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"Let's Bundle Free Java with Linux," Says IBM's Sutor

"Let's Bundle Free Java with Linux," Says IBM's Sutor

"If you could get every Linux distribution with an official, certified Java implementation where you could count on what it did, what its characteristics were, that would be a very powerful thing," said IBM's Bob Sutor last week, as a follow-up to Sun's dismissal - as "bonky" - of his suggestion that IBM and Sun should team up on open-sourcing Java.

When asked who would provide such a Linux-Java distribution, Sutor replied that this was precisely one of the things IBM wants to talk to Sun about.

Sutor disagrees with Sun's Jonathan Schwartz that Java would fork just as Linux has done, if open-sourced. He thinks that the "forking" argument is, as he puts it, "overstated." He even threw Schwartz's "bonky" characterization back in his face, saying that the market is capable of deciding for itself:

"Yes, there are different Linux distributions, but there are main distributions, and the kernel tends to be very consistent. If you're doing 'bonky' things then the market will reject them very quickly, you have to give the market, and the customers, credit."

Bundling open-source Java with Linux distros would create a compelling OS platform that would help to further boost Java's standing in the market, in Sutor's view. Plus such an implementation could also benefit "from the combined expertise of each Java vendor."

"IBM does some things better than others, maybe others do some things better than IBM," Sutor conceded. "If we could pool our collective resources and arrive at the best possible common implementation that is widely available, it would mean we could put fewer resources on this."

The week will doubtless bring a response from Sun and indeed from other Java vendors.

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