Open Letter on Java Stirs Hornet’s Nest

As is often the case in the technology world, the tussle started with an open letter, in this case from Rod Smith, IBM’s vice president of emerging technologies.

In his public missive to Rob Gingell, Sun Microsystems vice president, Smith got the spat started by suggesting the companies put their heads together to create an open source version of Java.

Now, the letter looks like an opening salvo in a challenge to Sun’s ownership of the Java programming language it created — all because one side wanted to foster a discussion about Java possibly becoming open source. Before the letter, the idea had been the topic of private discussions.

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