Petition drive seeks Java Data Objects upgrade

An Internet petition has been posted urging an upgrade to the Java Data Objects specification for Java object persistence, amidst a movement by the Java Community Process to merge JDO with EJB.

The petition is posted on jdocentral.com. It urges the JCP Executive Committee to adopt the JDO 2.0 draft. Gathering 852 signatures in about 10 days, the petition states: "JDO 2.0, an extension of the existing JDO 1.0 standard, is not approved, it will cause significant damage to developers and vendors that rely on JDO, it will create irreparable damage to the reputation of the Java Community Process, and it will hurt the Java developer community at large.

"Not accepting JDO 2.0 and referring developers to a future EJB standard, which most likely will not be available for some time, leaves a significant void in the market for a robust Java persistence standard, causing it to be filled by proprietary products and solutions,"according to the petition. JDO was the subject of the approved Java Specification Request 243, the petition said.

Members of the JCP Executive Committee for J2SE and J2EE voted 10 to 5 in January against approving JDO 2.0. Among those voting no were BEA Systems, IBM, JBoss, and Oracle. Those in favor included Apache Software Foundation, Apple Computer, and Sun Microsystems. Google was the lone participant to abstain.

JDO 2.0 is the victim of political, not technical, concerns of application server vendors such as BEA and Oracle, said Dirk Bartels, who is leading the petition campaign and is general manager of jdocentral.com. "They feel JDO is a threat to EJB 3.0," said Bartels.

"The market doesn't see that there's a conflict," Bartels said. Developers want to keep the JDO standard, he said. A persistence model offers an abstraction layer for data to be manipulated from within an application. Version 2.0 of JDO features mapping of Java objects to object-relational tables.

JCP overseer Sun in a statement said a new JDO draft ballot is to be submitted in a few weeks and that the company has been working with executive committee members to address concerns. Sun is working with other Java vendors to develop a common Java persistence model as part of Java Specification Request 220 for EJB 3.0. This specification is to include input from technologies such as JDO.

"To bring together the divergent methods of data persistence in Java, Sun issued an open letter in late-September proposing that persistence in the versions of Enterprise JavaBeans and Java Data Objects be merged into a single model called Plain Old Java Object (POJO)," Sun stated. The joint specification is expected to be included with the release of J2EE 5, possibly in late 2005.

JBoss, in comments on the JCP Web site, said JDO 2.0 was supposed to be a maintenance release and include migration paths to JSR 220. But Version 2.0 as it stands is "much more than a maintenance release and this will confuse the JCP community further as JSR 220 and JSR 243 were supposed to join forces."

IBM on the site stated, "The public review draft has done little to address the concerns we originally expressed in the JSR Approval ballot regarding the overlaps between JDO's proposed new capabilities and other similar Java technologies."

Sun in voting affirmatively said JDO and EJB persistence technologies each has its "own passionate advocates."

Borland, which also voted to approve, said, "The Java community can only benefit from offering a broader choice for our customers when it comes to a data persistence model."

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