How Important is Linux to Java?

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It’s a question I’ve been pondering here at JavaOne, where, unsurprisingly, it’s been all Java all the time. But if we accept that a.) Java and .NET are the two major app dev platforms (for compiled apps, anyhow) and that b.) Linux is a fundamentally critical platform on the server if not the desktop, it’s a question that it would seem prudent for the Java community to be asking.

On the one hand, there’s the Java position that it’s freely available. On the other there’s reality, where most of the Linux distros ship with no Java in them by default. Bemoaned by many, this led to much of the pseudo-controversy surrounding the open sourcing of Java itself. Now many would argue that Java’s a natural fit for Linux given the fact that the boys in Redmond have little love for the penguin; I’d say to those people that they need to take a look at Mono.

So I’m not sure I know the answer to the original question, though I’m inclined to say very. But I definitely think the JCP should be pondering as much or more than I am.

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