Monday May 04, 2009

JCP Program JSR Transparency Case Studies

A new Case Study series on Transparency was recently published on, with a focus on collaboration.

Collaboration: Developing the JSR Components on a Hosted Website (Part 3 of 3)

The JSRs featured include JSR 113 (, JSR 231 (JOGL Forum), JSR 241 (, JSR 243 (, JSR 303 (

The first edition of case studies on transparency stressed the need for frequent drafts to the public.  The JSRs featured in this case study describe ways of making drafts of the specification available for download, and include JSR 170 & 283, JSR 308, JSR 310, JSR 321.

Monday Mar 09, 2009

Spec Leads: Are you Active?

In February I presented to the JCP Executive Committee on the Transparency topic again (I also presented on this topic in "at the December EC meeting"; the updated February slides will be posted shortly. One of the action items was to create a new "Inactive" status label for JSRs for non-final JSRs that have not posted a milestone within the last 18 months.

Currently, there are over 300 JSRs, each of which are either in progress, Rejected, Withdrawn, or Final. To this list is added the status "Inactive".

In the "Spec Lead Guide" we talk a little bit more about this stage. A full list of "Inactive JSRs" is available. To summarize, this is a JSR which has an approved JSR proposal but which has both:
a) not produced a Final Release, and
b) not produced another milestone for the last eighteen months

There are currently 49 Inactive JSRs. We will be contacting those JSR Spec Leads over the next 6 months to encourage them to either submit an update to the JSR or withdraw their JSR.

One of the best ways to be transparent in standards development is to publish a draft of your specification. Some case studies on this topic "Downloads: Making Drafts and Collateral Available" have been published on and highlight JSR 283, JSR 308, JSR 310 & JSR 321. What are your thoughts on the Transparency Initiative and in particular, Inactive JSRs?

Invitation for JCP program Specification Leads:
On Wednesday, 11 March 2009 from 8:00-9:00 am. PT the JCP program office will host a conference call meeting for JCP Specification Leads. Periodically the PMO hosts meetings for Spec Leads to both hear from the Program Management Office and to discuss questions and concerns they have about running a JSR with each other. This month's call will have members of the JCP program office to discuss Inactive JSRs. There will be some prepared content/demonstrations, as well as time for you to ask questions and share experiences. Contact the PMO at jcp dot org for more information.

These meetings are recorded and posted on; for instance, the December meeting on Running an Expert Group has recently been made available on the "multimedia page".

Sunday Mar 08, 2009

Happy International Women's Day!

Today marks International Women's Day --a tradition started almost a century ago. In honor, praise and encouragement to the women of the JCP program and the Java technology community, the program office published a feature story on some of the women involved at every level of Java standards development--Spec Lead, Expert Group member, Executive Committee member, developer, JUG member/leader, technical writer and even the program office.

Are you (or do you know of) a woman involved in Java technology standards development?
Let's hear from you!

Friday Mar 06, 2009

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 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?


Heather is a Director of the Java Community Process (JCP) program at Oracle and a leader of the Adopt-a-JSR Programs. She is passionate about the power of community and an advocate of girls and women in technology around the globe. JCP Blog is maintained at: . You can also find her on Twitter @heathervc & @jcp_org .


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