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JavaOne 2012 JCP Wrap-Up: Platform Evolution and JCP Enthusiasm

Java Community Process members, Spec Leads, and Executive Committee (EC) members rolled up their sleeves and got to work together in San Francisco at JavaOne 2012.

See our photos from JavaOne 2012.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

The JCP Public Executive Committee (EC) Face-to-Face Meeting launched the week's activities. The ECs gathered and discussed directional and strategic issues in the grand Clift Hotel.

Several JCP EC members arrived fully informed. Since the EC had met three weeks prior in Prague for a Face-to-Face Meeting, no surprises were expected during the week. Last year at JavaOne, the EC answered questions from over 50 Java developers, but this year most Java developers seem to be satisfied with the progress the JCP EC is making with the JCP.Next effort. Therefore, EC Members focused on discussing plans for the week of JavaOne, and socializing with those present.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Most of the JavaOne activities were in the San Francisco Union Square Hilton, and almost everywhere you went, there were streams of badged Java developers, thousands of them, all focused on one platform. You could feel the energy. There was constant movement through the hallways, the sounds of dozens of live demos echoing across the Grand Ballroom, and the low, loud roar of laughter coming from hundreds of people just on the other side of the wall. It was a thrilling environment to experience.

Serving the Java Community: That's Our Job

The JCP offered presentations and held lively Q&A sessions in the Oracle Technology Network (OTN) Java DEMOgrounds. Everyone was encouraged to get involved in shaping the direction for Java in the future. Most were content to relax in a soft chair and recharge their laptops. Patrick Curran, Spec Lead of JSR 358, JCP.Next, presented a discussion that opened a wide range of questions from both new and veteran JCP members. JCP.Next is a series of three JSRs (JSR 348, JSR 355 and JSR 358) that have turned out to be particularly significant and relevant to the JCP community.

The same interactive open discussions at the JavaOne BoF session directly following, Reinvigorating Java Standards, showed the community's desire to get involved, be heard, and help guide the process through JCP.Next, JSR 358. Ben Evans (London Java Community), Mike Milinkovich (Eclipse), Werner Keil, Scott Jameson (HP) and Patrick Curran led the discussion.

Ben Evans, CEO of jClarity and a representative of the London Java Community, pointed out the "tightrope walk" between the need for platform innovation and the need for consistent compatibility requirements. He's concerned with protecting developers and the value of their works downstream. "We need to keep a close eye on those factors," he said in his interview with Java Magazine, conducted by Janice Heiss. The next day, at the 10th Annual JCP Awards Party, Ben Evans' London Java Community and SouJava shared the JCP Member/Participant of the Year award.

Ben's concern was echoed by several EC members and Spec Leads during this session and afterward. The complexities of licensing, rights, corporate interests vs. individual developers, progress vs. stability, and Oracle's role in the JCP are all in play here. And the major policy players were here deciding how to make it work for the long term - perhaps the next decade.

It's obvious that the EC members and JCP Members are incredibly dedicated Java technologists, seeing the platform evolve at the highest levels. In this role, they're tasked with working through issues that are outside the typical engineer's comfort zone.

The next step forward brings a significant change to the process: "Now we bring in the attorneys." That's because the next step addresses the open issues in licensing and property rights that have significant legal implications for sole developer as well as the largest corporate licensees.

The first phase of JCP.Next was JCP 2.8 (JSR 348), which reached Final Release late in 2011. The second phase, JCP Executive Committee Merge (JSR 355) hit Final Release in August 2012. The third and final phase of JCP.Next, A Major Revision of the Java Community Process (JSR 358), is unlike the first two.

"The first two, now done, took care of the relatively easy issues to solve and deliver," says Heather VanCura. "Now, we will make changes that affect the Java Specification Participation Agreement (JSPA), which specifies the legal agreement and obligations with the Java Community Process members."

High-stakes scrutiny shall rule the final phase, and every word of the entire package will have to make sense and align with the interests of both attorneys and developers.

Patrick Curran, JCP Chair, and the Spec Lead on JCP.Next, agrees, "It's working out the details, even though the addition of legal advisors will make it more complex. We want this version to last a very long time."

Support Your Java User Groups, Adopt-a-JSR and the JCP: Quick Tips to Encourage Participation

One of the most energetic JCP sessions was co-led by Bruno Ferriera De Souza, of SouJava, Heather VanCura, representing the JCP program office, and Martijn Verburg, representing the London Java Community.

They fired up the audience with '101 Ways to Improve Java: Why Developer Participation Matters'. They are all wildly enthusiastic about the JCP and do a great job of spreading the word wherever they go. In this session, they presented ways to support JUGs around the world, how to get involved in the Adopt-a-JSR program and ways to participate through the JCP program. They even brought beer to the session for everybody. "Let people have fun, it really helps," said Bruno.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Meet the JCP Executive Committee (EC) Candidates

After more demonstrations in the Java DEMOgrounds, the staff of the JCP Program Management Office (PMO) provided drop-in Q&A sessions for conference attendees.

JCP Program Manager, Harold Ogle, offered specific advice for Spec Leads to-be. Thomas Rafael Modeneis was particularly interested. He works for IBM and came to the conference as a representative of SouJava in Brasil.

"I think there are great opportunities to help move Java ahead through the JCP," he said. "I'm excited." A few hours later, at the 10th Annual JCP Awards Party, SouJava and the London Java Community won the JCP Member/Participant of the Year Award.

Mike DeNicola, last year's JCP Member/Participant of the Year winner, talked about the importance of industry relations with the JCP and the specifics of the JSR agreements. "It's hard to get a dozen people in one room to agree on something that's so important to the corporations they each represent," he said.

As a seasoned EC member, Mike's industry relations role at Fujitsu is dedicated to navigating a delicate balance of interests. "That is one of the big challenges ahead for the JCP. As we work through JSR 358 (A Major Revision of the Java Community Process), we will need to bring in the attorneys to ensure the provisions are correct. That will take the next two years or so."

Naoko Hamamoto, a JCP Program Manager, and Heather VanCura, the JCP Group Manager, helped facilitate the conversation with the attendees and answer questions.

Here was everyone's opportunity to hear comments from the nominated EC candidates, on the crest of the annual elections. The community showed up and made it a valuable session of insights on the way the JCP and the EC can best support the community. All of the nominees and their nomination information is available on the 2012 EC Nominees Page of and will appear on the ballot for JCP Members running 16 October - 29 October, with results available on 30 October. Listen to the JCP EC Meet the Candidates Call from 18 October.

It's Party Time: Bring out the 10th Annual JCP Awards

The ultra-chic Infusion Lounge on Ellis Street was the setting for the rest of the evening, and the rest of the JavaOne conference for the JCP Program Office.

Imagine over a hundred smart, energetic, wildly enthused JCP community members who really enjoy each other's company, in a psychedelic neon night club. Toss in a pro DJ (all digital), platters of gourmet appetizers, and an open bar with three bartenders, and you've got a party. Champagne seemed to be the favorite drink of the evening.

Meet the Award Winners

These hard-working people have earned the top honors in the 10th Annual JCP Awards ceremony:

  • JCP Member/Participant of the Year: London Java Community and SouJava
  • Outstanding Spec Lead: Victor Grazi, Credit Suisse
  • Most Significant JSR: JCP.Next, Patrick Curran, Spec Lead
Congratulations to the winners and to the nominees. We have profiles of the all nominees available.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

At the Java Community Keynote

The JCP program is a central support hub for Java User Groups (JUG) worldwide. The leader of one of those groups, Martijn Verburg, came onstage in this keynote to discuss his group, the London Java Community's activities and the "Adopt-a-JSR" program.

The London Java Community is a Duke's Choice Award winner and this year's JCP Member/Participant of the Year Award winner.

"We started as London developers looking for more excitement than our jobs," he said. "We just wanted to meet in a pub and talk about technology."

His group grew quickly, and they discovered more interest than they expected. So they focused on helping Java developers in JUGs around the world to connect, at first through email lists. And it worked again better than they expected.

He explains that they did a lot of complaining about the standards. "We used bad language, and the JCP reached out to us with an invitation to join them." Maybe they weren't all that evil after all. So after some hesitation, they joined the JCP program. Pretty quickly they were able to use its help to create and promote the "Adopt-a-JSR" program. "It provides ways day-to-day developers can really get involved in a specification."

With a big smile, Martijn adds, "This is your chance to do some exciting stuff with the Java ecosystem. I mean, who doesn't want to play with robots?"

Bruno Souza of SouJava in Brasil, JCP Award Member/Participant of the Year co-winners with the London Java Community, joined Martijn onstage also. He highlighted the untapped potential of connecting culturally diverse JUGs together. "Many programmers around the world can read English, but it's hard for them to communicate with others in English," said Bruno. "It's a lot easier to read the lingua franca of Java code than, say, mailing lists, for example. Because of that, there is a huge wealth of knowledge and insight that just doesn't cross the language gap."

But you can help developers be involved everywhere. "When you get to understand a little about the local cultures, you can help them get involved, and learn what they've learned," he explains. "If you're a speaker on Java, and you travel around, check in with the local JUG in that city. It helps us all to find new ways to connect and collaborate remotely. It brings more people in to make the platform better for everyone." You can watch the Java Community Keynote and a speaker panel featuring other JCP members.

JavaOne 2012 Has Wrapped Up, But We're Still Online for You

Many, many significant events, conversations, and decisions took place at JavaOne this week. Over the next three weeks, we will publish content that will focus on specific topics to bring you up to date, in more detail.