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Flashback to '04: IBM to Sun – "Let's Collaborate on Open-Sourcing Java"

IBM Writes Open Letter to Sun

Two years ago Rod Smith (pictured), IBM Software's VP of Emerging Technologies (and still with IBM today), wrote an open letter to Rob Gingell, Sun's Chief Engineer (now with Cassatt). IBM, Smith said, 'would like to work with Sun on an independent project to open source Java.'

Here is the open letter in full:

"Hi Rob,

This is an open letter to Sun.

I read a February 5th article, in which Simon Phipps was quoted on open source Java, with quite a bit of interest.

If you don't have the article, it is available here.

In the article, Simon asked, "Why hasn't IBM given its implementation of Java to the open-source community?" I'm sure you recall the discussion we had over dinner in December around open sourcing Java. Simon's comment appears to be an offer to jointly work toward this common goal. IBM is a strong supporter of the open source community, and we believe that a first class open source Java implementation would further enhance Java's position in the industry by spurring growth of new applications and encouraging new innovation in the Java platform.

Here is the offer: IBM would like to work with Sun on an independent project to open source Java. Sun's strong commitment to open source Java would speed the development of a first class and compatible open source Java implementation to the benefit of our customers and the industry. IBM is ready to provide technical resources and code for the open source Java implementation while Sun provides the open source community with Sun materials, including Java specifications, tests and code. We are firmly convinced the open source community would rally around this effort and make substantial contributions as well.

This would be a very exciting step for IBM and Sun. I am convinced that the creation of an open source implementation of the Java environment would be of enormous importance to the developer community and our industry's collective customers. It would open a whole world of opportunity for new applications and growth of the Java community. In addition, this would accelerate the growth and adoption of technologies that are built on Java and are critical to our customers today, including Web services and Service Oriented Architecture.

Regards, Rod"

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

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