The Santa Clara, Calif.-based server and software company is retiring its Sun Industry Standards Source License, said , director of Sun's Open Source Office. And he hinted there may be more retirements to come.
"It's actually a very fine license, designed to encourage forks and derived works to support the same file formats and standards as the original work. However, it's not been used by very many projects, and I don't think having it on Sun's list of preferred licenses is appropriate any longer," Phipps said in his blog on Friday. "We're taking a practical step today, the first of several I hope."
The Open Source Initiative, the organization that bestows official open-source status on licenses, has been trying to cut down on the . Having too many licenses can result in islands of incompatible software that can't be intermixed and complicates legal reviews for those thinking of using or contributing to open-source projects.
Part of the nonproliferation effort involves encouraging companies to retire their own open-source licenses.in March.
"Projects currently using the SISSL under a dual-license scheme, such as OpenOffice.org, are dropping the SISSL and thus simplifying their license scheme as soon as the development cycle allows," the site said.
Sun prefers a different open-source license, the Mozilla Public License (MPL). The CDDL governs and the Glassfish Java server software project., which is a variant of the
Phipps' counterpart at rival Hewlett-Packard,, has called for a radical reduction in open-source licenses, which currently number more than 50. In particular, he's called on Sun in an August speech to scrap the CDDL. Phipps, though, dismissed Fink's tactic as "shallow and attention-grabbing rhetoric."