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JBoss CEO Against Open-Sourcing Java

One would think the president of the company that oversees the industry's most popular open-source Java application server would be in favor of open-sourcing Java technology.
But Marc Fleury, CEO and founder of Atlanta-based JBoss Inc., said open-sourcing Java would be a "trap" into which Sun Microsystems, Java's creator and steward, should not fall.

Speaking on a panel of J2EE licensees at a J2EE 1.4 event in San Francisco Monday, Fleury said the main thing that has secured Java's popularity is its portability across different operating systems through compatibility requirements, and by giving the technology over to the open-source community, that portability could be compromised. It is the same argument Sun has posed for years as the chief reason it should retain its ownership of Java.

"I just don't see a net gain in open-sourcing Java," Fleury said. "The great success of Java has been Sun's stewardship and the implementation of the Java Virtual Machine. Keeping that portability is keeping Java [intact]. The standard has to be tightly owned."

Fleury made his comments at an event celebrating the release of J2EE 1.4, the latest standard for building enterprise-scale Java applications.

Observers noted that Fleury's show of solidarity with Sun was somewhat strange, as the outspoken open-source proponent publicly lambasted Sun last year because his company, then called the JBoss Group, had difficulty reaching an agreement with Sun over J2EE licensing. However, the two have made peace since then, and in November 2003, JBoss Inc., along with The Apache Software Foundation, became the first official open-source J2EE licensees.

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