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By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2003-03-24 Print this article Print

Saletta said separating the licensing of the J2EE source code and the test suite is a nod to the open-source community "because the open-source community often has different code bases," and by offering the test suite separately, users "can license it, pass and be branded J2EE compatible." Saletta—who sources said is sometimes described as a "Sun gunman" because of his tenacity in defending Sun and because his name "rhymes with Beretta"—said he believes JBoss is playing for a marketing angle, sources said.
"JBoss has called themselves David, and Sun Goliath," Saletta said. "They said Sun refused to let them be compatible, but thats not the case. They were the first company we offered the J2EE 1.4 [compatibility test] license to. Were doing our best to accommodate these open-source distributors… Sun is not preventing JBoss from becoming a compatible vendor. Wed love to have them onboard to do some co-marketing. I dont want licensing to be an issue."
JBoss took exception to Suns raising the issue in the first place. "First of all weve been talking to Sun under a nondisclosure agreement they insisted we sign, and for them to run out and breach their own document and have JBoss comment on something they said is outrageous," said Lawrence Rosen, general counsel for JBoss Group LLC, and a partner with Rosenlaw & Einschlag and general counsel for the Open Source Initiative, all from his office in Ukiah, Calif. Rosen acknowledged that JBoss and Sun are "discussing" certification, "but were not there yet and why theyre trying to force our hand I dont know." I dont know why Sun is doing this. I dont think all of Sun is doing it. I think its some rogue salesman whose sales are not going as well as theyd like and theyre trying to blame it on JBoss." Marc Fleury, founder and president of JBoss Group, and chief developer of the application server, told eWEEK in an earlier interview that the reason application server vendors are moving to focus on integration and portals and other elements around the core application server is "because JBoss has destroyed their revenue opportunities" in the core application server space. "There is no license revenue anymore on the container," he said. Added Rosen: "Sun hasnt explained to us why we need certification. If Better Homes and Gardens said we needed it Id ask for a reason, same with the Family Circle or Good Housekeeping seal of approval. Why is certification from Sun any relevance to us?" "They have to convince me to buy," he said. "In the meantime, I dont need your product. I am not convinced I need it… Our customers are not saying they need it, so I see no reason to get it." Yet, Rosen said he has "no objection in principle," to being certified, "the question is how much does it cost and whats it worth? Its not worth what their offering price is. And their price keeps going up, not down." Yet, Sun sources said the company has offered JBoss among the lowest licensing terms the company ever has. "I dont want this to be seen as an indictment of Sun with respect to open source", Rosen said. Yet, "Frankly, I dont think they really want us to get certified. They want to be able to say that we arent." Turning on the Saletta reference from the Bible, Rosen said: "They are saying were playing a David role, it seems to me David won. David was the hero of that story." Latest Stories by Darryl Taft:

Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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