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Oracle and IBM Tinkering with OpenJDK Rules

Oracle and OpenJDK, and IBM abandoned the Apache Foundation’s Rival Project Harmony (Java SE)

Oracle, it seems, has been closeted with representatives of IBM and the IBM-inspired Eclipse Foundation since November tinkering with the OpenJDK bylaws.

That was after Apple turned over all future Java updates for its Mac OS to Oracle and OpenJDK, and IBM abandoned the Apache Foundation's rival Project Harmony (Java SE), recognized the OpenJDK as the primary open source Java runtime in solidarity with Oracle, and promised to collaborate on the Java Standard Edition (SE) reference implementation in return for a "strong say in how the project is managed and in which technical direction it goes."

The bylaws rewrite, according to Oracle's man Mark Reinhold, chief architect of its Java Platform Group and chair of the OpenJDK governance board, isn't from scratch.

In a blog post Friday revealing the effort, he said it "draws upon the earlier work of the Sun-chartered OpenJDK Interim Governance Board and has exactly the same goal: To be a written set of rules that will foster the long-term health and growth of the OpenJDK Community by enabling and encouraging its members to act in an open, transparent and meritocratic manner," words that many will find hollow in Oracle's mouth.

The effort is already being criticized for being so utterly top-down.

Besides Reinhold and Oracle's Adam Messinger, they've got IBM's John Duimovich and Jason Gartner and Eclipse's executive director Mike Milinkovich working on the mysterious project.

For a little leavening - or maybe a cover story - they persuaded Doug Lea to pitch in. He's the Java expert and SUNY Oswego professor who quit the Java Community Process Executive Committee late last year saying it was useless as a specification and standards body because of Oracle's domination.

Reinhold promised to post a draft of their results for public comment "soon." Apparently anyone else is supposed to get their two cents in by way of feedback.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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