Aaron Williams, the Spec Lead of JSR 215 which defines JCP 2.6, explains the changes in the new version of the process.
Q: What are the main changes with JCP 2.6?
AW: JCP 2.6 introduces several important improvements to the Java Community
Process. First, under JCP 2.6, JSRs are required to have a transparency
plan, and to operate with regard to that plan. This will ensure both
community members and the public have greater visibility than ever
before into the challenges and decisions of the Expert Group. Second,
under JCP 2.6, JSRs are provided with an initial public review that does
not have a ballot by the EC after it. This will encourage JSRs to go to
review earlier in the cycle and encourage them to take more input from
the community and the public. Finally, under JCP 2.6, the PMO and the
Executive Committees are providing more help and guidance than ever
before to ensure Spec leads have all of the information and tools they
need to be successful. This will encourage a more diverse group of Spec
Leads and ensure that each JSR is producing the highest quality spec
Q: How will these changes effect JSRs?
AW: We expect these changes have three main effects on JSRs. First, we
expect JSRs under JCP 2.6 to become more transparent, to the community
and the public. This includes making more drafts of the spec available
and providing more insight into decisions the Expert Group has made.
Second, we expect JSRs to move more quickly through the process. By
moving the ballot to the second review period, we expect JSRs to get to
their first review more quickly, and getting to that first review has
statistically taken the longest for JSRs in the past. Finally, we
expect this produce higher quality specs, RIs and TCKs. By including
more people in the review process, and providing more guidance to Spec
Leads, these changes should enable JSRs to complete with all of the
Q: What was the process used to create JCP 2.6?
AW: The PMO filed JSR 215 last Spring and the Executive Committees formed
the Expert Group for the JSR. Since then the PMO has worked with Spec
Leads, community members and the public to refine the proposal. The JSR
was completed at the end of 2003, and the PMO has been working since
then to get the changes implemented in the process and on the jcp.org
Q: When does this take effect? And is it mandatory?
AW: JCP 2.6 takes effect on March 9, 2004. All JSRs currently operating
under version 2.5 of the process will automatically and immediately be
migrated to version 2.6. It is a mandatory change. There are a few
JSRs that have finished Community Review (under 2.5) and have not yet
reached Public Review. These JSRs will automatically migrate to version
2.6 after their Public Review. This ensures that no JSRs is forced to
have an extra ballot.
Q: Who benefits most from these changes?
AW: Everyone involved in the JCP benefits. The public will now have access
to an earlier review, with more time to comment on and monitor JSRs.
Community members will also have increased access to drafts of the specs
as well as more encouragement and opportunity to become more involved in
the JSRs - either as an Expert Group member or Spec Lead. Members of
the Expert Groups and Spec Leads will have more comments and more input
to their JSRs, helping create a more robust spec. They will also have
more guidance from the PMO and the Executive Committees on how to
operate their JSR and how to ensure tricky things, like the TCK, are