For 10 years, the Apache Software Foundation has been on the executive committee of the JCP, overseeing Java SE and Java EE. Today, however, that all came to an end as the Apache Software Foundation announced it would step down from the executive committee to which it had been re-elected this fall.
The move comes after years of infighting between the Apache Foundation and Sun Microsystems. That fight has continued with Oracle in place of Sun, and it centers on what Apache considers a breach of promise and license.
The battle began over the Test Compatibility Kit for Java SE 5, and has since remained simmering. Apache claims that the license used for Java SE 7’s TCK removes the freedoms of the Java implementers by specifying what types of systems Java can be used in.
The ASF issued a statement today on the resignation, saying that the JCP executive committee failed at its only chance to fix the limitations of the Java SE 7 TCK. “The members of the EC refused to stand up for the rights of implementers, and by accepting Oracle’s TCK license terms for Java SE 7, they let the integrity of the JCP’s licensing structure be broken,” read the statement.
The statement also said that the ASF does not feel the JCP is a valid standards organization. “The Apache Software Foundation concludes that that JCP is not an open specification process—that Java specifications are proprietary technology that must be licensed directly from the spec lead under whatever terms the spec lead chooses; that the commercial concerns of a single entity, Oracle, will continue to seriously interfere with and bias the transparent governance of the ecosystem; that it is impossible to distribute independent implementations of JSRs under open-source licenses such that users are protected from IP litigation by expert group members or the spec lead; and finally, the EC is unwilling or unable to assert the basic power of their role in the JCP governance process.”