Rumors of a mega-deal between AOL, Netscape, and Sun worried advocates
of the Open-Source Software movement. "We are interested in finding
out how AOL will deal with Netscape's plans for support of its browser
as an open source product that can be freely distributed, and which is
supported on multiple OS platforms..." commented Jamie Love, director of
the Washington, D.C.-based Consumer Project on Technology,
on an internet-protocol mailing list.
But Sun's commitment is also suspect. As questions linger, troubled
geeks cast their minds back to August -- when mounting paranoia burst to
the surface at an "Open Source Town Meeting" sponsored by O'Reilly and
Associates. A 14-member panel of open-source luminaries voiced their
concerns about how Sun Microsystems was handling their Java language.