TAO is implemented using the OMG CORBA specifications. Any extensions and additional features are added to support for example sponsors' requirements, or research into new characteristics for object middleware that can then be submitted to the OMG for incorporation into the specifications. TAO source code is open and thus available for anybody to study, review, and comment on. Interoperability with other ORBs is another important criteria and our support for IIOP 1.1 is evidence of that commitment. We rapidly incorporate new aspects of the standard to test their validity in practice. Our project objectives are standards compliant middleware, able to meet the most demanding needs of our user base, and to continue to enjoy the trust of the user base.
Although we recognized that the test suite (called VsORB) from The Open Group was designed to exercise CORBA 2.1 functionality, we believed initially that our own 2.2 and 2.3 features would not cause conflict with the tests. During the testing activities we found out that this was a serious underestimation. As a result of our findings we have elected to postpone the testing until the suite is current with our version. To continue would have resulted in resources being applied to retrofit, in fact retrograde, TAO to enable it to pass the tests. We would then have been in the situation of having to disable or remove some of those capabilities in order to shift back to 2.2 and 2.3. We would have technically violated the terms of the branding program that requires you to maintain your code base consistent with the product standard (as indicated by the test suite) for as long as you wish to declare your product to be branded.
For those who interested in the technical issues, we have summarized some of them below.
For those of you who were not aware of the differences in the OMG specifications 2.1 and 2,2 and the compatibility issues, we would like to make the following observations. There are very important reasons why the OMG decided to make changes between the CORBA 2.1 and CORBA 2.2 specifications, which resulted in incompatibility. The changes though seemingly minor, do greatly simplify the development of the server-side objects in an ORB, and were considered a worthwhile trade off. We would also like to point out that users porting from 2.1 ORBs, to later versions will in fact find these problems. Therefore you should be aware of them. Fortunately they can be easily fixed, from an application standpoint.
The TAO team, and we hope you, understand that The Open Group cannot simply apply those fixes to their test suite because that would invalidate the testing process at the 2.1 level. We understand that The Open Group are planning to upgrade the Open Brand program (and associated test suites) to match the new CORBA 2.3 specification as soon as it is ratified. TAO is committed to standards compliance, and testing by third parties to validate it. It continues to be our intention to work with OMG and The Open Group to ensure that the conformance requirements and test suites for 2.3 meet the needs of the market and confidently expect to be able to brand TAO at that stage.
We have no hidden agendas, or lock in strategies. We will continue to build TAO to be the standard in CORBA performance.
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Last modified 11:34:24 CDT 28 September 2006