How transparent are you?

As I mentioned earlier,the EC meeting summaries and materials are now available to the public. The program office transparency initiative started in 2008. You can view the slides that were presented to the JCP EC on this topic during the December 2008 EC meeting.

I'll be communicating items that result from that initiative here. The JCP program office asked spec leads what they are doing/have done to meet their transparency obligations in late 2008-almost 50 responded. On review, it was clear that several JSR Expert Groups hadn't made any public progress since January 2007 – and often for years before this.

So one point became clear-the best form of transparency is to publish an update to your spec!

Out of JSRs that were active in 2008, 58% responded; out of the active maintenance JSRs, 33% responded, giving us approximately a 50% response rate. Those who responded but had not made progress (by posting a JSR milestone draft) were excluded from the survey results. One caveat: some Maintenance Leads may have thought that this survey did not apply to them.

Many JSR Spec Leads and Expert Groups (EG) are trying hard, but we have plenty of opportunity to improve. It is safe to assume that those who did not respond are probably not going above and beyond to meet transparency requirements...or they just extremely busy being transparent :-). If this is the case, let us know about it!

Responses were evenly split across platforms: Java ME: 11, Java SE: 12, Java EE: 13.
Below is a summary of the responses and areas surveyed. The most prevalent methods of transparency utilized include collaborative development, open source development, public speaking/promotion activities and public EG communications. The areas utilized least include regular schedule updates,publishing EG member names and light-weight (eg Twitter) updates.

- EG business conducted on a public alias or discussion forum: 30%

- JSR schedule published and regularly updated: 15%

- Regular (eg, monthly) public drafts published: 18%

- Light-weight updates (Twitter, or similar: 0

- Spec lead blog with frequent updates on JSR activity: 28%

- EG member names are published: 10%

- Specification, Reference Implementation (RI), or Technology Compatibility Kit (TCK) developed on a collaboration website: 62%

- Public issue-tracking: 26%

- Discussion forums or Wikis: 36%

- Open-source development processes for RI or TCK: 49%

- Community update or observer alias on jcp.org: 18%

- Other? (primarily speaking at conferences and events): 44%

How transparent are the JSRs you are involved with? What should we encourage and/or require and how can we reward positive (open and transparent) behavior and/or discourage closed behavior?

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Heather VanCura

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