Dan Allen's Open Letter to the JCP

The Java Community Process continues to be a lightning-rod of both discussion and disparagement.

Before he left, James Gosling often opined about the problems with the JCP. More recently, Doug Lea, a former Executive Committee member and chair of JSR 166 announced that his differences with the process had motivated him to leave. Furthermore, it seems that the companies creating some of the most interesting products in the market are simply ignoring the Java Community Process entirely.

In his open letter to the JCP executive community, Dan Allen proposes a redefinition of the JCP itself. According to Dan, this is what the JCP should be:

“An open, community-oriented standards organization that produces standard technical specifications for Java technology in order to keep it competitive and to bring value and choice to businesses worldwide. These goals are achieved by honoring the nature of software development, which means fostering a collaborative, evolutionary process where change of all types (addition, revision and deprecation) is inevitable and standards are snapshots in a timeline along that evolution.

Standards produced by this process are published under and open, non-clickthrough license, which applies to the specification documents, the APIs, the reference implementations (RIs) and the compatibility test suites (TCKs). A fair voting system is used to maintain a balance of power and there is complete openness of process and membership.

The goal of this organization, above all else, is to produce timely, iterative, high-quality standards, which means never standing in the way of progress nor precluding proposals or ideas that may lead to a better way forward.”

The industry's disillusionment with the JCP is palpable. Perhaps Dan's open letter will be an inflection point that turns the Java Community Process around.

Dan Allen's Open Letter to the JCP