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Apache and Sun Still Not in Harmony

The JCR public review of Java Enterprise Edition 6 completed recently , but in doing so, it showed up more evidence of the long running dispute between the Apache Software Foundation and Sun over the Java Compatibility Kit (JCK), specifically it's licencing. If you take a look at the results, you'll see the big red X next to Apache.

"Apache must regretfully vote "No" for JSR-316, as we contend that the spec lead - Sun Microsystems - is not complying with the JSPA with respect to  Java SE TCK licensing.  We believe that members of the JCP that do not comply with the letter and spirit of the governing rules should not be allowed to lead JSRs"

Of course, the root of the problem goes back to that open letter that Apache wrote to Sun back in April 2007. In that letter, Apache complain that the JCK licence is too restrictive in the "fields of use" specified. Harmony, the Apache Java implementation, uses the Apache Licence rather than the GPL, and as such would need the JCK terms to change. As such, Apache complain that Sun is violating the Java Specification Participation Agreement.

In other news on the voting, SpringSource chose to abstain. While they approve of the introduction of profiles, they are "disappointed not to see a minimal web profile, especially as this has become the choice of most enterprise Java users... Finally, we are not convinced that the end result matches the goals of Java EE 6 as defined in the original specification request, which we strongly supported.".


If you had been given the choice, how would you have voted? And is it right for Apache to keep this dispute going. With the OpenJDK available anyway, does Harmony still have a place in the community?

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