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Oracle pushes through Java specifications changes

Despite protests
Wed Dec 08 2010, 10:17

OFFICIAL CHANGES proposed by Oracle to the specifications for upcoming releases of Java have been approved by an executive committee of the Java Committee Process (JCP).

Java Specification Request 336, for Java SE 7 (Java Platform, Standard Edition), and Java Specification Request 337, for Java SE 8, were given initial approvals after a one-week extension of voting by the JCP executive committee for the standard and enterprise editions of Java.

Two other requests, number 334, for small enhancements to the Java programming language, and 335, for Lambda expressions, were approved as well and will be tested.

However things did not go smoothly. The approval to the standards were not unanimous. Oracle has come under fire for dominating the committee and the votes against the changes to the standard came from the Apache Foundation, Google, and committee member Tim Peierls.

All this bad blood goes back to the days before Larry Ellison took over Sun Microsystems. Similar complaints were made against Sun's dominance. Yesterday's vote goes back to the days when Sun refused to grant a technology compatibility kit for Java to the open source Apache Harmony version of Java. Apache has objected to restrictions over Harmony and has threatened to leave the JCP.

Oracle has been backing the OpenJDK open source version of Java.

Apache said that while it supported the technical contents of the JSR, and earnestly supports the need for the Java platform to move forward, it could not in good conscience vote for the JSRs for Java SE 7 and 8.

Apache also slammed Oracle for being in breach of obligations under the Java Specification Participation Agreement. µ



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