> Now, I don't know all that much about Java (as opposed to EJB), but what I
> have heard doesn't sound nearly as free-wheeling as what you describe. Don't
> vendors need Sun's stamp of approval to call their products "Java"? They
> certainly do to advertise them as an "Enterprise JavaBeans" implementation.
> And if the standard is freely extensible, how did Microsoft get sued for
> writing their own extensions?
> My impression is that Sun retains the right to say who can sell Java
> implementations and what features they can include, and uses this to make
> sure no one does anything they don't approve of with the standard.
Microsoft was sued for breaching their contract with Sun, in which
they explicity agreed to maintain compatibility with Sun's test suites
for all versions, in exchange for getting access to some of Sun's
source code. That's not a matter of Sun asserting ownership, it's a
simple matter of Microsoft agreeing to a deal and then breaking it.
As I said, Sun does maintain a trademark on the name. But the platform
itself can be implemented by anyone, and has been by folks like Kaffe
and Transvirtual, and those implementations of the platform will always
be available no matter what Sun does, and can be extended at will without
Sun's blessing. Of course, they generally do try to keep up with Sun's
changes because Sun's community process for making new APIs generally
produces pretty good ones. But there's no legal reason they have to.
In fact there are many non-compatible extensions available as well like
GJ/Pizza, iContract, and others. There are also other languages that
run on the Java platform like Eiffel and Python.
EJB is another whole ball of wax, and I don't know that anyone really
cares about it. It is the Java platform that has made a difference in
-- Lee Daniel Crocker <email@example.com> <http://www.piclab.com/lcrocker.html> "All inventions or works of authorship original to me, herein and past, are placed irrevocably in the public domain, and may be used or modified for any purpose, without permission, attribution, or notification."--LDC
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