Bryan Young previously wrote about Apache’s frustrations and imminent face off with Oracle. Unfortunately, a week’s time did not heal all wounds, as Apache announced last week that they were withdrawing from the Java SE/EE Executive Committee (JCP). Shortly after this move by the Apache Software Foundation (ASF), Oracle publicly asked Apache to rejoin the JCP. As Bryan’s article touched upon, the feud surrounds Apache and Oracle’s differing views on the future of Java. Apache didn’t get their way, and apparently felt the appropriate move was to get up and go. Are they being a baby, or is Oracle being a bully?
On a December 9, 2010 blog entry, the ASF announced their decision to resign their seat on the JCP. Their article touched on their distaste of how they have been treated since Oracle’s purchase of Sun (and consequently the Java language). Apache’s blog post makes certain to lay the foundations of their <strike>crying</strike> <strike>rant</strike> case as a four time recipient of the JCP "Member of the Year" award. There is certainly no disputing ASF’s importance in the Java community, and is even acknowledged by Oracle’s public request for Apache to come back to the JCP: "ASF and many open source projects within it are an important part of the overall Java ecosystem."
What is interesting about this situation is examining the interaction between the open source and for-profit corporate world. This certainly is not the first time a situation where a company’s purchase and control of a previously open-sourced/community led project has caused a stir. In fact, Oracle is involved in a similar situation with MySQL, which was also an acquisition that came with Sun Microsystems. However, what makes the Apache and Oracle situation unique is Apache’s position in the market. Unlike other community and open source projects, Apache wields legitimate power. It will be interesting to see how this situation plays out, and if Apache’s move can get them what they desire.
Post your comments: Who is wrong or right? Why?