Friday Jun 08, 2012

JCP.next.3: time to get to work

As I've previously reported in this blog, we planned three JSRs to improve the JCP’s processes and to meet our members’ expectations for change.

The first - JCP.next.1, or more formally JSR 348: Towards a new version of the Java Community Process - was completed in October 2011. This focused on a small number of simple but important changes to make our process more transparent and to enable broader participation. We're already seeing the benefits of these changes as new and existing JSRs adopt the new requirements.

organization

However, because we wanted to complete this JSR quickly we deliberately postponed a number of more complex items, including everything that would require modifying the JSPA (the legal agreement that members sign when they join the organization) to a follow-on JSR.

The second JSR (JSR 355: JCP Executive Committee Merge) is in progress now and will complete later this year. This JSR is even simpler than the first, and is focused solely on merging the two Executive Committees into one for greater efficiency and to encourage synergies between the Java ME and Java SE platforms.

Continuing the momentum to move Java and the JCP forward we have just filed the third JSR (JCP.next.3) as JSR 358: A major revision of the Java Community Process. This JSR will modify the JSPA as well as the Process Document, and will tackle a large number of complex issues, many of them postponed from JSR 348. For these reasons we expect to spend a considerable amount of time working on it - at least a year, and probably more.

The current version of the JSPA was created back in 2002, although some minor changes were introduced in 2005. Since then the organization and the environment in which we operate have changed significantly, and it is now time to revise our processes to ensure that they meet our current needs.

JCPWe have a long list of topics to be considered, including the role of independent implementations (those not derived from the Reference Implementation), licensing and open source, ensuring that our new transparency requirements are implemented correctly, compatibility policy and TCKs, the role of individual members, patent policy, and IP flow.

The Expert Group for JSR 358, as with all process-change JSRs, consists of all members of the Executive Committees. Even though the JSR has just been filed we started discussions on the various topics several months ago (see the EC's meeting minutes for details) and our EC members - including the new members who joined within the last year or two - are actively engaged. Now it's your opportunity to get involved.

As required by version 2.8 of our Process (introduced with JSR 348) we will conduct all our business in the open. We have a public java.net project where you can follow and participate in our work. All of our deliberations will be copied to a public Observer mailing list, we'll track our issues on a public Issue Tracker, and all our documents (meeting agendas and minutes, task lists, working drafts) will be published in our Document Archive.

We're just getting started, but we do want your input. Please visit us on java.net where you can learn how to participate.

Let's get to work...

Monday Apr 04, 2011

A tale of two cities

Houses of ParliamentI recently returned from conferences in London and Las Vegas.

At the QCon conference in London I hosted a panel discussion on The JCP and the future of Java with Jerome Dochez (GlassFish Architect from Oracle,) Peter Pilgrim (Java Champion and former JUG leader,) Stephen Colbourne (Java Champion and JSR 310 Spec Lead,) Ben Evans (author and JUG leader) and Mark Little (JCP Executive Committee member from RedHat.) The session was well-attended, and Paris - Las Vegas stylethe discussion was mostly focused on technical matters rather than - as in previous years - on "what's wrong with the JCP." I took this as a positive sign.

After the panel I recorded a video interview with Charles Humble from InfoQ in which we discussed the history of the JCP, where we are now, and where we're going. You can view it here

From London I flew to Paris Las Vegas for the ServerSide Symposium. In addition to an Ask the Oracle Executives panel I participated in another panel discussion with the more provocative title The Java Community Process: What's Broken and How to Fix It. My fellow-panelists were James Gosling (who of course needs no introduction) and Reza Rahman (author and JCP Expert Group member for Java EE 6 and EJB 3.1.)

The moderator - Cameron McKenzie, Editor in Chief of the ServerSide.com - asked some tough questions but ensured that the discussion was fair and balanced. (You can read summaries here and here.) There was plenty of audience participation, and two concerns emerged clearly: the need for greater transparency and for more participation from the developer community.

Not coincidentally, these are two of the main themes we'll be pursuing as we proceed with our plans to modify the JCP's processes. More on that in the next post.

 

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Patrick Curran

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