According to vnunet.com, “The Apache Software Foundation’s battle with Sun Microsystems stepped up gear last week as the open source community struggled to loosen Sun’s cast iron grip on the Java platform.” This is in response to, first, Lutris being turned-down for J2EE certification, and then JBoss, which is J2EE compliant from a technical standpoint, but apparently not J2EE compliant enough for Sun certification.
Last week, ONJava.com published O’Reilly editor Mike Loukides’ follow-up on the possibility of open source J2EE from Sun: Will You See Open Source J2EE Implementations? Not Likely. TheServerSide.com also published an interview with one of Sun’s J2EE principles, Karen Tegan. While Sun essentially says it supports open source efforts, it does not want those efforts to impact the J2EE certification process, a process that clearly is closed source at best. See the conflict.
As a high ranking member in the Java Community Process (JCP), Apache is part of the JSPA (Java Specification Participation Agreement). In this capacity, Apache can actively propose new and revised Java API specifications as well as integrate a particular specification under Jakarta, Apache’s open source Java projects. Apache’s reply is here in Apache’s JSPA Position. According to Apache, “…Sun doesn’t give a hoot about whether J2EE licensing restricts open source J2EE products (in case you missed it, it does).”
Sun benefits from its relationship with Apache. Apache gives Sun “…an advertising statement…to claim that it (Sun) has a ‘vision which uses open standards and non-proprietary interfaces’.” If Apache’s reply and suggestions go unanswered, Apache can put pressure on Sun in other, more severe ways. Without Apache, Sun could lose many of its Java developers as Jakarta projects would be affected. The impact could be quite severe, certainly in terms of publicity. Financially, who knows?
The impact could be quite severe, certainly in terms of publicity. Financially, who knows? What do you think? Share your thoughts on possible impact.