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Sun to loosen lock on Java

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Sun is poised to relinquish some of its control of the Java standard, and is circulating a draft version 2.0 of the Java Community Process (JCP) among major interested companies. The gist of the new document seems to be that Sun will no longer have final and absolute control over Java, but that instead major licensees will be more closely involved in a consultation process. Sun has in the past come under fire from the bigger Java licensees, who include HP, IBM, Oracle, Novell and Apple, for its refusal to broaden control of the Java specification. These are now said to be discussing the JCP 2.0 with Sun. At the moment however it's not entirely clear how much control Sun intends to give up, and whether it will be sufficient to please its critics. A form of review group consisting of major developers and licensees is envisaged as determining any changes that are to be made to the Java specification, but this seems to be fuzzier than you might initially think. The group's decisions is intended to come to decisions by consensus, rather than via a majority vote, and Sun will still have final authority over the spec. Which could mean the changes turn out to be very little change. ®

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