Good News for Java: Sun Warms Up To Open Java Spec
- Sun Warms Up To Open Java Spec
(02/29/00, 7:25 p.m. ET) By ELLIS BOOKER, InternetWeek
Bowing to pressure from Java's largestlicensees, Sun Microsystems is
tinkeringwith the "community process" it established two years ago to
shephard the technology.
Sun's goal is to open its Java Community Process (JCP) to other
stakeholders, while retaining some control over the core specification. Sun
has said its "stewardship" is necessary to ensure that Java evolves quickly
and effectively. But this position increasingly has strained relations with
some Java stakeholders that contribute technology to the specification,
including BEA Systems, Hewlett-Packard, and IBM.
A draft of JCP 2.0 is now circulating among Java licensees, according to
sources at those companies. Perhaps the most important addition is a
"blue-ribbon" advisory group composed of licensees, developers, and possibly
large corporate customers. The group would become the final arbiter of
changes to the core Java specification. Sun currently maintains sole
authority over the specification, though licensees have input.
Sources said Sun is scheduled to meet with its top-tier licensees on
Wednesday to discuss the JCP 2.0 draft.
"We're definitely doing some revamping," a Sun spokeswoman said. But before
the JCP revisions are finalized, they will be reviewed by the largest
licensees, including Apple, HP, IBM, Novell, and Oracle, as well as
"hundreds of systems vendors and thousands of developers," she said. Sun
will seek a "consensus" from the group, rather than a majority opinion, she
"If this is what it sounds like, and if Sun doesn't have a majority
controlling interest or veto power [in the committee], it's a big step in
the right direction," said Carl Zetie, a Giga Information Group analyst.
"It'll assuage people's fears that Sun might at some point abuse its
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