by John Bacon
If the newly elected members of the Java
Community Process (JCP) program
Executive Committees (EC) were issuing report cards, the JCP program would
get good grades in an important subject -
Playing Well With Others. In the IT world, that subject means collaboration
and compatability. The winners in the recently completed EC elections for the Standard/Enterprise Edition (SE/EE) slots were
Apache Software, Borland, Nortel Networks, Google, Jboss and Intel. The Micro
Edition (ME) winners were NTT DoCoMo, Samsung, Research in Motion, Intel and Orange France.
||About the ECs
The Executive Committees (EC), the broad oversight boards chartered to guide the
development and evolution of Java technologies. 2004 represents the fifth annual
EC elections, the ECs were first
elected by the JCP membership in the fall of 2000. There are two ECs.
The Standard/Enterprise Edition (SE/EE) EC oversees the
Java technologies for the desktop/server space (with
responsibility for the J2SE and J2EE specifications). The Micro
Edition (ME) EC that oversees the Java technologies for the
consumer/embedded space(with responsibility for the
J2ME specifications). Each EC has 16 members, 10 Sun nominees that were
ratified by JCP members and 5 elected members from a pool of self-nominated
companies and organizations. Terms are three years. Sun also holds a seat on each committee.
Bill Bourne is a solutions architect for Nortel, which for the first
time represents the telecommunications industry on the SE/EE EC. He says the JCP program
is a mature, efficient, effective process
that is becoming more friendly to alternative business models of collaboration, such as
open-source business processes. "Making Java technology play well
with other software platform architectures
and ensuring that Java technologies play effectively in a utility
computing environment are keys to a productive future," he says.
Bourne says the JCP program is key to avoiding "one of the big productivity
killers in software development, what a friend of mine
calls 're-inventing the flat tire.'" That, Bourne says, "is
re-inventing the wheel, except the re-invention is not as good as the original!"
Takeshi Natsuno is managing director of Multimedia Services for NTT DoCoMo,
a new member of the ME EC that will strengthen Asian-Pacific representation. Natsuno agrees that the JCP
program is crucial to avoding flat tires in technology. "The JCP program is well balanced
and moving quickly to correspond to market demands" he says. "I believe that we can continue
to make great strides."
Led by the EC, JCP program members collaborate to define the Java technology binary
standard leading to compatible implementations and solutions that developers and the industry can trust in areas
such as web services, wireless, tools and vertical industries. The current version,
JCP 2.6, promotes public availability of specifications during their development, ensures the right of Spec Leads
to deliver their technologies under a license of their choosing and ensures broad community
participation in the open development of Java technology standards.
The results speak volumes. About a third of the 250 plus submitted JSRs have completed,
led by over 55 organizations and individuals. They include such advances as two versions of the Java Micro
Edition (CLDC/MID-P), three versions of the Java Standard Edition and three versions
of the Java Enterprise Edition. In addition to Java technology iinterfaces for XML, web services, tools and
vertical industries such as telecommunications.
Still, the representatives agree that much work is left to be done. Marc Fleury founded
Atlanta-based JBoss in 2001 to provide professional services for customers of the open source JBoss Application
Server. Fleury, a new EC member, says the JCP program needs to speed up and be more aggressive
in the technologies it standardizes. "We must make sure that the 'allies' in the Java
camp remain united and resist the urge to go proprietary," he says.
That involves playing well with other developers through the JCP program. "There's
no better way to develop a deep knowledge of a package than to help develop the specs for it," says
Josh Bloch, a Principal Engineer for Google, a new EC member. "You meet lots of
smart and influential men and women on JCP expert groups. They become part of your network."
Read more from the newly elected JCP program EC members below.
Intel: Eric Dittert
Eric Dittert is a Senior Staff Software Engineer in the Corporate
Technology Group at Intel, where he has led or contributed to a number of
advanced software research and development
projects. These have included work in programming languages and systems,
systems management, and security. He says the JCP is already a key provider of technology to the industry, and that
its importance will continue to grow. So being involved, he says, is vital. "Participation in the
process is absolutely the best way to learn what is needed and help make it happen."
Dittert says the JCP is "putting out great specs, but, especially in the J2ME space,
there are several areas in which we could improve: architectural coherence, timeliness --
that is, being ahead of the needs of the market, and
licensing that enables rapid adoption of Java technology."
He believes JTWI (JSR 185) was a start toward architectural coordination,
but "we need to press forward with MSA to ensure that
application developers have a solid, well-known target platform."
On the subject of licensing, Dittert favors transparency and commonality.
"Open, uniform licensing practices would speed up adoption a lot," he says.
"Also, it would be a huge step forward if we, as a community, could find a way to
develop TCKs more efficiently so that they are less of a burden to spec leads and
more cost-effective for independent implementors."
NTT DoCoMo: Takeshi Natsuno
Takeshi Natsuno is Managing Director for Multimedia Services at DoCoMo and was
named one of the world's 25 most influential e-business leaders by Business
Week in 2001. He
has overall responsibility for charting the business strategy of
all multimedia related services of DoCoMo, including i-mode strategic
alliances with global application / content providers and key
Internet players. He says his company's participation is part of DoCoMo's
effort to continuously change to accommodate developers' demand.
"We believe it is most important that
we continue to evolve our platform to attract customers and enlarge
business opportunities for the developer community," Natsuno says.
"I hope we can share this experience with other
members of the community." He
says that as a J2ME expert in the service provider segment, it is important to help
developers actually deploy the technologies for the real market and generate revenue.
Natsuno says there is still an untapped potential market to be
filled with innovative technologies that companies and individuals
can contribute. MSA(JSR-248/249) is one that DoCoMo is considering. "The
most important role JCP process can play is not only encouraging
innovations, but also allowing evolution to fully accomplish a
successful business outcome while maintaining the compatibility."
Orange: Philippe Lucas
Philippe Lucas is director of standardization at Orange and is a member of the
Open Mobile Alliance Board of Directors. He credits the JCP for delivering APIs for mobile phones that drive
games and other services. He says Orange will work to enlarge the community of
companies involved in the JCP process and to make it more open. Orange also wants
to ensure that elements such
as security and billing-related services are addressed, Lucas says. "Orange is
bringing all its technical expertise in this field to ensure that the JCP
works with the community of large developers
so more applications to reach the mobile phones," he said.
Security and certification are the most compelling aspects to be addressed in the JCP,
Lucas says. For example, Orange will strive to make sure that no application can be deployed using
bearer capabilities without customer awareness. This is vital because of the lack of
trust customers could have with third-party application, he says.
In the future, Lucas says he expects the JCP to be play a vital role as usage of
IP based services increases, more attention is paid to increasing data
applications and more of these applications
are deployed in mobile devices. "The platforms to support multimedia must be
simple and reliable to deploy applications in most devices with a large common core," Lucas said. "Otherwise
we won't be able to use the full capabilities and the data applications will
take more time to generate additional revenue for the whole industry."
RIM: Nobuhisa Yoda
Nobuhisa Yoda is Research in Motion's director of Standards and Licensing Japan,
part of the Global Standards team that spearheads technology standards activities at forums around the world. "The
success of the JCP process is evident," Yoda says. He notes that BlackBerry devices are based on
the Java 2 Micro Edition (J2ME) standard, including CLDC and MIDP specifications. "It is
vital to stay focused on providing business and technical solutions that satisfy real customer
requirements and deliver a strong ROI," he says.
Yoda says that as technologies become more sophisticated, the biggest challenge for the
EC is ensuring that the process continues to foster innovative ideas in a co-opertive environment. "As
the need to wirelessly access corporate resources in a secure and efficient manner continues to
grow, there will be an increased use of Java-based mobile devices as part of companies' overall
enterprise solutions," Yoda says. . Accordingly, the community process will need to ensure that
the various technologies that support J2EE, J2SE or J2ME can work together to build an end-to-end
solution that extends robust enterprise systems to mobile environments. To drive this
interoperability, the JCP process must continue to foster openness and innovativeness and also coordinate with
other industry consortia and standards organizations, he says.
Samsung: Young Joo Kim
Young Joo Kim is a vice president at Samsung in charge of the Networked Solutions
Group, the User Interaction Group, the Application
Framework Development Group and the Software Engineer Group. He says changes in the
JCP process have made it a an important and fair process. He says that a practical advantage of EC participation
is that "we can not only take a lead in a new Java application but also
drive a new standard at the same time." In the future, he says to watch out for a convergence
in mobile and home technology along with adaptive service deployment.
Apache Software Foundation: Geir Magnusson
Geir Magnussson is a director at Apache and vice president of both the Geronimo
Project and Java Community Project. "We've seen a continuing trend towards openness,
enabling the open-source community to participate fully in the process by allowing
open-source implementations of the specifications produced by the JCP," Magnusson said. He said
Apache has helped lead these efforts with software such as Apache Tomcat, Apache Axis,
Apache Geronimo, Apache Pluto and other projects that implement JSRs.
Involvement in the EC helps ensure continued innovation and growth of the "Java
ecosystem," he said. "Wide participation of the community in the process ensures the health and relevance
of Java, preserving and
growing the investments we make learning and using the technology," he said.
He said Apache supports open-source (and closed-source) implementations of specifications
that can be created during the spec creation progress to provide real-world feedback
to the expert group. "Generally
speaking, users are some of the best QA you can have," Magnusson said. "They do things
to software that creators never imagined, or have needs never imagined." He credits the
changes of JCP 2.6 with increasing the transparency of the spec creation process giving
users more participation and opportunity for feedback.
The future? "I see that we'll have open-source implementations of the three
'platform versions' of Java - J2EE, J2SE and J2ME," he said. "J2EE has already been achieved." He
said he expects the trend towards more openness will continue. "Previously,
we've been concerned with a licensing and testing regime dedicated to 'protecting the castle' to ensure compatibility
- we have achieved that and can now dedicate more energy to ensuring innovation and progress with Java technology"
Borland: Axel Kratel
Axel Kratel is a senior product manager for the Borland product line. As
the guy responsible for setting the direction of Borland's
Java-based products and solutions, Kratel says he is pleased
that as Java continues to mature, new players have gotten involved, and brought new
technical challenges with them. The JCP has been nimble enough to adapt well to these
changes and has successfully
enabled the continuing evolution of the Java platform. "Participating in the
JCP is a service that members of the community need to provide to keep the community
healthy and moving forward," Kratel
said. "The JCP represents the entire community, and it's in every member's best
interest that the Java platform as a whole remains competitive."
Looking to the future, Kratel says that the JCP needs to address intellectual
property issues and streamline the JSR process. "Over the next few years, the
JCP has a great opportunity to
continue to improve the process around JSRs and to provide faster turn around on
new standards," he said. "The Java platform will expand into new areas and and
serve a much broader
market with a wider range of programming skills."
Google: Joshua Bloch
Joshua Bloch is a Principal Engineer at Google and former Distinguished
Engineer at Sun Microsystems. He led the design and implementation of
numerous Java platform features including the JDK 5.0 language
enhancements and the Java Collections Framework. He is the author of the
bestselling, Jolt Award-winning book, "Effective Java."
"The (JCP Program Management Office) PMO has done a great
job of putting all the right infrastructure in place to make things
run smoothly," Bloch says. He says that "an era of transparency" is
encouraging experts to work together. "I firmly believe that this leads to
the highest quality specs. JSR 166 is a poster child for this
approach," he says. "There's no better way to develop a deep knowledge of a
package than to help develop the specs for it."
Bloch is a big booster of java.util.concurrent. He calls it "the future of concurrent
programming in Java. "I think the next couple of years will see the
rapid adoption of the many new technologies introduced in JDK 5.0, as
developers learn the power of generics, enums, the concurrency
libraries and so on.
Intel: Wayne Carr
Wayne Carr is an architect in Intel's CTG Programming Systems Lab, which
conducts research in areas like virtual machines, garbage collection,
memory management, caching, compilers and parallel computing. Carr is
moving to the J2SE/EE Executive Committee (EC) after representing Intel
on the J2ME EC. Wayne's previous standards work includes standards for
data applications distributed over TV, mobile phone data application
standards, W3C XML Schema, XHTML and W3C Advisory Committee.
Wayne points to the creation of the Executive Committees (EC), EC
approval of all specs, and new requirements that earlier drafts be made
public as examples of improvements that have been made to the JCP
Process over the course of the JCP's history. Wayne believes the JCP
should continue to evolve towards more openness and more democracy in
decision making. For example, the TCK is so central to JCP Specs that
details of the TCK License should be known as a JSR starts so all
implementers know whether they will be able to license the TCK.
Growing pains and all, the JCP has been responsive to the community,
producing a wide variety of high quality specifications, he says. "The
ability to create new core specs like JSR 166 Concurrency Utilities and,
at the same time, to be open to creative, new ideas like JSR 241 Groovy
shows a very good, healthy attitude in the JCP program."
Carr says it is an exciting time for new technologies in Java specs as
the new features in J2SE 5.0 like generics and annotations open up new
possibilities throughout Java. " All the Java platforms will reap the
benefits of these core language changes over the coming years as
benefits move up into J2EE and down into J2ME", he says.
Jboss: Marc Fleury
Marc Fleury developed the first release of JBoss in 1999 while
working as an independent consultant. He founded JBoss, Inc. in 2001 to provide
professional services, including training, support, consulting and documentation, for customers of the open
source JBoss Application Server. "We have seen good work come out of JCP but also
some speed issues in getting relevant technology through the spec committees
and to market," Fleury says. Look for JCP to speed up and be more aggressive in the
technologies it standardizes, he says.
Fleury says that .NET has introduced some good
features such as the possibility to do tag driven development.
"We have responded in the Java camp with the introduction of Java5 and its
support for tags," he says. "And by accelerating the JCP process we can put the
specs back in the driving seat by at least standardizing faster the
innovation that happens out there."
In the future he sees more and smaller specifications, service by
services in order to have shorter cycles and faster timet to market for
standardized innovation. For example specs should be 50 pages max, standardizing one
service as opposed to the current "bible" format, Fleury says. Also the client side of the specification, the models of "rich, thin clients" is going to be increasingly important,
Nortel: Bill Bourne
Bill Bourne has spent most of his 25 years in the software and telecommunications
industry with Nortel. Bill is a solutions architect and manager in the Architecture
group of the Converged OAM Development organization which is responsible
for all element and network management products for Nortel's Carrier product portfolio. He says
that Nortel has embraced Java technology for use in telecommunications related products,
and is an enthusiastic supporter of open, collaborative work through the JCP.
Bournel says that balancing the need to increase support for an open source culture
while making sure that Java technologies and specifications don't "fork"
into multiple incompatible
versions is a key issue, along with promoting the adoption of JSRs, and seeing them have
greater impact on the general industry. "Since I'm in the telecommunications industry,
I'd point to the
JAIN/SLEE and OSS/J JSRs as examples," he says. "These JSRs have seen some adoption
but have a long way to go."
He says Nortel would also like to offer our expertise in telecommunications architecture
and systems to encourage and guide the evolution of telecommunications related architectures and APIs for
such things as Service Logic Execution, Call Control, Management, Services Control,
access to standard protocols like H.248, SIP, etc, network security, and APIs used
between applications in the converged