Congratulations to Sun on getting the deal with the government of China. We are competitors, but still the software they are delivering is open source.
I know various of the hackers and developers at Sun that have worked hard on this: on Gnome, in OpenOffice and Java, and I am glad that their hard work is going to in such a large deployment.
A few years ago, we met with John Heard and Marco Boerries who were working on various angles of Sun on the desktop. It was back then that John had seen a future for Gtk+ as an ISV platform, and that Marco would bring up the idea of open sourcing StarOffice (which we have been very excited about contributing to). They wanted to see Gnome mature: and they were two important driving forces for the establishment of the Gnome Foundation. Through all these years of work, Sun has funded big parts of development of various components of the open source.
Despite all the criticism they get from Jonathan Schwartz quotes about Linux, Sun is a massive contributor to the open source pool. OpenOffice alone is a big chunk of functionality. But their daily involvement in Gnome 2 has been a pleasure to watch: they were the first to push Gnome to be fully accessible to comply with government regulations.
Anyways, good luck to our competitors. Tonight is a big win: at least 1.3 billion people will be running Evolution.
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It appears that the above *might* be incompatible with the GPL. It sounds like the BSD advertisement requirement. Further study is needed to really understand the issues.
Posted on 18 Nov 2003