Sun joins AJAX standards groups

In an effort to influence emerging standards for AJAX and ensure the interoperability of tools that support the programming methodology, Sun Microsystems Inc. announced plans Friday to join the OpenAjax Alliance and the Dojo Foundation.

As part of the OpenAjax Alliance, Sun will work with 30 other companies to identify and consolidate best practices and reach a consensus on a reference implementation for tools interoperability. Sun said it will work to bolster the adoption of AJAX and refine its documentation at the Dojo Foundation, an organization that supports JavaScript programming.

Although the OpenAjax Alliance was formed earlier this year, Sun opted not to join until now because the company had trouble understanding the goals of the group and was initially concerned about the group's close ties with the Eclipse Foundation, said Dan Roberts, Sun's director of marketing for developer tools.

Sun has been a high-profile holdout from Eclipse, which fosters open-source development tools.

"Initially there was the release of a set of tools around the Eclipse platform, and the [OpenAjax] site was hosted on Eclipse," Roberts said. "For us, if that was all they were doing, it wasn't very interesting. That they developed an Eclipse artifact is frankly a side activity to the alliance. The goals of OpenAjax are to be an independent community which isn't tied to any particular runtime or tool set."