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OT: Politics of Java

I picked up Dori Smith's "Java for the World Wide Web" book at the library the other day; thought I'd at least introduce myself to the basics of Java programming. I am not a programmer; just did the usual college class work in the basic languages (Pascal, Fortran, BASIC), and then a smallish app or two in C. (And of course, WordPerfect's macro language back "in the day" :-)

However, as I started to download the SDK from Sun's web site, it started bothering me more and more that Sun's license is such that it prevents Debian from including it as part of the distro. I'm not sure of all the issues; I just know that in order to be part of Debian, it must be "Free Software", and apparently Sun's SDK doesn't fit. As a result, I decided not to download the SDK, and thus to give up on learning Java. I know that I'm probably in the minority, placing philosophy above practicality, but it's just the principle of the thing. I'm not completely averse to using non-Free software, but I decided I didn't want to contribute to the use/development of non-free programming languages.

I'm just curious; do other folks (particularly real developers, not just tinkerer-wanna-be's like myself) have a similar problem with Java, or have I just been channeling too much RMS lately?

Thanks for any comments.


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