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SUN OPPOSES AMENDMENTS TO ISO STANDARDS PROCESS.

By William Fellows Sun Microsystems Inc claims it no longer has sole stewardship of Java with the new 'community source license' model it introduced yesterday. However that does not square with the company's unwillingness for anyone to meddle with the specification it will take to the International Standards Organizations' PAS submission process for ratification as a de jure standard. Speaking to ComputerWire yesterday, VP Java technology and architecture Jim Mitchell said Sun does not agree with amendments to ISO's PAS process proposed by IBM Corp and others. They are being designed to enable organizations and processes in addition to the PAS submitter itself, i.e. Sun, to directly influence the future development of the standard. Mitchell says the proposals, when implemented, will deter anyone else from using the PAS publicly available specification route to standardization. The proposals are expected to get a decisive airing at the ISO's JTC1 Java group plenary meeting in Rio de Janeiro in January. Effectively thumbing its nose the proposals - and to IBM's wish - Mitchell said that ISO cannot apply a new set of rules retrospectively, therefore third parties will not be able to get their hands on the basic Java spec. However companies and organizations will still get a chance to vote with their feet through their regional ISO bodies, when the PAS submission goes to ballot, a process said to take from five to eleven months. What's not clear, is whether the amendments, if adopted, can be made to apply to the future development and extension of the basic Java specification. Mitchell contends that IBM, as well as other companies and organizations can now to exert influence over the future direction of Java through involvement in the new expert groups it will sanction to develop extensions to the basic Java API set. Moreover IBM, through its development of the Enterprise Java Bean specification, JavaOS and parts of Java 2, already has a large stake in Java's make-up. Where Sun and IBM do agree is that the creation of continuous flow of new Java APIs must be separate from the process of stewarding and developing the basic Java standard through ISO.
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Publication:Computergram International
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 9, 1998
Words:356
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