The Java Community Process (JCP) program applauds the community's Star Spec Leads.
These leaders earned this honor through their efficient, prompt, and transparent
communication with their Expert Group, the Program Management Office (PMO), and the
Executive Committee (EC). They used community web pages, observer aliases, and other
tools to communicate with their expert group, the JCP program community, and the public.
They kept their Java Specification Requests (JSRs) on schedule by making sure their team
stayed focused and felt appreciated. The JCP program congratulates and honors these Star
Vincent Perrot approaches life as an engineer. If there is a problem to be solved, he'd like to do
it thoroughly so that others can build on its foundation. He has an engineering diploma in Electricity
from the Higher National School of Electricity (E.N.S.I.E.G) and a master's degree in Advanced Robotics and
Systems from Sup Areo, the Higher National School of Aeronautics and Space.
Having worked with Java technology in all phases, from
development to adoption and promotion, Vince fully
appreciates its ease of use. He says, "I have a lot of programmatic language experience --
from assembly language for real time and embedded systems to C++ for telecom applications -- and Java
technology is the first language that merges all the domains when computer science is involved."
Vince started his career as a real-time kernel software
and network application developer, and later worked
at Hewlett Packard in the Advanced Intelligent Network
domain. By October 1996, he had joined Sun Microsystems'
Telecom Management Network team. Two years later he
got involved with the JCP program as an observer of
one of the earliest Java Specification Requests, the
JSR 3 Java Management
Extensions (JMX) Specification.
He helped develop and later became the technical lead
of JDMK (Java Dynamic Management Kit), Sun's implementation
of JMX. He stays involved in the creation of this network
management technology by participating as an observer
of the JMX technology JSRs. JSR
In the telecommunications space, Vince created an early
draft of the JSR
TCAP Specification, based on the initiative he launched
with three other Sun Microsystems fellows. Vince
also came up with the first demonstration system
of JAIN for Supercomm 98. His interest continues
through his deep involvement in the JSR
OAM API Specification.
A founding father of the OSS (Operations Support System)
through Java (OSS/J) initiative, Vince is the Spec
Lead for JSR 144 OSS Common API. This API factorizes
all the commonalities and patterns that emerge across
the entire OSS/J API portfolio, which requires his
expertise to serve all other OSS
technology JSRs. See also the OSS
Vince says, "As all the OSS JSRs inherit from JSR 144, I provide support and help to the
Expert Groups regarding usage and leveraging of JSR 144.
I also help make sure the design follows the OSS/J design guidelines related to the OSS API's specification
and definition." He plays the innovative role of "proxy," or administrative buffer between the
PMO and the Spec Leads of each and every OSS/J API. In this role, he ensures the consistency of all OSS
deliverables and handles administrative tasks, such as submission, on behalf of the Spec Lead to allow the
Spec Lead and the Expert Group to focus more on developing the API itself.
Although JSR 144 is in a maintenance phase and experts are no longer directly involved,
the OSS/J architectural group within the OSS/J initiative is still actively evolving OSS/J design guidelines.
Vince's commitment to these three technologies remains firm. He says, "Between JDMK/JMX, JAIN,
and OSS/J, I increasingly took more and more responsibilities in these projects. And I continue to work in the
development, design, architecture, evangelization, and support of those Java technologies."
Communication with the Expert Group is one of the most important Spec Lead responsibilities,
Vince feels. Because his JSR 144 experts are scattered world-wide, they don't often get together in the same
location. However, Vince knows that these meetings are important when they do happen. "My experience
demonstrates that Face 2 Face is the most productive manner to progress, although difficult to organize these
last four years due to travel cost reductions and travel bans. Therefore, we leverage as much as possible the
developers and OSS industry conferences to meet in person," he says. In a JSR's early stage, the goals
and objectives are spelled out and acknowledged by all experts in the group. To continue the Expert Group's
momentum, he relies on weekly conference calls, using web tools like http://www.timeanddate.com to synchronize participants. Every meeting includes an agenda and minutes, and all of the JSR's "mature" material is posted on a private project on java.net.
Vince points to three essential communication ingredients for starting, quickly progressing,
and achieving consensus between experts: having a clearly identified goal, leveraging existing standards
such as 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), and recruiting the "top-gun"
experts in the industry domain whose company's substantial commitment to the OSS/J initiative backs them up.
He says, "The decision process is always based on consensus, and I've never had to force a decision."
As Spec Lead, Vince attends to the daily challenge of motivating experts to stay focused and support each other
in all of the tasks they voluntarily take on.
For keeping the communication open, Vince finds the community page useful, except in not permitting information
and documents to be classified, organized, or tracked by version. Back in 1998, Vince says experts focused on
the spec document only, addressing the Reference Implementation (RI) and Technology Compatibility Kit (TCK) only
much later. Now, however, especially when JSRs inherit design guidelines or common components, an Expert Group
often creates the spec, RI, and TCK in parallel. Vince observes that private project pages on java.net do better
to address expert needs at all stages of a JSR, and all OSS JSRs now have or soon will have private and public
pages on java.net.
Because of his current proxy role, Vince stays in direct contact with the PMO, handling administrative
tasks on behalf all the OSS technology Spec Leads. He says, "The PMO folks are all very reactive and supportive.
They always provide the exact and accurate information. And it is always a real pleasure to be in touch with them.
Having the PMO handle all the specification versions was one of the best achievements of the JCP program as it
simplifies the intermediate phases a lot."
Vince has received very few notes of concern from the EC, probably because he is so highly experienced
in dealing with the JCP program that he addresses administrative concerns before they become an issue.
We're all in this together, so Vince's engineering attitude is to solve the
problem and share it to the extent that he can. For example, to spare others from what Vince
calls "specifier's block" -- the fear of writing that comes when starting with a blank
page -- the OSS/J initiative came up with templates for typical documents (spec, design guides,
installation guides, and so forth) and environments for joint development. These templates, which
have already been forwarded to the PMO, are available for free to all who are interested in joining
or contributing to the OSS/J initiative. They not only help writers to focus on the main points rather
than the blank page, but they also give all OSS-related specifications a similar look and feel, making
it easier for readers to navigate the structured content.
Foundational specifications can also save work for future Spec Leads.
The OSS design guidelines and JSR 144 together address the generic integration issues that an
OSS Expert Group might have. Using JSR 144 as a baseline, an Expert Group can focus only on the
domain's specific issues. Similarly, the licensing and working model is the same for all OSS/J
JSRs: provided free of charge, in source code for the RI, and in binary for the TCK. All are available
on java.net in similarly structured build and deployment environments.
Vince says, "Working on OSS/J is by far the most enriching experience in my professional
life. It is a privilege to work everyday with some of the best telecommunications experts in the world. And
what many people would consider as a human challenge, quickly turned for me into a fantastic journey along
which I made friends that I admire, and who I hope do care about me. But OSS/J gets all of us so busy and
focused that there is no time to dream about awards. When I was told that I was chosen by my peer Java
developers as a JCP Star Spec Lead, I was really taken by surprise and deeply moved. I was only hoping to
get the respect of my OSS/J fellows. So being distinguished by the Java community at large was like reaching
the summit of the mountains that surround my house after a 10-hour hike, to see the sunset over the Alps -- a
warm feeling of accomplishment. I sincerely hope my personal experience will help other Spec Leads move the Java
platform to even greater success."
In addition to hiking the countryside, Vince bikes, skis, and plays the geometrically challenging
game of snooker (billiards). He has renovated nearly his entire house in France as a do-it-yourself project.
Go to the Star
Spec Lead Program page for more information.
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