Early in 2004 IBM challenged Sun to co-develop an open-source implementation of Java. Sun did not immediately warm to the idea. Though IBM has its own implementation of Java and could easily have open-sourced it, IBM believed that any open source version of Java should have Sun involved.
At the same time Eric Raymond, president of the Open Source Initiative and one of open source's fathers, backed IBM and called on Sun to contribute Java to the open source community. In Raymond's opinion, the "'Sun Community Source License' promoted proprietary lock-in. He also contended that most open-source developers simply would not want any part of that.
Through continued support from the Java community, Sun is apparently finally ready to release Java under the GPLv2 license.
"With the JDK [Java Development Kit] released as free software under the GPL, Sun will be working closely with distributors of the GNU/Linux operating system, who will soon be able to include the JDK as part of the open-source repositories that are commonly included with GNU/Linux distributions."
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