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Borland jumps into Java tools group

In a reversal, Borland joins Java Tools Community, an easy-integration advocate. IBM remains on the fence.

Borland Software has joined an industry group that advocates for better programming tools within the Java industry.

Borland announced that it is joining the Java Tools Community on Monday at the JavaOne conference, hosted in San Francisco by Java creator Sun Microsystems.

The JTC was founded in January by Sun Microsystems, BEA Systems, Oracle, SAP, SAS Institute, Compuware and JetBrains. The group's intention is to serve as a "discussion forum" for making Java tools easier to use and interoperable among different providers, according to the JTC.

At the time of the JTC's creation, Borland declined its invitation to join. Company executives said the JTC had not established a good mechanism to coordinate with the Java Community Process, the official Java standardization forum. Borland sells a suite of development tools for both the Java programming language and Microsoft's .Net line of tools.

"Borland has an obligation to ensure that evolving Java standards meet developers' needs," George Paolini, vice president and general manager of developer tools at Borland, said in a statement. "We are excited to work with the JTC to encourage collaboration among the community."

IBM, another major Java tools company, has not joined the group. But IBM would probably get involved with the group if the IBM-founded Eclipse open-source foundation chooses to join the JTC, said Bob Sutor, IBM's director of WebSphere infrastructure.

"We want to make sure it's real--honest-to-goodness real, not just press releases," Sutor said. "We would very strongly consider either joining outright or working through Eclipse."

The Eclipse software provides a method for combining several kinds of development tools into a single programming application. Earlier this month, Eclipse executive director Mike Milinkovich said Eclipse has not yet reached any sort of official working arrangement with the JTC but is open to discussing collaboration.