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JCP Birthday Party: 10 Years Old and Counting
By Susan Mitchell

A look back through the most recent ten-year window of global history shows the rapid rise and fall of economies, visionaries, products, companies, and computer languages. That the Java Community Process (JCP) program has thrived through such a roller coaster decade says a lot about the value it offers the marketplace and its agility in meeting the demand for Java standardization.

The welcome desk
To celebrate these 10 years of JCP success, the Program Management Office (PMO) threw a birthday party, held at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California. The museum's visual homage to techie greatness provided the perfect atmosphere for entertaining 100 or so guests at the January 13th evening reception of drinks, appetizers, desserts, and fun.

A representative sample of JCP members had been invited, along with individuals who played a particularly influential role in helping the organization succeed in its mission. Included among the guests were most of the members of the current Executive Committees, who had met together earlier in the day for a face-to-face meeting. Some Sun executives and many Java User Group (JUG) members from the Silicon Valley JUG, San Francisco JUG, and Oakland JUG also participated.

In some cultures, the person having the birthday treats the guests to some form of a gift. The PMO took advantage of this tradition, offering free JCP membership to JUGs through 28 February 2009. During the JCP's birthday month, JUGs all over the world are invited to join the JCP community for free, waiving the normal $2000 fee required of educational/non-profit organizations. As part of JUG-USA, the Silicon Valley JUG has already joined this year, along with the Japan JUG, Polish JUG, and Lunatech Research JUG of France. BeJUG of Belgium and Sou Java of Brazil are already members. How many JUGs will be members in another ten years?

Participants' gifts
The PMO continued to live up to their reputation for giving away fun party favors -- SIM backup devices and iPod speakers. Two winners of the substantial door prizes also walked away with nice packages. Kay Glahn, winner of the first prize (wireless mouse, a mini USB hub, and JCP pen) working with Vodafone Group Services Limited, is a co-Spec Lead of Java Specification Requests (JSRs) 248/249, Mobile Service Architecture (MSA1 2). Kay, who lives in Munich, Germany, was in the area for the EC meeting. I was impressed by running into a lot of people I know and also by the nice location and the well organized party, he said.

James Gosling
Rob Gingell
The best part of the lighthearted evening really was in the intermingling of Java enthusiasts of all stripes. James Gosling was among the luminaries who showed up, along with Joshua Bloch, author of the must-read Effective Java , now in its second edition. Former JCP chairs Rob Gingell and George Paolini arrived, too, with memories of the community's early years.

Patrick Curran
Patrick Curran, now chair of the JCP program, spoke briefly to thank the PMO for organizing the event and to encourage those gathered to check out the exhibits and get acquainted with each other. He noted that Java technology would not be where it is today -- on billions of devices, with millions of developers -- if it weren't for the hard work of the JCP community. He acknowledged that the organization had changed quite a bit over the years, but the fundamental principle on which it was founded had remained consistent. When we collaborate to develop technologies, we grow the market and everybody wins, he said. Patrick wrapped up by calling for a toast:

Click here to see a complete photo album of the party...

Happy birthday to the JCP, and here's to the next ten years!