JavaOne 2011 Wrap-up
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JCP.next Encourages the Community
One of the specifications of greatest interest among JCP members and other observers was JSR 348, Towards a New Version of the Java Community Process, which was close to Final Release. During the week of JavaOne 2011, the JCP community had plenty of opportunities to ask questions, get answers, and make suggestions about how the program can be improved.
During the October 2 panel discussion, on JUGs and the JCP, Chair of the JCP, Patrick Curran explained that the JCP constitution -- comprising the JSPA and Process Document -- can only be changed through the usual formal standards process. To update the program, the JCP Executive Committee (EC) became the Expert Group that would collect feedback and specify changes, addressing the easiest concerns around transparency, particiaption, and agility right away through JSR 348, then working on consolidting the EC from two EC s into one, and after that a JSR that would focus on modifying the JSPA.
Later that afternoon at the first open-to-the-public Executive Committee meeting, about twenty EC representatives were on hand to address questions brought by the community. Members of the community attended to get a glimpse of the EC operating with a new degree of transparency. After the roll call, for example, representatives openly expressed frustration over the underrepresented ME side of the EC, a chronic pattern that will be addressed once JSR 348 is approved. The JSR 348 revision formalizes the group’s ability to replace EC members who repeatedly fail to show up.
Through it all, the EC “used the process to change the process,” not just in terms of following the usual JCP timeline, but also by implementing and therefore testing the very transparency behaviors they are mandating. The group published their work materials and minutes out in the open. They also used the same tools they were recommending at Java.net, including an issue tracker to catalog, address, and close all comments and feedback.
All of the EC representatives appeared enthusiastic about the changes and wanted to assure the audience that good has been done. For example, Victor Grazi of Credit Suisse said, “The protest exit of Apache…was related to openness. I joined to watch this, and I’m satisfied it’s open to participate, not just controlled by Oracle.”
During the meeting, all questions and suggestions submitted from the floor were taken seriously. Some had been addressed in the new specification, others were new ideas to consider. Patrick noted some action items of ideas to incorporate in JCP.next or address in other ways. The EC appeared pleased with the audience participation. Mike DeNicola, EC representative for Fujitsu, recommended making the Q&A a regular event at JavaOne.
More issues were aired at the “JCP and the Developer Community” session hosted by Patrick Curran, Martijn Verburg (EC Member and JUG Leader), Bruno Souza (EC Member, Java Champion and JUG Leader), EC member Scott Jameson (HP), and Reza Rahman (Java EE Expert Group member).
Specific issues brought up by audiences at both sessions had to do with:
JSR 348 can mandate changes in behavior, but adjustments in attitude are harder to dictate. Nevertheless, the majority of the JCP community is up for it. According to Bruno Souza, EC representative of the SouJava JUG, “We haven’t had any comments that we’ve gone too far, only complaints that 348 doesn’t go far enough. We need to keep moving.”