TheServerSide had a chance to chat with Aaron Williams of Sun, regarding the new release of the Java Community Process 2.6. The JCP is evolving again, and in a big way. It will become a lot more open and transparent, and the kicker is that this time around all JSRs that were under JCP 2.5, are automatically upgraded to 2.6. Sun has written up an article for TheServerSide community about this big change.
Read Sun's letter: The JCP Evolves Again
Here are some highlights on the changes made in JCP 2.6:
- Transparency plan: Each JSR will provide the executive committee a transparency plan. The spec leads will now have to think about how to make their JSR transparent and open, and the EC has input into the matter.
- Voting change: With JCP 2.5 and below, what seemed to happen on some JSRs is that some spec leads were fearful that their work would be voted down unless the spec was well baked. This meant that you often wouldn't hear about a JSR for a long period (6-9 months) before community review. The process has changed now, and the first ballot will occur after the 2nd review period. The aim is to get reviews out there more frequently, and will hopefully speed up the process. Now spec leads can put out a 1st review that isn't totally thought out, to get some feedback.
- Early access draft: We have been used to the "community draft" being the first draft out there, and only members of the JCP would have access to it. This has now changed, and the first draft is now known as the "early access draft" which is public!
- JSR flexibility: The spec leads have been given a lot of flexibility on how they want to run their JSR. They can even file it under both SE/EE and ME executive committees if the technology merits spanning both.
- Documentation: The JCP has documented what it means to be a member of an expert group, or a spec lead. This is in the hope of demystifying the process, and getting more and more people involved.
Q: Which JSRs will fall under JSR 2.6?
A: All of the JSRs that are currently under JSR 2.5 will automatically now move to JSR 2.6. This was able to happen as only the process document has been altered, and not the legal document. There are currently 25 JSRs under 2.5.
Q: Will extra transparency mean that JSRs will take longer to go through the entire process?
A: The hope is that the opposite will happen. The biggest hold up has traditionally been between the opening of the JSR and the first review. Since this process has changed, there is a hope that the first review will come out early, and it will be downhill from there.
Q: What else has changed recently with the JCP?
A: The web site has changed a lot. Each JSR has a community page which is a lot more dynamic. This will contain details even BEFORE the first review. There has also been the addition of an "observer" email list for each JSR. Spec leads can use this list as a way to disseminate knowledge using this list.