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JCP 2.6 to "Open Up the Process"

JCP 2.6 to "Open Up the Process"

(May 29, 2003) - Late last week, Sun Microsystems started briefing everyone on the changes that will be implemented in version 2.6 of the JCP. In this revised version of the JCP are plans to increase both the transparency and the level of involvement in the process. "We want to make the process more transparent" stated Aaron Willams of Sun Microsystems, the Spec Lead for JSR 215.

To achieve this, the JCP specifies the addition of the new role of Observer to be added to the process. This should allow community members to "stand in the shallow end," said Aaron Williams. He then went on to explain that this would allow experts who don't have the time to fully participate to still play a role in the process. He also added that it would allows others community members who were not experts to observe and in doing so, be able to see the process before becoming further involved.

The changes will also make the Spec Leads more accountable to the Executive Committee by requiring them to issue quarterly reports. The Executive Committees would also be allowed to appoint observers to the Expert Group. "This will help the EC voting process," said Aaron. This will keep the EC up-to-date on the workings of a JSR's EG.

Other changes include the opening up for the first review to all participants. "We found that there is no benefit to limiting the scope of the review" was the comment from Aaron. "The first review will open up the process to more participants." He went on to comment that "we want to remove the pressure" on the Spec Leads to get it right the first time.

The JSR includes provision for the greater protection of the Java language, mandating that all changed to the language me approved with a super majority in the Execute Committee. "We want to make sure that changes to the language get a little more scrutiny," states Aaron.

In evolving the JCP, Sun Microsystems aims to "make JCP an even more transparent community," provide "early access to information to a broader Java developer audience," and "enhance the collaboration among members and Java developers at large."

Note: A complete overview of JCP 2.6 will appear in an upcoming JDJ issue.

More Stories By Kirk Pepperdine

Kirk Pepperdine has more than 10 years of experience in OO technologies. In edition to his work in the area of performance tuning, Kirk has focused on building middleware for distributed applications.

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Most Recent Comments
Amit 06/01/03 01:08:00 PM EDT

Can you please provide me information about how to go about inorder to become SUN java certified.


John Harby 05/30/03 10:25:00 AM EDT

I think you have to look at this from the vendor side as well. In the current model, their IP is protected by legal agreement. If the JSRs were to open up to the public I feel that many vendors would drop out and this would not be conducive to standardization. There are plenty of open source venues such as SourceForge and open source projects can use those.

Bill Burke 05/29/03 12:54:00 PM EDT

I'd like to see the JCP really open up the Expert committees. The JCP mail list should be publicly viewable and design discussions should be held on a public forum. Reference implementations should be made open-source so that the Java community can critique, bug fix, and submit features. The JCP should tap the power of the Java community rather than relying on vendors within the Expert committee.

JBoss and other SourceForge.net already have a totally open development process. Project task lists, bug lists, and design forums allow any developer to contribute.

Its time that Sun and the JCP start learning from the success of open-source development.