The source code and binaries for Java 2, Standard Edition 5 (J2SE), otherwise known as “Project Tiger” went live on Sun Microsystems’
Web site Friday afternoon.
Officials at the Palo Alto, Calif., software company released the code under
the Java Research License (JRL) and Sun Community Source License (SCSL),
which doesn’t give programmers full rights to the source code, as does the
General Public License
The SCSL license is broken into three levels: research use, essentially for evaluating and prototyping potential software applications; internal deployment, for limited distribution and testing; and commercial use, for selling products. With the SCSL, proprietary modifications can be made to
the existing code without giving back to the Java community.
The JRL, on the other hand, is for researchers and universities and is a less stringent version of the research level of the SCSL license. It can be used for research and to experiment with changes to the code base. However, if it’s distributed or used internally, developers will need to switch to the SCSL license.
With the source code publicly available for download, people can look at how a program is run in an understandable format; applications are usually sold in machine-language format, which lets a person execute but not analyze the program.
J2SE 5, publicly available since September, is one of the more highly-anticipated updates to the Java language, featuring the use of generics, enumerated types, metadata and autoboxing of primitive types, which will all cut down on some of the more
redundant qualities of the code.