January 16, 2007

Sun Microsystmes Releases Open Source Fortress

Link: Sun Microsystmes Releases Open Source Fortress

Filed under: Technology, Open Source, Sun, IBM, Software by Jan Harris


Sun Microsystems has released an open-source software prototype called Fortress “interpreter”.

The software is a programming tool to execute Fortress programs line by line.

Fortress is the planned replacement for Fortran, a programming language launched in the 1960s by IBM. Fortran is still used for high-performance computing tasks such as forecasting the weather.

Fortress was originally developed from a project funded by the US Defense Department, but it has mainstream computing applications such as extracting work from new processing engines appearing in multicore processors.

Multicore is expected to become more widely used in ordinary desktop systems meaning that programmers will have to use a language such as Fortress in order to gain most advantage from the hardware.

Mainstream x86 chips from Intel and Advanced Micro Devices currently have two or four processing cores, while Sun Niagara chips have eight cores and will move to sixteen soon. It is difficult to break down software into independent chunks that run in parallel across all the cores or across multiple processors.

Fortress is designed to allow programmers to write programs in a way that functions better on multicore.

Fortress also tries to store data intelligently, locating it near the processor that needs it. This is expected to help with large compute clusters that gang together independent servers on a high-speed network.

In addition to the interpreter, Sun hopes to develop a compiler, which translates the software in advance into a form a computer can understand from the code a person wrote. Compiled software is generally faster than interpreted software.

Sun is also planning to develop an optimizing compiler which will enhance performance by adjusting the compiled version of software as it runs.

January 26, 2005

Sun Solaris goes open source

Link: Sun Solaris goes open source

Filed under: Technology, Open Source, Sun by brian_turner

Sun Microsystems, a niche competitor to Microsoft in software applications for desktop computers and servers, as well as the developer of Java, has announced that the latest version of its Solaris operating system will be released as open source.

The code is due in the second quarter and will be releasewd under the Common Development and Distribution License. The project is part of Sun’s new Open Solaris movement.

However, reservations have been made. As reported in Analysts: Sun’s Open Solaris Plans Face Problems, thereare concerns that proprietary rights could be developed from use of the code. On top of that, until the results of the legal claim by the SCO Group that they effectively own Unix, it remains difficult to see how Sun could declare something as open source if they do not actually have distribution rights over the software.

November 30, 2004

Sun sues little guy over “Java”

Link: Sun sues little guy over “Java”

Filed under: Internet, Sun by brian_turner

Sun Microsystems is normally seen as one of those tough little guys, trying valiantly to fend off global domination by corporate giant Microsoft.

However, in More on the legal proceedings of Sun vs. JavaGeeks.com Ted Neward puts online correspondence between himself, and Sun’s team of lawyers - who are claiming trademark infringement because:

1. His domain contains the word “Java”
2. His website discusses Java issues

As described in the legal papers being served against him:

We understand that Javageeks.com is not a formal business entity; however, the trademark law is concerned with the use of confusingly similar terms in connection with the distribution or advertising of any goods or services, regardless of whether those goods or services generate revenues, and regardless of whether they are used by “formal” business entities.

Your forum constitutes a “service,” because, among other things, it provides a place where users can discuss the Java technology, as well as access to white papers and other materials discussing the Java(tm) technology.

We must advise you that your use of JavaGeeks as the name of your forum and prominently on your web site, as well as to register the javageeks.com domain name, could cause consumers to be confused as to the sponsorship or origin of your forum.

Whatever happens here, Sun may wish to take a step back and think very carefully about all this from a Public Relations point of view - at the very least.

Namely, that surely a company like Sun Microsystems would benefit much better from encouraging support from the internet community - rather than chasing geeks into court for discussing a “trademark” name that isn’t exactly original anyway.

Oscar Wilde once famously remarked: “The only thing worse that being talked about, is not being talked about”. If Sun would rather than internet not talk about Sun and Java, I should expect that soon the finance markets would follow suit…

ADDENDUM: Ironically, also in the news today is that the popular blog currently using “moregoogle.com” has been instructed to sign the domain name to Google - and Yahoo! has also filed for a large list of domain names it considers to be infringing upon it’s trademark to be removed or signed over to its own administration.

In both instances, the domain names often contain a clear association with a company brand name that it clearly unique. I have difficulty seeing the same argument being made with regards to the case of Sun vs Ted Neward. Somehow it would seem like Google taking action over domains that contain the keyword/phrases “algorithm”, “pr”, or even “search”.