Doug Lea leaves the JCP

Doug Lea recently announced his intention of leaving the JCP Executive Committee and posted a public letter outlining his reasons which you can find here.

Doug is a professor of Computer Science at the State University of New York and has been a prominent independent member of the Java community for a very long time, leading efforts in areas such as Java concurrency. I know that we at Oracle - the Sun Java team, the BEA JRockit team and many Java users in Oracle's software division - greatly value his contributions. I am sad to hear that he has decided to leave the JCP EC, and can only say that I hope that he will still continue to act as a leader in the community. People like Doug are needed to balance the priorities and interests of Oracle and other big corporations.

Doug and a few other members of the community such as Stephen Colbourne have made some very strong statements regarding the JCP. Needless to say, we don't agree with this bleak description of reality. We believe that the JCP is and remains a good organization for ushering the Java standards forward. We agree with the need of continually improving the JCP, and will work on that together with the EC. We also note that the EC contains a diverse set of companies and individuals, many of which are among Oracle's most fierce competitors. We believe that an open, vigorous and sometimes heated debate between conflicting interests and differing opinions is a necessary part of hammering out standards that serve the best interests of Java users, and we are confident that a vast majority of the EC members agree with us on this.

Regarding the JCP, we will very soon submit JSRs for Java SE 7 and 8. And - assuming the EC approves the submissions - will work with other JSR Expert Group members on the details of these specifications.

Doug - If you read this - I am sorry that we have not met in person yet and I hope we can rectify that at some point in the not too distant future. I have a personal goal of making Oracle's decision process around our view on the Java roadmap and our implementation more transparent and predictable and would love to get your input on how to accomplish that.


When people that are so well respected make such a strong criticism, what is needed is action, not talk. This post should have been something like: "in response to the criticism, we believe points x and y are valid concerns and we will take actions a, b and c". Your words are nice, but in the end they are just words. This is intended to be constructive criticism. Good luck in achieving your goals of transparency.

Posted by Anonymous on November 09, 2010 at 06:10 AM PST #

Hi Anonymous, We are taking action. For example, we have agreed with the JCP EC that there is need for reform. We have stated that we want to look at OpenJDK governance. We are reaching out to key community members to discuss their grievances and find common ground which we can rally around. However, we don't want to make one-sided statements on how we want things to be fixed until we have had a discussion. And we don't want to wait until we have a concrete plan to say that "we hear you, we are working on it". We can either communicate early and state high level intent, or we can wait (and stay silent) until we have a concrete plan. Which do you prefer?

Posted by guest on November 09, 2010 at 06:13 PM PST #

Hi Henrik! I've been using Java now and then since 1996. Not so much these days and I'm sure I will not touch it with a pole the next time I need to choose a platform/langueage for my(customer) project. If these two prominent members have opinions, what about listening to them and act. I've just read the statement from the Apache folk and the message is very clear. Do you use Ant? Tomcat? Maven? You get the picture. An I get the picture and so do most of the Java developers out there. Are you trying to tell us that you agree with the actions taken by Oracle over these (JCP) issues? Best Regards

Posted by Björn Sveinbjörnsson on November 09, 2010 at 11:31 PM PST #

thanks henrik good one

Posted by neo on November 11, 2010 at 02:43 PM PST #

hi ive been java architect for 5 years , but now im deciding to leave java world if Oracle continues to do whatever it wants with java . being Open and freedom are the most important factors for me . and thats the point that seprates Java from .Net . anyway i need more transparency from Oracle. i dont believe in oracle anymore , thats all. regards

Posted by Amir on November 12, 2010 at 03:41 AM PST #

I'm sorry to say that I saw this coming. Oracle for many years criticized Sun for not "monetizing" Java, so it stands to reason that once Ellison got his greedly little hands on it that he would start making moves which were detrimental to the entire community and seek to stratify the Java universe by offering a "premium" version for "pay". What he doesn't seem to realize is that Java's popularity is not based on the platform itself, but on the galaxy of projects which have sprung up around it. "Monetizing" a platform which has previously been free and open is going to result in a split. What Oracle will find is that the previously waning free software and open source version of Java (kaffe, gcj, etc) as well as their accompanying class library (classpath) are going to start growing by leaps and bounds as developers abandon the "stratified" platform for the free one. For me, the fact that Java was non-free in the beginning was a threat since it put all of the work I was doing as a java programmer in question. Luckily, my skills are more diverse than just Java. ;) Going forward, though... I'm going to find it personally difficult to work on the Java platform secure in the knowledge that Oracle is trying to control the entire thing. Oracle needs to let go and let the Java platform be what it was supposed to be: A free and open ecosystem which allows software made for it to flourish. If Oracle continues on it's current path they will destroy the very thing they are seeking to capitalize on. Yours Sincerely, Gregory Casamento Lead Developer: GNUstep Project

Posted by Gregory Casamento on November 13, 2010 at 04:39 AM PST #

Oracle do excessively something!.

Posted by fjjiaboming on June 08, 2011 at 08:17 PM PDT #

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Henrik Stahl is VP of Product Management in the Java Platform Group at Oracle, and is responsible for product strategy for Java ME and SE.


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