Java community replaces Sun 'dictatorship'

Industry calls for making Java available under an open-source format were ignored by Sun at the BorCon conference, but an...

Industry calls for making Java available under an open-source format were ignored by Sun at the BorCon conference, but an official from the company recommended the Java Community Process (JCP) for amending the Java programming language.
 
The JCP is for standardisation of technologies for inclusion in the Java platform, said Onno Kluyt, chairman and director of the program. "It is a place where the community agrees on a common approach."

"The JCP focuses on the standards. Ideas [on using the technology] typically happen elsewhere," he said. The process serves to create binary software standards for Java as part of the programming language's write-once, run-anywhere approach, Kluyt said.

Although Kluyt acknowledged that Java-based technologies can be offered through an open-source format, he did not discuss making the programming language itself available through open source in lieu of using the JCP.

Companies such as IBM and BEA Systems have endorsed an open source path for Java, but Sun has not been willing to allow that approach.

Sun, Kluyt said, accounts for only about 40% to 45% new Java secification rquests, which are formal proposals for amending Java. "What that shows is that the community and other companies are stepping forward and taking the initiative and bringing innovation to the Java community," Kluyt said.

Sun has maintained it serves as steward of the language to ensure compatibility in Java implementations. It admitted it was a "dictator" when JCP was initially launched, but said it has now has made the community at large the decision-maker on Java.

"We thought we were pretty benign as dictators go. Others thought differently," Kluyt said.

Paul Krill writes for Infoworld

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