Henri Yandell talks about the Perl development process vs. the Java development process. I concur about the open nature of Perl core development vs. the relatively closed JSR development. I think this is almost entirely because of Sun. Henri thinks so too, but for a different reason.
The Perl culture is one with a fairly low barrier to entry for participation and has little to no history of corporate working groups as do the JSRs. This has both good and bad consequences: processes are fairly transparent, but they're not as predictable. (Although with the two-year wait for Java Server Faces it's easy to say that JSRs aren't predictable either.) But also: with the 800 pound gorilla of Sun, there's not as much motivation to strike out on your own. Clearly there's still a good deal of motivation -- and snowballing with Jakarta, JBoss and many other systems -- but I have the feeling that if the everyday Perl community were the size of the everyday Java community world domination would be at hand :-)