Oracle responds to Apache Java defiance

Hoping to move Java forward, Oracle asks the Apache Foundation to reconsider its position on Java

Seemingly anxious to get the next version of the Java programming language ratified, Oracle has asked the Apache Software Foundation to reconsider its stance on the proposed Java Standard Edition 7.

"We would encourage Apache to reconsider their position and work together with Oracle and the community at large to collectively move Java forward," wrote Don Deutsch, Oracle vice president of standards and architecture, in a statement posted Monday on an Oracle blog site.

Last week in a statement, the ASF board encouraged other Executive Community members of the JCP (Java Community Process) to vote against the proposed Java 7 Java Specification Request.

The ASF maintains that Oracle has put restrictions on a Java TCK (Technology Compatibility Kit) used to test Apache Harmony, Apache's open source implementation of Java SE. The FOU (Field of Use) restriction violates the terms of the original agreement, called the JSPA (Java Specification Participation Agreement), ASF said.

"Oracle is attempting to place the FOU restrictions on Apache Harmony via the TCK license, which is unacceptable to us because it would mean that we couldn't distribute Apache Harmony under an open source license," explained Geir Magnusson Jr., an ASF board member, in an e-mail to IDG last week.

In his post, Deutsch did not respond to ASF's specific charge, noting only that "Oracle provides TCK licenses under fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory terms consistent with its obligations under the JSPA." Instead, he emphasized the need for getting the future Java Specification Request approved, alluding to the frustrationsome members of the JCP have felt over how approval of the standard has thus far been stalled over this issue.

With Apache's support, "the Java community can get on with the important work of driving forward Java SE and other standards in open, transparent, consensus-driven expert groups. This is the priority. Now is the time for positive action. Now is the time to move Java forward," Deutsch said.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

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