Java exec quits in row over Oracle control
By Stewart Mitchell
Posted on 25 Oct 2010 at 08:56
A leading figure in the Java community has walked out on the platform's development body amid angry accusations that Oracle was not acting in the best interests of Java.
Oracle gained control of the Java process when it bought Sun earlier this year, but has been criticised as being heavy handed in dealing with developers and steering the platform down a path that only suits Oracle.
Doug Lea, an influential figure in the Java community, said he would not be re-applying for his role on the Java Community Process (JCP) executive committee because it lacked credibility under Oracle's guidance.
“The JCP is no longer a credible specification and standards body, and there is no remaining useful role for an independent advocate for the academic and research community on the executive committee,” Lea wrote in a recrimination-filled letter to committee colleagues.
Rather than fixing rules or ceasing violations, Oracle now promises to simply disregard them
According to Lea, the rot set in under Sun, but Oracle had done nothing to reverse a series of rule breaches that have created divisions within the community.
“Some have argued that JCP was never a credible standards body. I once disagreed: Sun initially placed in the JSPA and Process documents enough rules to ensure that the JCP could foster innovation, quality, and diversity, independent of that from Sun,” said Lea.
“However, some of these rules, and violations of rules, have been found to be the source of stalemates and lost technical ground. Rather than fixing rules or ceasing violations, Oracle now promises to simply disregard them," he said. "If they indeed act as they have promised, then the JCP can never again become more than an approval body for Oracle-backed initiatives.”
According to Lea, anyone working on the core Java platform should rally around OpenJDK because it was “a shared-source, not shared-spec, body".
"At this point, a Linux-style model for collaboratively developed common source is likely to be more effective in meeting upcoming challenges than is the JCP,” he said.
Oracle has yet to respond to Lea's comments, but is recruiting new members for the committee.
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