Storm brews over proposed Java spec

June 11, 2008 —  (Page 1 of 3)
Nineteenth-century German chancellor Otto von Bismarck is famous for noting that laws are like sausages: It is better not to see them being made. The same could be said of the process of making at least one Java Specification Requirement.

The Java Community Process (JCP) for creating JSRs has come under fire again, with allegations that backroom politics is influencing the evolution of JSR 277 and that Sun Microsystems is imposing its standard to the detriment of others. But a Sun Microsystems representative said the lively debate about the JSR is just part of the sausage-making process.

Last week, Ian Skerrett, marketing director for the Eclipse Foundation, criticized Sun’s influence over development of the proposed JSR 277 specification, covering the Java Module System. The root of the problem is the numbering protocol for tracking different versions of a module written in Java; Java Module System uses a four-digit scheme, OSGi only three.

Skerrett wrote in a June 5 blog posting that doing things Sun’s way could pose interoperability problems with the Eclipse-backed OSGi module system for building applications, and he called Sun’s attempt to flex its muscle a “mockery” of the JCP.

JSR 277 is to be included in release 7 of the Java Development Kit (JDK).

Skerrett added that Sun is playing politics, urging it to “stop the bilateral discussions,” and asked the company to replace JSR 277’s spec leads.

“For all Sun’s executive-speak about being a hip, open company, they continue to behave like an old fashion [sic] hardware vendor,” Skerrett wrote. Through an Eclipse spokesperson, Skerrett declined to comment further to SD Times. However, in a comment attached to an article about the controversy on The UK Register’s Web site, Skerrett qualified his remarks as being his own, and not an official position of the Eclipse Foundation.

Sun’s people working on JSR 277 believe that providing more complete information about the version of code being identified requires a four-digit versioning scheme, wrote Stanley Ho, co-spec lead of JSR 277, in a blog post.

Related Search Term(s): Java, Sun

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