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From Danese Cooper <dan...@gmail.com>
Subject Re: Looks like Sun responded to the Open Letter
Date Mon, 13 Aug 2007 05:43:09 GMT
Ah yes...interesting pre-JCP history.  When MSFT got around to  
submitting .NET, of course they also chose ECMA.  It was a very  
simple display of "more open standard than Java".

In fact, Sun's withdrawl of Java from ECMA is what precipitated the  
formation of JCP, because Sun felt it couldn't get a "fair deal" at  
ECMA, but was under enormous pressure from the stakeholder companies  
to standardize.

The first JSPA was written to maximize points of Sun control while  
appearing to be open.  This is why the voting was by consensus  
(giving Sun an effective veto vote even when all the other  
stakeholders agreed against the Sun position).  I must admit that ASF  
was sought for a JCP member because it lent credibility to the claim  
that JCP was open.  Of course those of us pushing for a really Open  
Java knew that Apache would gradually shed light on Sun's closed  
practices and that as a result Sun would be forced to be really  
open.  But nobody thought it would be a quick or fun process.

I know its been frustrating to some of the general membership to have  
ASF so much a part of this process, but back when Brian Behlendorf  
first described the plan to incorporate a foundation around Apache to  
me, Jakarta and Tomcat were part of that plan.  As the Apache Web  
Server neared code completion (more or less) it looked like Java was  
a logical next step for the ASF, since it was a web-aware language  
and was clearly going to be an important multi-vendor  
playground...the point was to establish an open commons for Java,  
which Apache has absolutely done.

What has been fascinating to me in the now long saga of Java is the  
extent to which decisions about it have been motivated by business  
politics and not by the technology.  My husband has been coding in  
Java since it was Oak.  I originally took the job at Sun because he  
thought they were screwing up Java with politics, and he naively  
thought I could fix it...pretty funny to think about that now.

Having said all of that...wrt the earlier Ruby (or Python)  
comments...my husband's current job involves porting an application  
out of Python into Java.  Not because they don't like Python.  On the  
contrary, they love it.  But they just can't hire enough qualified  
Python programmers to maintain and enhance their production system.   
Different story with Java.  It takes years and a lot of money and  
momentum to create the kind of global acceptance Java has as a  
business programming tool, like it or not.  Its a very valuable skill  
and seems like its here to stay for the time being.

So from my perspective its critical that ASF continue to hold Sun's  
feet the to the fire for as long as Java isn't truly Open.

Thanks for listening.


On Aug 12, 2007, at 10:02 PM, Sam Ruby wrote:

> On 8/13/07, William A. Rowe, Jr. <wrowe@rowe-clan.net> wrote:
>> Jim Jagielski wrote:
>>> Are we there yet... no, not at all. But we're
>>> certainly headed in that direction and gaining
>>> momentum.
>> If this were not so, why would there be a .NET vm in the first place?
>> What I found interesting was that MS focused on making this an ECMA
>> spec, not a "Microsoft spec".  Perhaps they had already learned from
>> simply watching the JCP?
> I can't tell whether you are simply playing straight man, or whether
> you are unaware of the history here.  In any case, those who weren't
> aware of the history, here are two links:
> http://www.sun.com/smi/Press/sunflash/1999-05/sunflash.990506.1.xml
> http://www.sun.com/smi/Press/sunflash/1999-12/sunflash.991207.13.xml
> - Sam Ruby

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