Well, of course I don't really know much about what really went on behind the scenes during the specification process for JDO. From checkin the JCP page for JDO, it seems like you were on the Expert Group panel, so I'd be curious to hear what that was like, from you.
Again, from the the JDO JCP page on jcp.org, the JDO expert group includes the following list of large software companies, (many with pre-existing data persistence tools) forming the majority of the JDO Expert Group membership.
Sun Microsystems, Inc
IONA Technologies PLC
Secant Technologies, Inc.
David Jordan, author of the above article, was Ericcson's representative.
A quick overview of the JDOCentral Vendors include:
FastObjects, Inc - "wholly owned subsidiary of Poet Software GmbH, Hamburg, founded in 1993"
products include fully ODMG/OQL support in C++ and Java, as well as JDO - seem like mature products
ObjectFrontier, Inc. - "ObjectFrontier was founded in 1997 with offices in Atlanta, USA and an R & D Lab in Chennai, India."
They say " ObjectFrontier specializes in persistence management for enterprise applications, providing persistence engines, O/R mapping and caching solutions."
Their earlier product: FrontierSuite J2EE version 3.0, new product: in FrontierSuite JDO
SolarMetric Inc. - "is a global company with corporate headquarters in Washington, D.C., USA. [..] founded Solarmetric in 2001. The core technology team has been together since 1997"
Versant, Inc. - "Since the company’s founding in 1988, Versant Corporation (NASDAQ: VSNT) has led the industry in providing highly scalable and reliable object management solutions for complex, enterprise-level systems."
Previous product: Versant Developer Suite (VDS) 6.0, "is a 6th generation object database."
Hemisphere Technologies and Libelis were founded in 1999 and 2000, respectively. I couldn't figure out when Object Industries was founded.
Clearly, it is desireable to have a specification written by people who are experienced in the appropriate domain, and those people will often be involved in other, related businesses. The above list of Expert Group companies, however, seems like overkill with respect to simply ensuring that experienced viewpoints are part of the process, and seems dangerous with respect to the potential for biased architectural decisions.
Again, it would be great to hear from you, Robin, your impressions of the JDO spec development process, in particular, why is it that the JDO reference implementation isn't as useful an implementation of the JDO spec as, for example, Apache Tomcat, the Servlet spec R.I. is a useful form of the Servlet spec. One hopes that it's just a matter of time, but...