> Tony Lowe <[log in to unmask]> writes:
>
> > Actually, they publish their standard in a hardcover edition 8).
> >
> >     http://java.sun.com/docs/books/jls/index.html
> >
> > Simply because the standard is owned by a company does not make it any less
> > of a standard.
>
> Well, now you are defining your own meaning of the word "standard".
> Here in the Ada community, it does _not_ mean "something defined by a
> single company".

Personally, I don't see why not, provided there's a single, widely-recognised Authority. Sun has strongly defended the Java(tm) name against pollution by people wishing to "de-commoditise" it. But I agree with your main point, Java is not particularly standard, as anyone who's ever worked with it can attest.

Ada has 2 standards, Ada-83 and Ada-95.

Java has (so far), 1.0, 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 and the new still-not-stable 1.4. There is more difference between 1.0 and 1.1 than Ada-83 vs Ada-95. Then there's the Evil Empire(tm)'s Virtual Machine which is different again. Behaviour of any given Java source on various virtual machines is neither consistent nor easily predictable.

Now I like Java. After Ada, it's my favourite language, and I often find myself wishing "gee, I wish Ada could do X as quickly and easily as I can with Java 1.whatever". (Of course just as often, I wish that Java of any variety could do Y at all, when Ada-95 does it trivially, and Java suffers from fatal flaws due to its C ancestry, and .... but that's beside the point).

But Java standard? "The good thing about standards is that there are so many to choose from...".