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Sun And Adobe, Both Opening Up

Two major announcements in the past day or so both caught my attention: the inclusion of an open source version of Java with Linux, and an effort on Adobe's part to open up the proprietary nature of Flash.  Both are potentially huge, and they both cover about as much territory as they overlap.

Two major announcements in the past day or so both caught my attention: the inclusion of an open source version of Java with Linux, and an effort on Adobe's part to open up the proprietary nature of Flash.  Both are potentially huge, and they both cover about as much territory as they overlap.

First: Java.  Both Red Hat and Ubuntu are going to ship OpenJDK editions of Java with Fedora 9 and Ubuntu 8.04, making it possible to include some form of Java support without encumbrances.  This doesn't sound like much to those of us who have typically added Java to a Linux distribution after the fact -- hey, all you have to do is download something, or maybe change a repository, right? -- but for people who want to use Linux as a platform for Java toward creating other things, such as appliances, it's fairly massive.

Now: Adobe.  Its big new push, the Open Screen Project, involves making Flash that much more open and accessible by removing some proprietary restrictions and licensing fees.  Adobe's stumping especially hard to get Flash on mobile platforms, where major fights for platform dominance are under way.  Or maybe it's not really a fight: Android, Flash, Java, and Windows Mobile could all theoretically coexist in different ways (although probably not all on the same devices!).

It's not hard to see why this kind of openness is popping up all over the place: it's one of the fastest ways to get something implemented widely.  Then you can sell that many more people on development tools and other value-adds -- like Flash and Java IDEs, for instance, although that's hardly the limit.  I don't think Sun and Adobe are planning on making that their entire business model, but it sure sounds like a smart adjunct to their existing one.

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