The JCP at QCon 2008

Westminster AbbeyHello from London, where I'm attending the QCon 2008 conference. I'm glad to have the opportunity to spend a few days in London - I used to live here many years ago, but haven't had much chance to visit in recent years. The conference is in the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, just over the road from Westminster Abbey. It's a very nice facility - comfortable, excellent catering, and the conference is well-organized.

Yesterday I led a panel discussion on the subject of Open Source and Open Standards with Stephen Colebourne - an "individual" spec lead, Rod Johnson - the creator of the Spring framework, who ran for election to the JCP's Executive Committee (EC) last year, Mark Little - who represents RedHat on the EC, Peter Pilgrim - founder of the London Java Web User Group, and Dalibor Topic - from kaffe and Classpath. (To learn more about the panel members see the description of the event on the QCon website.)

The participants were chosen to provide a cross-section of the "non-corporate" members of the Java community and for their interest in open source. We explored the synergies and tensions between open source and the standards process, and the possibilities for individuals, Java User Groups, and open-source groups to get involved in the JCP.

The session was well-attended, and the discussion was lively. On the whole people were supportive of the JCP, and believe in the importance of the work we do. It was argued that both open source and open standards have their place, and that they can and often do complement each other. (Open source methodologies enable feedback from real-world users, thereby improving specifications, while standardization encourages adoption and interoperability.) Some members of the panel and the audience expressed familiar concerns - that the process is weighted against individuals, that we need to be more open and transparent, and that we should adopt open-source development and licensing models for Reference Implementations and conformance test suites (TCKs). I'll be sure to take this feedback into account as we work to evolve the JCP over the coming months.

A video recording of the discussion will eventually be posted to the web (I'll let you know when.) In the meantime, you can see a couple of pictures here.

This evening I'll be leading an informal session during which I will meet with various Java User Group leaders. More on this tomorrow.

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Patrick Curran

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