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March 18, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:31pm


By CBR Staff Writer

Following months of speculation Sun Microsystems Inc has decided to get the Java standardization process moving and has gone to the largest standards body of them all: the International Standards Organization (ISO) (CI No 3,076). Sun has appllied to the ISO’s and International Electrotechnical Commission’s (IEC) Joint Technical Committee 1 (JTC1) to submit its Java specs for approval. JTC1 will consider them and give its decision in July. If approved, Sun will then spell out its Java roadmap which it will prepare in the interim period, according to Jim Mitchell, JavaSoft Inc’s VP technology and architecture. As far as testing and certification goes, its all a bit early. Mitchell said things are spotty at best right now. Sergio Mazza, president and CEO of the American National Standards Institution (ANSI) said the majority of specs don’t even have a certification process, and it is not the job of the ISO to implement one. The process has nothing to do with the Java name however – Sun will retain the rights to that. Java implementations can be written, but they cannot be called Java unless done by Sun. Sun was being slightly cagey about exactly which parts will be put forward for specification – all will be revealed come July, promised Mitchell. The JTC secretariat distributes the application to each voting member – usually national standards bodies like ANSI, British Standards Institute and so on. The voting members get three months to review, comment and vote on the submission. The secretariat then forwards the result to Sun. Sun submitted its application through a process called a Recognized Publicly Available Specification submitter (PAS) last Friday. Sun went straight to the top – ISO is considered the grand-daddy of standards bodies – in order to move Java from a de facto to a de jure standard worldwide. Previous language standardization efforts – Fortran, C/C++ and so on were fairly US-centric processes, but the aim is to get Java flowing through corporate veins all around the globe. There’s no way of knowing whether the process to become a submitter or not is a shoo-in, as too many national bodies are involved, said Mazza. The previous four recognized PAS submitters are X/Open Ltd (now part of the Open Group) the European Workshop for Open Systems (EWOS), Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) and Digital Audio Visual Council (DAVIC).

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