Eclipse Joins Java Community Process

Five years after its creation, the open source Java tools group Eclipse Foundation is joining the Sun-led Java Community Process (JCP).

The price of admission? A measly $2,000, which also comes with improved relations between the two groups, which have been at odds in the past few years.

The JCP is the formal process by which new feature and specifications are added to Java. Eclipse is one of the leading Java tools development communities and is home to the Eclipse IDE, considered among the most-used of Java integrated development environment. Sun Microsystems’  Netbeans IDE is among the primary competitors to the Eclipse IDE.

Eclipse and Sun have not seen eye to eye in the past, especially in terms of their respective competitive IDEs. But those look like bygones.

“I’m pleased to welcome Eclipse to the JCP,” said Onno Kluyt, chair of the JCP and director of the JCP Program at Sun Microsystems, in a statement.” Many of the Eclipse projects already implement standards developed through the JCP and the move to formally join the community is an indication that an even greater involvement with Java standards development and implementation is to be expected. This is great news for the Eclipse platform and for Java technology and developers.”

In addition to the JCP, Eclipse is also joining the Object Management Group (OMG) and the OSGi Alliance. Many different Eclipse Foundation projects make use of standards created by the three groups.

“We believe that the combination of open source and open standards is a powerful force for technology adoption in our industry, and we felt its time for us to participate more visibly in these organizations,” Mike Milinkovich executive director of the Eclipse Foundation told

It likely wasn’t a cost issue for Eclipse to join JCP in particular. According the JCP’s membership page, it costs $2,000 a year.

“We’ve been working on this for quite a while,” Milinkovich explained. “The Eclipse Foundation is still relatively young organization and we needed to put in place the decision making process to make this happen, and the policies around how to interact with specification organizations once we have joined.”

Sun recently announced that it would be open sourcing Java under the most commonly used open source license, the GPL . Milinkovich said that decision was not a factor in Eclipse’s decision to join the JCP.

Though Eclipse has now formally announced that it is joining JCP, it’s still unclear what role it hopes to play.

“We’re still working on deciding exactly where we will participate,” Milinkovich noted. “Since we are a community organization, a significant part of this decision will be based on who steps forward from within our committer population and volunteers the time and energy to participate.”

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