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Spec Lead Guide: Expert Group Formation/Expansion

Write a JSR |  Submit a JSR |  JSR Review |  EG formation |  Early Draft Review |  Public Review |  Proposed Final Draft |  Final Ballot |  Maintenance |  Spec Lead Guide  
EG Formation FAQ


Nominations for the Expert Group are accepted from the first day that the JSR is available for review from the JSR page itself (with the JSR # already inserted) or from They will be accepted until Final Release, when the Expert Group officially disbands. Submitted nominations are processed by the Spec Lead via a link on the Expert Group private page ( The Spec Lead votes on whether the nominee is desired on the Expert Group, and the PMO votes as to whether the nominee is legally able to participate. Remember that all Experts on your Group must be JCP Members. The PMO only screens for JCP Membership and nominations from embargoed or terrorist countries. If you wish to accept an Expert to the group who is not yet a JCP Member, you may wish to inform the nominee that s/he needs to become a Member first, though the PMO will also provide instructions to the nominee in such a case. If the nominee cannot participate on an Expert Group at the moment, the PMO will vote: XJ if the nominee needs to officially represent an existing Member or needs to submit a JSPA to become a new JCP Member, XB if the nominee is an individual JCP Member and needs a new Exhibit B for their JSPA from his employer, or X if the nominee cannot participate for some other reason (which is very rare). Do not wait for the PMO to vote before casting your vote on the nomination! If you vote Y on a nominee and the PMO votes Y (the nominee is legally able to participate on your EG), then the nominee is automatically added to your Expert Group, login information is sent to the nominee, and the Expert Group-private mail alias is updated to allow the new expert's e-mail address.

If you want to invite someone to join your Expert Group, have them fill out the nomination form on your JSR detail page (the link labeled "I would like to join this Expert Group"). You can check Membership at: You are encouraged to actively recruit Members to join. Recruit your EG as soon as possible. Before inviting multiple experts from one company or organization you should consider the diversity and industry representation of your EG. Please note, you may have more than one Expert from any given company or organization on your EG. You can always check the membership of your current EG on the EG private page. As the Spec Lead you can also edit contact information for your EG there.
As the Spec Lead you have the following responsibilities with respect to formation of the EG:

  1. Notify the community of the full license terms that will apply to your Final Release Specification, Reference Implementation, and Technology Compatibility Kit.
  2. Notify the community of all licenses other than the JSPA which will cover the operation of your Expert Group, including terms of service/terms of use for other web sites.
  3. Form an Expert Group large enough and diverse enough to ensure wide adoption of the resulting Specification.
  4. Notify each person who volunteered to serve on the EG of the status of their nomination.
  5. Document the reasons for accepting or rejecting each nomination. You will be expected to provide these reasons if there are questions from the nominee or the ECs about the composition of the EG.
  6. JCP 2.8: Consult with the existing Expert Group for your JSR (once you have at least one expert on the group) about any new nominations.
  7. JCP 2.8: Publish each nomination, your decision on each nomination, and any discussion/deliberations about each nomination, to the public.
Keep in mind that most Expert Group members are only available part-time. Depending on the JSR decide on the ideal size of the Expert Group. You may want to carefully think about the minimum number of EG Members needed. The Expert Group should be large enough to ensure reasonable industry representation and diversity of opinion. The EG should not have less than 4 Members excluding the Spec Lead. In any case you may want to allow for a late nomination of an Expert with excellent qualifications and knowledge of the technologies associated with your spec.
  • You must inform the newly formed EG at the earliest opportunity how you plan to manage the group (eg conference calls, e-mail list, regular face-to-face meetings, etc.). The best opportunity is a kickoff meeting where EG members still have the choice to withdraw from the EG without having a lot of time and work invested if they cannot agree to your methods or your license terms. Even though the planned license terms are outlined in the Proposal, they usually cause lively discussions in kickoff meetings. It is important for you as the Spec Lead to have the support and active involvement of your EG.
Oracle is an United States corporation, which means that we are legally bound to follow the laws of the U.S. This includes rules dictated by the State Department on countries with which we may and may not do business. We include the State Department's disclaimer about terrorist and embargoed countries for your convenience, so you won't be disappointed by selecting an expert only to find out that he/she can not legally participate in the process. Information on Embargoed and Terrorist Countries can be found at: Information on the Denied Persons List can be found here: The PMO ( will then publish the names of the represented JCP Members (the company name or the name of an individual) on the JSR page. The Experts will be listed on the JSR's Expert Group private page with their names, e-mail addresses, and telephone numbers, if provided. The PMO sends the appropriate login and password to each Expert.
  • Maintain communication venues for the Expert Group. The PMO provides a Community tab for the JSR which you can edit directly, an observers alias to which you gate access, a private web site for the Expert Group (with file upload capability), and a private Expert Group e-mail alias. Also listed on this private page is the entire Expert Group and any aliases that you wanted added to the EG-private mail alias' distribution list. As the Spec Lead you can edit the contact information for your EG at any time on this site. Note, however, that this is intended for accommodating address changes (for example, when an expert is moved to a new building by his employer), and not for indicating that an expert has been replaced with another expert or has changed employers (both of those cases require use of the EG nomination process). Whatever additional communication venues you choose, keep in mind that they must be accessible to all experts in the EG. The archives of these communications must also be accessible to all experts in the EG.
Some Expert Group members may be involved in developing Independent Implementations so the Spec Lead should take reasonable precautions to allow those who do not want to see RI internals to avoid them. This in no way restricts making the RI source available to the EG or the public. It's just a matter of labeling so that those who do not want to see it can avoid it. It is recommended that all email concerning RI implementation details use subject lines that make it clear the mail is about the RI. Any teleconference or other meetings where RI details are discussed should have the agenda arranged so that those who do not wish to participate in that discussion can drop out. Downloads for RI source code should be clearly marked to indicate it contains the RI.
The Spec Lead can edit the JSR's private page by clicking on the link "My Home" which is located under the JSR title on the Expert Group private page.
Each JSR should (and, for JCP 2.8 JSRs, MUST) have a publicly-accessible communication channel which allows public feedback and discussion of the specification. Each individual on the Expert Group can also use the Expert Group e-mail alias, jsr-xxx-eg, to which only they can post by use of their unique e-mail address. Each Expert and the Spec Lead must make sure that each expert's e-mail address is current, so that no messages on that e-mail distribution list are missed. Communications on this alias for JCP 2.8 JSRs must be made visible to the public, either by archive, copying the e-mail traffic to the public communication channel, or some other means.
The methods that you use to stay in touch with your EG may differ depending on the JSR, the locations of the experts, the size of the EG and how involved the individual team members are. For some Groups e-mail aliases, online groups or web sites will work best. Others might consider face to face meetings, conference calls, video conferences or any combination of these. Note again, however, that any and all license terms that apply to using other sites must be provided to the public at the initial JSR Proposal. If you decide that you wish to use a different site after the JSR Approval Ballot, the terms that apply to the Expert Group's use of that site must be provided to the public AND approved by the Executive Committee before you can make that change. So it is in your best interest to have a complete list of sites and associated license terms that you may use at the beginning of the JSR.
  • You need to be responsive to your Experts' concerns and input. You must make it clear to the EG that each Expert has the right to call for a conference call to resolve issues with a further ability to inform the PMO in case of failure. If 2/3 of the Expert Group vote to determine that you are being uncooperative or unresponsive, the Executive Committee may vote to have you removed from the Spec Lead role.
  • If you have a Program Manager or Product Manager to help you with the administration of the JSR process, please provide the PMO ( with the name and contact info for this person as well.
Note that a representative of the PMO is available to help you through this process. If you wish to have a PMO representative attend the initial/"kick-off" meeting of your EG, please send a request to to that effect. The PMO can attend such an initial meeting by telephone (or occasionally in person, depending on location) and would be available to answer questions about the process and/or give a short presentation to the Expert Group about the process. 
The involvement of the Expert Group can determine how well a spec is written and its success. You should consider involving the Expert Group team in each stage of the Specification's development. As the Spec Lead you will write successive drafts of the spec and present these for comments and review to the Expert Group. You should work to address your Expert Group's questions and concerns about the drafts you present. The more diverse an Expert Group, the more likely the Spec Lead will get a broader perspective followed by acceptance and buy-in. Remember that the goal of the JSR is to accommodate real business needs, the needs of the community and to have it widely adopted.
Closing an Expert Group

At Final Release, a JSR's work is complete and the Expert Group disbands. If, however, you feel that your Expert Group is complete before Final Release, and you do not want to accept any further nominations to the Expert Group, simply notify the PMO ( that you wish to close the Expert Group and provide an explicit reason for doing so. The PMO will remove the link "I would like to join this Expert Group" from your JSR page and will notify any new nominees to the Expert Group that you are no longer accepting new nominations. In parallel, you must post the reason for closing the Expert Group to your public communications channel (required in JCP 2.8), so that the community can read why you are no longer accepting nominations.
The PMO welcomes suggestions and requests from the Spec Leads for improvements of this guide and the process: