Many open source developers remain sceptical of Sun because their memories of the company focus on Sun’s interactions with the community in 2001/2002, which Sun’s chief open source officer Simon Phipps concedes was a period where Sun “screwed up”.

Speaking in a recent interview with Builder AU, Phipps explained the situation in which Sun finds itself.

“Open source developers have been much more sceptical of Sun, a lot of open source developers don’t remember the fact that Sun was pretty much the first open source start-up in 1982.

“All they can remember is what happened in 2001/2002 when, to be quite frank with you, we screwed up. We alienated a large group of open source developers by the attitudes we had of the community back then,” said Phipps.

In order to remedy the alienation, Phipps said Sun is “leading by changing behaviour rather than by just saying good words”.

Most of Sun’s software portfolio has shown the company’s commitment to open source and begun to heal the rift, says Phipps.

“We’ve open sourced Java […] and people see that and they say ‘wow, you’ve GPLed Java, you must be serious!’

“That has meant that a lot of open source developers have been willing to take a second look at Sun and give us credit for open sourcing Solaris, Java, the application server Glassfish, NetBeans and the rest of the portfolio,” he added.