Wednesday, January 28, 1998 at 6:20:45 PM Pacific

Email with Bill Joy at Sun

When I got home from Palm Springs an interesting email from Sun founder Bill Joy was waiting; apparently in response to Good News for Java? An interesting email exchange followed.


notice that you have source code.
not that you can't get this through disassembly,
and that there are restrictions on what you can do with
the source code, but you certainly can look at it.


It's the restrictions that keep Java from moving forward independently of Sun.

Netscape has done something brave. Trusting the outside world to be kind to Navigator. Sun could do the same with Java. Not saying you should, but it might be very good for Java.


i disagree.
java is object oriented.
you can extend java without modifying the source
by understanding the source and writing appropriate subclasses.
the interfaces are public
you can see the source
you can write the code easily.
we have everything available.
if people don't percieve this is the case
then its because they aren't fully appreciating the
power of object-oriented programming.
limiting yourself to writing subclasses is very powerful
because the class hierarchy promotes compatibility
you extend what the classes can do etc.
hope this helps


Java is going to remain a world unto itself as long as you go this route.

We wanted Java code to run beautifully in our environment. Can't do that by adding new objects to your environment.

That's OK, you can do what you want with it since it's your product.

We believe we have the best environment for running this kind of code. We'll do it without your language.


who is "we"?


UserLand Software and the developer community we've built around our scripting environment called Frontier.


Many of our most accomplished users have tried Java, and come back, because of our object database, tools, verb set, website framework, editors.

Frontier is a high level environment, and Java would have been a very nice addition, people want it, but... See my previous message.


if you need to modify/adapt to java why
not license it?


Fair question.

I tried to ask that question, in every way I know how to. I couldn't even get a look at the license agreement. After the agreement became public, I could see a lot of problems. It's a very restrictive agreement. We do joint development with a lot of individuals and other corporations. We'd spend all our time with lawyers trying to figure out how to work together.

I had a clue that the problems were there even when we couldn't see the agreement. We tried to do some work with one of the licensees, and their lawyer told us that to pull it off we'd have to merge with the company. It wasn't worth it, not a good enough reason to do it.

Also, the MS lawsuit, and the disconnect over WORA, make me think we wouldn't do any better with Sun than MS has. We would want to connect Java intimately into our environment, I believe for the betterment of Java. But you would probably sue us, and we can't afford that.


100+ companies have licensed it.
if java is valuable to you, you should also.
the contract mainly forces compatibility.
thats important for everyone.


Instead we'll wire up to Microsoft's Java thru COM and only do it on Windows.

This page was last built on 1/28/98; 9:09:47 PM by Dave Winer. dave@scripting.com