IT-Director: Sun’s problem – You can’t have your Java and drink it!

“A year ago there was a very good reason why Sun should retain
control over the Java standards. At that time there were still a
number of attempts being made to hijack the Java standard with the
apparent aim of turning it from a “write once, run anywhere”
standard to becoming a platform lock-in. It was understandable,
therefore, that Sun wanted to retain “stewardship” of Java while at
the same time having it endorsed by ISO as an international open

“It also appeared that the original reason for Sun to
negotiate with the standards bodies had passed by. Java had by that
time achieved a critical mass of users, partners and developers
together with a skills base that ensured its continued adoption —
standards or not.”

“While we have yet to see a formal definition of this
arrangement it appears to be a good and workable compromise. We
still believe that Java should be managed by one of the major
standards groups, but Sun has a point when it claims that these can
impede the progress of an evolving technology. Of course, the real
test of this arrangement will only be encountered when there is
serious disagreement between Sun and the rest of the community. The
community represents such a mix of interests that it is realistic
to expect Sun to be able to ensure a majority of support for most
of its initiatives.”