Sun was always one of the leaders of open source, but it hesitated to completely release Java. This didn't stop Java programmers from releasing many great libraries and projects with very loose open source licenses. The Apache project continues to deliver great Java code with a license that doesn't require much in return.
Sun finished releasing most of the code under the GPL in 2007; since then, the company and its eventual new owner Oracle have tried to be what it thinks of as a good steward of the language. Oh sure, that public façade didn't stop Oracle from dragging Google into a legal mess, but otherwise, the platform is largely open and free.
Haters abound, but Java rolls on
Java certainly has its share of problems and Java haters will abound, spilling their blood all over online comment boards. The garbage collector can cause hiccups and jitter. The typing system is a chore and can't stop truly bad code. The annotations are too complex. The features don't evolve as quickly as they did in the past. Curly brackets add clutter. The list is long and often justified.
In the end, this is one of the advantages of Java. It runs everything and is open to change. You can replace most parts of the libraries with your own code if you need different functionality. The language is open source and very flexible. Whatever limitations the language and the platform have can be solved relatively easily. This means that Java programmers continue to be some of the most productive. Even though the books no longer dominate the best-seller list and the software updates don't come as frequently, Java continues to live and even thrive.
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