sun Microsystems Inc. Friday released the source code for Java 2, along with source for Jini, PersonalJava, EmbeddedJava, and JavaCard technology under its Community Source License.

Sun's Community Source License only requires companies to pay royalties when they actually ship Java products, allowing programmers to work with the source code for free. Previously, potential users of the source code had to pay Sun a pricey fee before they could even view the source code.

Sun feels that their new model combines the "best aspects of the proprietary and open source license models." The open source model Sun refers to allows any programmer to view, modify, and distribute source code. Open source is being hailed as the panacea of innovation by most of the programming world, as well as a cheap method of locating and repairing software bugs and glitches.

Sun's model, however, places some restrictions on the Java source. Modified source code may not be distributed without Sun's permission, for instance. The Community Source License requires companies which are shipping Java 2 products to pay an annual fee to Sun to ensure that the software passes Sun's Java compatibility tests. The companies must also pay Sun a per-unit royalty for the software.

Potential users of the source code must agree to Sun's Community Source License before downloading and viewing the source code.

For additional information about the Community Source Licensing Program, or to download the source code, visit Sun's Community Source Code area.