Java will fail, says Torvalds

22 Apr 1999 View Comments
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The 'father' of Linux confessed this week to being disappointed with Java, writes Dominique Deckmyn.

'When Java came out, I bought into the hype,' Linus Torvalds told the Comdex/Spring show in Chicago.

But Sun's plan of portable software is failing. 'It won't be 'write once run anywhere',' Torvalds believes.

Linux and Java are two of the biggest software success stories of recent years, but Torvalds said that Java 'has lost much of its potential, partly because of the way Sun Microsystems has handled it'. He also blamed legal bickering between Sun and Microsoft.

Torvalds said the free source code model used by Linux works against a splintering of Linux.

The open source licence allows any company to modify the operating system, but forces this company to offer these modifications to the public under the same conditions. So if the new variant is successful, other Linux vendors will copy it and 'the splinter heals', he said.

Torvalds added that he still believes in the concept of portable software.

'In a few years I would be happy if Linux was just one of many operating systems, and they all ran the same binaries,' he said.

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