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Java community wants more from Sun

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Several organisations undertaking Java projects expressed concern to ZDNet Australia over the Java Community Process (JCP), with representatives claiming the structure is politically compromised and restrictive.

"We believe there is still more work to do, which is why we participate in the JCP," Geir Magnusson Jr, spokesperson from the Apache Software Foundation and lead for the Harmony project told journalists at a media roundtable at last week's JavaOne conference.

"Clearly from the Apache Software Foundation you can see our model of working and that is openness. The [JCP] is not that model and can't be that model but there are things we can bring from our experience to the JCP to make it better," Magnusson added.

While other selected participants at the roundtable were happy with the current JCP process, two notable exclusions from the event were Java heavyweights IBM and BEA.

John Newton, chief technical officer of open source content management service provider Alfresco, said the JCP was driven by larger companies such as Sun, IBM, and other high profile companies which make up its executive committee members and sought "purely political results".

Irakli Nadareishvili, chief software architect of Development Gateway Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation that works on technology projects with developing countries, said "participation is more important [than open sourcing Java], it's more about transforming the Java Community Process". He said it was tough for an individual from a smaller company to get onto one of the vendor panels which influence the future of Java specifications and overall direction.

"Sun is losing momentum. They have been in the driver's seat. Because of the slow [JCP] process, people are frustrated," said Fima Katz, president and chief executive officer of Exadel, which sells tools and services for Java open-source products. "It's not the only reason, but it's because open source can deliver faster and better."

However, Java founder and chief technology officer of Sun's developer products group, James Gosling, has a different view.

He told Builder AU he was satisfied with the recent changes to make the JCP more open and that "the Java Community Process is a democracy, not a dictorship".


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