Sunday Jul 24, 2011

OSCON Java: Already Great

OSCON Java hasn't even officially started, but I can tell you it's already great.

The Community Leadership Summit was on Saturday and Sunday. Community leaders from several different types of communities (software, hardware, medical, library science, personal training, to name a few) discussed issues around building and maintaining communities. Topics included getting a community started, dealing with international communities (more than just time zone challenges), open source licensing, what is it that community managers actually do, dealing with difficult community members, how to justify your existence to upper management (KPIs, anyone?), and sexual harrassment at technical conferences and in online communities (Tim O'Rielly just posted Sexual Harassment at Technical Conferences: A Big No-No). The first day ended with some wonderful stand up comedy by Sumana Harihareswara, specifically for a techie audience ("Was anyone else disappointed to learn that the movie Source Code had nothing to do with source code?"). A big tip of the Duke's cowboy hat to the team who made CLS11 happen.

On Sunday was the OSCON JVM Language Symposium. There were lively dicussions about different languages on the Java Virtual Machine.  Jeff Genender said main takeaway from the day was "It's the JVM, stupid!" Sunday evening was the speakers dinner, a time for the speakers to stop tweaking their slides and mingle. It was a great mix of old friends and new acquaintances.

Overheard at the OSCON Java Speakers Dinner

"I've noticed an uptick in demand for Java developers in the last few months."

"I've been up 40 hours straight."

"My session got accepted for JavaOne!"

"Let's get a picture of the Google, Apache and Oracle guys together!"

  Van Riper(Google), Jeff Genender (Apache), Steve Harris (Oracle),
    and Sharat Chander (Oracle) Show Their Community Spirit

and best quote of all:

"You probably don't want to start your talk with "Java sucks" at a Java Conference."

It's already started as a great conference. If you can't be here, the keynotes more will streamed live on the OSCON site. Here's Monday's schedule:

  9:00am - 9:10am     Welcome Laurel Ruma (O'Reilly Media, Inc.), Stephen Chin (GXS)
  9:10am - 9:30am     Open Source, Java, and Oracle – Cracking the Code Steve Harris (Oracle)
  9:30am - 9:45am     Twitter: From Ruby on Rails to the JVM Raffi Krikorian (Twitter)
  9:45am - 10:00am   Working Hard to Keep It Simple Martin Odersky (Typesafe)
10:00am - 10:10am   JDK 7 in a Nutshell Joe Darcy (Oracle)
  7:00pm - 9:00pm    Ignite OSCON

Wednesday Jun 22, 2011

JAX Innovation Awards 2011

The JAX Innovation Awards were presented tonight at the JAX Conference in San Jose, California, to reward those technologies, companies, organizations and individuals that make outstanding contributions to Java.

The winners were:

    •    Most Innovative Java Technology - JRebel
    •    Most Innovative Java Company - Red Hat
    •    Top Java Community Ambassador - Martin Odersky
    •    Special Jury Award - Brian Goetz

In addition to being acknowledged best-in-class by peers from the Java community, winners received $2500 each. The JAXConf team took nominations from the community, had them reviewed by a panel of independent experts to create a shortlist, which was then voted on by the Java community.
"The java culture inspires innovation" said Sebastian Meyen, JAX Conference Chair, "and we are happy to reward that."  

Thursday Jun 09, 2011

Moving to OpenJDK as the Official Java SE 7 Reference Implementation

Some interesting news from Henrik Stahl: Oracle will provide a Java SE 7 Reference Implementation based entirely on OpenJDK and make it available under GPLv2 (with Classpath exception) for open-source implementors (and BCL for commercial implementors).

Henrik also says that the existing TCK license for OpenJDK will be updated to cover Java SE 7.

Read the post in its entirety here.

Wednesday Jun 08, 2011 Update

Did you know it takes a JSR to change the JCP process? JSR 348, titled "Towards a New Version of the Java Community Process," has been approved by both Executive Committees, who will now serve as the Expert Group for this JSR. The Early Draft Review is planned for early this (Northern Hemisphere) summer 2011.

JSR 348 focuses on changes to the JCP Process Document in the following areas:  transparency, participation, agility and governance. The JCP program office has posted a new article detailing plans for JSR 348 (AKA This article explains the background of the JSR, how to find the project, and how to follow the workings of the JCP Executive Committee and how you can get involved. On the project page you can find instructions for joining the Observer alias, a link to the discussion forum, a document archive and an (upcoming) issue tracker. Now is the time for community members to get involved!


JCP Article: The JCP Program Moves Towards a New Version:
JCP Program Office Blog: How to Participate in JCP.Next
JSR 348: Towards a New Version of the Java Community Process
JSR 348 Project Page

Tuesday Jun 07, 2011

So, What Do You Think of Now? Poll Ends Friday

Today, a guest post from editor-in-chief Kevin Farnham!:

A few months ago, underwent some pretty major changes: we migrated to a new project infrastructure (Kenai), and we switched to a modernized Web look and feel. The Kenai infrastructure brought many benefits to projects, including the Subversion and Git version control systems, and JIRA issue and project tracking. And, as I wrote about in my last blog post, Sonatype's Nexus Maven service is also now available for projects.

Given a fairly small team, I think we've come a long way in a relatively short time. But, that's just my opinion. What do you think? Our current poll asks that specific question:

Now that you're accustomed to it, what do you think of the new

We're in the final days of the poll (it will close on Monday), so get your vote in now. Also, feel free to post a comment expressing your view in greater detail.

We need your input!

Thursday Jun 02, 2011

JCP Reform and What It Means for the Java Developer

The London Java Community (represented by Ben Evans) was recently elected to the Executive Committee of the Java Community Process (open election seat). In the blog post below (originally published here), Ben and LJC co-leader Martijn Verburg share their thoughts about the impact of pending JCP reforms on Java developers. We couldn't have summarized it better ourselves:

Earlier this month, the LJC, aka the London Java User Group (JUG) became the first JUG to be elected to an open seat on the Java Standard Edition/Enterprise Edition Executive Committee (Java SE/EE EC in short). In this post, we’ll explain what the forthcoming changes to the Java Community Process (JCP) mean and how the LJC intends to help with the process of reform at the SE/EE Committee level.

What is the JCP? What is a JSR? What is the Executive Committee?

The JCP is the process by which new versions of Java and standardized Java technologies are produced. The process involves the use of a standardized set of documents which define the new technology. These are referred to as Java Specification Requests (JSRs). A JSR must also include:

  • A Reference Implementation (RI)
  • A Testing Compatibility Kit (TCK)

JSRs are usually referred to by their number – so for example the effort to define generics (which ultimately made its way into Java 5) was JSR 14, and the Java Persistence API (JPA) v2.0 was JSR 317. There are even JSRs for the new versions of Java itself! For example, JSR 336 defines what will be in Java SE 7.

The body which is responsible for deciding which JSRs can become official Java standards is the Executive Committee, which is made up of a number of corporations, exceptional individuals and interested parties – including ourselves, Oracle, IBM, Fujitsu, Google, Red Hat and others.

We’ll be putting up a post in the very near future which explains how our participation in the EC will work – but we want to hear your views about the issues facing the community – so we can do the best job of representing you that we can.

Every JSR goes through the same lifecycle, as shown in the diagram.

How to become a JCP member

You can become a JCP individual member very easily and you can also join as part of a corporate, academic, non-profit or JUG organisation (LJC members, please sign up!). This is the first step you should take to get involved. It’s actually very easy to join, see the JCP home page for instructions –

It’s not as easy to get involved in a JSR as we’d like

Currently it can be quite difficult to get involved in some of the JSRs. Under existing rules, parts or even all of a JSR can effectively be run in private, making it impossible for outsiders to join. Most JSRs run at least partly in the open, but several don’t.

There is also a tendency to come up with a TCK and RI quite late in the process, which doesn’t allow the wider community to actually ‘play’ with the proposed JSR and give meaningful feedback.

Some JSRs are simply just deeply technical and only real experts can get involved early on, but that’s just the nature of the beast of something like JSR-292 (the new invokedynamic bytecode for the JVM).

But you should still jump on in

That said there are several JSRs which are run in the open and do solicit feedback with early RI’s and TCKs. Please visit the JCP home page and browse through the JSRs on the left hand menu. Each JSR page will list their public mailing lists, issue trackers etc. Simply join the mailing list, say hello and ask how you can help out (even though you’re not necessarily a domain expert).

JSR-107 (Caching) is an example of a recently revived JSR that’s running out in the open and is happy to receive help (big and small) from Java enthusiasts.

In the coming weeks, we’ll be explaining which JSRs are currently active – so people could participate in right now. We’re also about to see the work for JDK 8 kick off in earnest. This is a really great time to start thinking about how you could get involved.

If you have questions, or want to know more – please comment here, or start a thread on the LJC mailing list. We really want to help and encourage as many people to get involved as possible – and there’s lots of help available.

Things are about to get better!

This is a massive time of change in the Java ecosystem and during times of change you have the best chance to positively influence the outcome.

Oracle is working very hard to make the JCP and JSRs more open. Despite much anti-Oracle publicity, they really are trying hard (see JSR 348 comments below). Sure, there’s still plenty of areas that we’d like to see the process work differently (and we’ll be advocating for those), but our experience so far has been very positive and we think there’s real potential for some very constructive change.

For the first time, two JUGs are on the EC (us & SouJava – The Brazilian JUG). This means that the world wide developer community (9-10 million) has direct representation for the first time

JSR 348 has just been announced which is going to take great strides to open up the JCP, the Expert Groups (EGs) and just the overall ecosystem of standards. We implore you to get involved and send in feedback, whether its to us, your local JUG leader or through hte official JCP channels (see the contact us on at

The LJC and many other EC and EG members are very firmly in the camp of making JSRs more accessible to everyone. As well as enforcing openness via JSR 348, we also see a very real chance to have each JSR really engage with the community. We’re going to try and work with JSR EGs to see how we can raise their profile, make them really easy to access etc. Something along the lines of running a successful open source project is what we’re looking at.

Phew, long post. But there’s a reason for that, we’re really excited about the future! :)

Ben (@kittylyst) & Martijn (@karianna)

Thursday May 19, 2011

JVM Language Summit Set for July 18-20

The 2011 JVM Language Summit -- an open technical collaboration among language designers, compiler writers, tool builders, runtime engineers, and VM architects -- is set for July 18-20 on Oracle's Santa Clara campus.

The agenda includes:

  • Three days of technical presentations and conversations about programming languages and the JVM
  • Prepared talks by numerous visiting language experts, OpenJDK engineers, and other Java luminaries
  • Many opportunities to visit and network with your peers
  • Da Vinci Machine Project memorabilia. (Useful for proving, to your grandchildren, that you were there.)
  • Dinner at a local restaurant, such as last year’s Faultline Brewing Company
  • A chance to help shape the future of programming languages on the JVM

For a taste, view the technical session video that we captured last year. Sessions will be recorded and published this year, as well.

For more information and to register, visit We hope to see you there!

Tuesday May 17, 2011

Oracle Introduces New Java Specification Requests to Evolve Java Community Process

To further its commitment to the Java Community Process (JCP), Oracle has submitted the first of two Java Specification Requests (JSRs) to update and revitalize the JCP.

The two new "" JSRs, which will go through the same JSR development process that is used for Java technologies, will define the next iteration of the JCP and involve changes to help broaden transparency of Java technology development, improve procedures, increase agility, and encourage new community participation. JSR 1 will produce a new version of the JCP Process document and a formalized Executive Committee Members' Guide and is expected to be completed and approved within about six months. Some changes include:

  • Requiring all Expert Group (EG) operations to be carried out in public forums
  • Increasing the transparency of the recruiting process for Expert Group members to ensure that all applications are fairly considered
  • Exploring ways to enable all JCP members to participate in EC activities through public teleconferences, meetings, e-mail aliases and discussion forums
  • Determining how to disclose TCK testing process results, for example publishing lists of compatible implementations on and by removing any barriers to the disclosure of test results

 See more details in the press release.

Thursday May 12, 2011

Tips for JavaOne 2011 Session Submissions

Thinking about submitting a session for JavaOne 2011? That's great! Here are some tips that will help your JavaOne submission stand out:

  • Write an abstract that is easy to read and describes the value of the presentation. Do explicitly mention what is being discussed during the session rather than making a blank marketing or strategy pitch. For example, include mention of demonstration, case study, customer/partner participation, quantitative facts, etc.
  • Submissions should be:
    •     Java-related topics (not technologies such as Flex, .NET, Objective C, etc... unless it's specifically a topic about how such things INTEGRATE with Java)
    •     Non-product pitches (JavaOne is a technology conference!)
    •     Interesting/innovative uses of Java (be creative!)
    •     Practical relevant case studies/examples/practices/etc. (showcase your skills!)
    •     Presentations should offer a unique solution

The last tip is a great reminder: it's not the Java technology itself that matters, but how Java solves a problem. That should be your focus. Learn more tips by visiting the JavaOne Call For Papers website, it has a whole page of Tips and Guidelines.

While these are all good tips to make your submission stand out, the most important tip we can give is make sure to get your submissions in on time. The JavaOne 2011 Call for Papers closes on May 23!

Tuesday May 10, 2011

Congrats to the new Java Community Process Executive Committee Members

We bring you this message from Patrick Curran, Chair of the Java Community Process:

The results are in... the 2011 JCP Executive Committee Special Election has officially concluded. I'd like to thank all of the nominees for their interest and participation in the election, and to congratulate the four new EC Members.

On the SE/EE EC:

  • Ratified seats: Goldman Sachs, SouJava - terms end 2013
  • Open Seat Election: London Java Community - term ends 2012
On the ME EC:

  • Open Seat Election: Alex Terrazas - term ends 2011
The new EC members take their seats today -- Tuesday, May 10.

For complete results, see


Insider News from the Java Team at Oracle!

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