Developers of the open-source JBoss application server held their own conference in San Francisco this week, only a few hundred yards from JavaOne's venue.
Throughout the day, about 200 Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) developers, most wearing JavaOne ID tags, filed in and out of the conference, catching discussions on JBoss and gossiping about JBoss's acrimonious relationship with Sun, and about the JBoss Group's latest rival, the Core Developers Network, which was formed by ex-JBoss Group workers.
The JBoss Group, which controls the development of the open-source JBoss J2EE server, has been embroiled in a year-long dispute over the certification of JBoss.
Sun would like JBoss to be certified as J2EE compliant, but the JBoss Group said Sun's certification process is expensive and, ultimately, unimportant to their customers.
"With a good faith commitment to compatibility, they could become compliant so very easily," said Rick Saletta, a Sun Marketing Manager for OEM Licensing.
However, he questioned the "good faith" of the JBoss Group, suggesting that the company's founder and president, Marc Fleury, had been using JBoss's status as an open-source project to avoid the J2EE certification Sun has demanded of other companies.
"We don't want to be seen as anti-open source, and he's been hiding behind that wall," said Saletta. "Marc Fleury and the JBoss group are standards renegades," he said.
Fleury denied the charge. "The certification brand is a product and there's a price to it," he said. "The price has been expensive in the past, and it was more than we were willing to pay... I think the certification for open source should be free."
Robert McMillan writes for IDG News Service