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"Sun Should Make Java a True Open Standard," IBM Repeats

"Sun Should Make Java a True Open Standard," IBM Repeats

It began, in earnest, with Rod Smith's open letter to Sun. Then came Bob Sutor's wheeze: Let's Bundle Java Free With Linux. IBM, in other words, has been on Sun's case all year about developing some kind of open source implementation of Java.

Of course Eric S. Raymond has also joined the party, with his own open letter to Scott McNealy: "Let Java Go".

Neither IBM suggestion cut any ice with Sun, which responded that IBM's request seemed "a little bonky."

(Mind you back in June 2003, James Gosling hadn't been quite so dismissive of the idea.)

Now IBM has escalated the call for Sun to relinquish its tight hold of Java, by allowing software supremo Steve Mills, Senior Vice President and Group Executive, and overall head of its Software Group to endorse the idea floated previously by Smith and Sutor.

Sun, Mills said in an interview last week, should allow others to share the task of managing Java. It would increase Java's footprint in the marketplace, he argued:

"Sun has spent a lot of money managing the process, administering the process, creating the test cases, running the test cases. The industry is more than able to bear the burden of managing the process and covering the cost. I think when you spread the cost and expenses], you're able to also more effectively spread the licensing as well, which could improve the marketplace adoption of Java."

Mills's thinking is clearly reflected too in JDJ's exclusive interview - which appears in next month's issue and is already available online - with the 5 general managers of IBM's software group, who all report to Mills.

In that interview, the head of IBM's whole WebSphere product line - General Manager, Application & Integration Middleware Division, IBM Software Group - John Swainson, says:

"We have been stating for years that we'd like Sun to make Java a true open standard, and we remain optimistic. IBM's long-standing support for open source is based on our conviction that openness creates new opportunities and spurs innovation. Open source also gives customers choice and helps them meet their IT needs more quickly and effectively. An open source Java platform would be good for the industry, good for customers, and good for Java."

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JDJ News Desk monitors the world of Java to present IT professionals with updates on technology advances, business trends, new products and standards in the Java and i-technology space.

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