By Heather VanCura on Apr 17, 2014
The JCP Executive Committee (EC) continues to work on improving the JCP program as part of the JCP.Next effort started in 2010. Several JSRs have started going through the process.
First: JSR 348, Transparency aka JCP 2.8 (implemented in 2010-2011).
Second: JSR 355, EC Merge (implemented in 2012-2013).
Third: JSR 358, A major Revision to the Java Community Process. This JSR continues in development. It is difficult since it involves changes of the JSPA and Intellectual Property (IP) -- it is a legal agreement and that means that the lawyers get involved. We continue to work on this effort and we should have something concrete in the next few months. Another area of JSR 358 involves JCP Individual membership. Since January 2013, we have made more progress in this area. In 2005, JCP 2.5 introduced changed to the JCP program that allowed individuals to participate more fully in the JCP program. Over the years Individual Memberships have increased and Corporate Members have decreased. Many companies list the $5000 Membership fee as a barrier, along with consolidation in the Java ecosystem. This shift of the membership also means that there is not an IP contribution from corporations. If you join the JCP as corporation, you contribute your IP, but in the case of an employee joining the JCP as an Individual Member, the corporations don't commit IP. The Individual Member has an Exhibit B signed by their employer, but that is not the same as employer committing IP. This is an issue that needs to be addressed. At the same time, we want to broaden the JCP Membership to better enable more developers to participate in the JCP program. Currently we only have the JSPA. It is is complex legal document, and many individuals and Java User Groups (JUG) don't want to sign it. We would like to try to make membership a simpler thing for both individuals and JUGs. The JCP has been very successful in engaging with JUGs; however, many JUGs are not legal entities. We can have a different agreement with JUGs that does not need to include IP, but an agreement for mutual collaboration to promote Java. The EC decided that these membership related changes could be proposed in a separate JSR apart from the IP related issues that will continue to be discussed in JSR 358.
Which brings us to...
Fourth: JSR 364, Broadening JCP Membership. This JSR was submitted for review last week to address the membership related changes started in JSR 358. We are moving forward quickly to implement changes that will increase Java developer participation, but don't require JSPA changes (ie. no lawyers involved)! Rather than combine IP and membership changes in JSR 358, we have proposed another JSR, aka JCP.Next 4, that will focus only on membership changes to address Individual Membership issues and better support JUGs. Heather VanCura will be the Spec Lead and the JSR will appear on the JCP EC ballot 29 April. The java.net project is publicly accessible with a Wiki home page, discussion forum, observer alias, and an issue tracker (already populated - we'll work primarily from this to track changes to the process document). This JSR will enable more participation, while ensuring we have the appropriate IP commitments. We want to simplify the ability for individuals to participate, without requiring an employer signature. As we discussed in January 2014 at the JUG summit, the transparency requirements introduced in JCP 2.8 facilitate participation, but there are people who want to contribute in a more meaningful way. We are proposing the creation of an Affiliate membership, to enable broader membership for Java developers who want to contribute and participate on JSRs. In addition, it is great that we have more individuals and JUGs interested and participating in the JCP, but we also need to increase corporate participation in the JCP program. This JSR will eliminate the fees for corporations to join the JCP progam, and we'll put efforts into recruiting corporations. Leading a JSR is a considerable effort, and it is almost impossible for an individual to do it alone. We need more corporations to support the efforts of the Java community. The EC Individuals Working Group has been discussing these proposals over the past year. Now that we have submitted the JSR for approval, we plan to have an Early Draft Review of JSR 364 in June of this year, and our goal is to try to complete the JSR in calendar year 2014.
Please provide your comments, input and questions to the java.net project!