IBM, JBoss Deny Java Connection

IBM officials Thursday discounted a report the company
was in discussions with JBoss Group to develop J2EE
specifications around aspect-oriented programming (AOP) to counter
Microsoft’s .NET framework popularity.

“They’re working on a project, we’re working on a project,” said Laurie Friedman,
an IBM spokesperson.

“We are in fact investing in aspect-oriented programming, because we
think it’s good for Java and more importantly, good for our customers,”
she continued.

AOP as a specification has been receiving a lot of attention in the Java developer’s community, mainly because the coding is less time-consuming than the code currently used in the J2EE framework.

IBM’s AOP efforts are deeply tied in with the Eclipse project, a consortium of big-business investors — founded by IBM and companies like Red Hat, Borland and SuSE — working to create specifications around the language. IBM is also a member of the Java Community Process (JCP) program, of which JBoss is also a member.

While the JBoss Group is part of the standards group — an organization founded by Sun Microsystems — it is also in an argument with Sun over licensing fees it feels the company shouldn’t have to make. JBoss, the popular open-source J2EE app server, is a different part of the same company, not involved with the paid services JBoss Group sells around the JBoss platform.

According to Bill Burke, JBoss Group chief architect, there is no formal
agreement between the two companies. The report was likely inspired, he
said, because of a weekend interview between the author and Marc Fleury,
JBoss Group CEO, over JBoss 4.0, which was released in June.

“We really haven’t been speaking to IBM on a formal basis, though we
have been speaking to each other off and on.”

IBM and JBoss do have close professional ties, though none suggest a
formal alliance between the two on AOP: a Rational official from IBM
spoke at a JBoss conference during JavaOne in July; Fleury this week
attended a research conference with IBM staffers to talk about AOP.

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