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IBM officials confirmed Friday that the company plans to meet with Sun Microsystems Inc. officials over the next few weeks to discuss the viability of doing an open-source Java implementation.

A spokeswoman for IBM said that while no meeting has been set up officially, “They’re talking about a meeting over the next couple of weeks” to hash out whether Sun will accept IBM’s invitation to work on an independent project to produce an open-source implementation of Java, which Sun created.

IBM’s vice president of emerging Internet technologies, Rod Smith, last week sent an open letter to Rob Gingell, Sun’s chief engineer, vice president and fellow, saying that IBM is ready to work together with Sun on an open-source version of Java.

In the letter, Smith cited an eWEEK article in which Simon Phipps, Sun’s chief technology evangelist, asked, “Why hasn’t IBM given its implementation of Java to the open-source community?”

Now the two parties plan to meet to discuss it.

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