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News: Apache resigns from JCP EC

  1. Apache resigns from JCP EC (16 messages)

    Yesterday, Apache resigned from the JCP executive committee, saying that the members of the executive committee failed to stand up for implementers' rights, and let the integrity of the JCP's licensing structure be broken.

    The Apache Software Foundation concludes that that JCP is not an open specification process - that Java specifications are proprietary technology that must be licensed directly from the spec lead under whatever terms the spec lead chooses; that the commercial concerns of a single entity, Oracle, will continue to seriously interfere with and bias the transparent governance of the ecosystem;  that it is impossible to distribute independent implementations of JSRs under open source licenses such that users are protected from IP litigation by expert group members or the spec lead; and finally, the EC is unwilling or unable to assert the basic power of their role in the JCP governance process.

    In short, the EC and the Java Community Process are neither.

    It looks like they're saying that if the committee is going to vote yes, even while pointing out that the licensing terms are wrong, the committee has no value. This makes sense, too; Google was saying the same when they voted no. They said, basically, "oracle's going to make progress on Java 7 anyway" (paraphrased).

    Most members, who had comments, pointed out the same problems, but without teeth. So Apache is making the only move they can: they're resigning from the expert committee, not being willing to be part of a sham, which is what they're calling the JCP now.

    Oracle responded via Henrik Stahl's blog, saying in part:

    Apache voted against initiating technical committee work on both SE 7 and SE 8, effectively voting against moving Java forward. Now, despite supporting the technical direction, Apache have announced that they are quitting the Executive Committee. Oracle has a responsibility to move Java forward and to maintain the uniformity of the Java standard for the millions of Java developers and the majority of Executive Committee members agree. We encourage Apache to reconsider its position and remain a part of the process to move Java forward. ASF and many open source projects within it are an important part of the overall Java ecosystem.

    He's right, Apache was voting to stall Java until the licensing was changed.  And java does need to move forward, and he's saying also "don't fork java" at the same time.

    However, Rickard Oberg asked if it was actually a response if it didn't address the real issue; others pointed out the majority support for the ASF's reasoning for voting no even while they voted yes.

    This means the JCP is losing its ability to keep respected members on board at a startling clip. Doug Lea resigned a few months ago, you may have heard of him (and if you've ever used java.util.concurrent, you've thanked him.) Tim Peierls resigned a few days ago, and now Apache, who's supported Java a lot.

    What does it mean when so many people make a public decision to not be part of the Java governance ecosystem, going as far to say that the "governance" isn't real? Does this change anything?

    If you ask me, it doesn't matter; Apache's just saying they're not going to bother with trying to lead Java anywhere. Oracle's got it under control anyway; this is all just growing pains with the change in leadership. Oracle's a dictator, but so what? Sun was, too, but wasn't so open about it. Java will be fine, Apache just won't be part of the JCP.

    Threaded Messages (16)

  2. My intepretation[ Go to top ]

    If some one is a committer on one or more apache projects, they can still participate on JSR's, just not as an official apache representative. Quite honestly, I never thought the JCP was a place for innovation to begin with. To me, it was always a place to standardize on a common set of API once a piece of technology matured enough. I still feel the JCP is a valuable organization. Sure it has flaws from the beginning, but lets look at other platforms. Does microsoft have the equivalent of a JCP? Does Perl or Python?

    People may not like having companies drive a technology, but that's way too much idealism for me. At the end of the day, if you want a completely free language and platform, there's two choices: build it yourself or start an open source project. Look at it from Sun's perspective, the existence of harmony increases the threat of forking. Since Sun spent millions building Java, they were simply protecting their investment.

    As the apache blog post stated, there's still be a thriving java community on apache. That isn't going to change. What's changing is working with the JCP. Quite honestly, doing that type of work isn't as much fun as actually writing code.

  3. No standard without specification[ Go to top ]

    The JCP wasn't the proper venue for direct Java innovation but instead it was intended for standardization. If one were to submit a brand new JSR for an abstract technology that only existed in theory it would have been promptly rejected. The JCP was responsible for providing both a specification and a Technology Compatibility Kit to test for spec conformance. While Oracle granted access to one it refuses to grant access to the other thus making JCP specifications worthless. This makes Java a platform and not a standard. Maybe those who prefer platform over standardization will see the current situation positively but for those who do not Java has been devalued in their eyes. The difference in choice between Java and .NET has greatly been diminished.

  4. Java and .NET[ Go to top ]

    With Microsoft being one of three Platinum Sponsors (http://apache.org/foundation/thanks.html) it looks like ASF also diversifies its portfolio and runs .NET beside Java, as well. Whether or not, they'd be granted any more liberal License terms by Microsoft for that, or be heard when executive decisions (I don't just mean the EC which I happen to be the only Individual SE/EE Member right now) need to be made, that's another story.

  5. Apache resigns from JCP EC[ Go to top ]

    If you ask me, it doesn't matter; Apache's just saying they're not going to bother with trying to lead Java anywhere. Oracle's got it under control anyway; this is all just growing pains with the change in leadership. Oracle's a dictator, but so what? Sun was, too, but wasn't so open about it.

    If that is the case, that no one cares that Oracle is the dictator and that Oracle is so open about it, then why doesn't Oracle simply terminate the JCP? There are easier and more direct ways to get input and feedback than a so-called "community process."

    The reason is simple: Oracle *must* continue the farce that Java development is a community effort and not a proprietary technology available from a single sole source.

  6. I agree 100% with Apache[ Go to top ]

    Apache developers exert an enormous amount of time, effort, and money into implementing Open Source implementations of Java specifications and other Java based community driven projects. Apache only wants assurances that if it delivers a 100% JSR compatible implementation the developers who so generously donated the source code for all to benefit from will not be sued by some envious spec leader who owns poison pill patents. Oracle shared this same belief until they hypocritically switched positions once acquiring the rights to Java.

    Open Source developers have synergy due to mutual benefit. There is now no mutual benefit for developing on the Java platform since in the end Oracle will make despotic decisions for their own exclusive benefit.  Oracle's stance is now that if you benefit from Java without tribute to Oracle prepare to be sued with the real possibility that all of your Java assets can be seized or legal injunctions put it place to make them worthless. They have unequivocally demonstrated this with the Google lawsuit.

    Oracle has converted the Java platform into the equivalent of .NET: a proprietary platform centrally controlled by a single profit driven corporation. I don't know about the rest of you but I am not going to live under the spectre of legal action for developing Java based Open Source software or enrich a mega corporation that has no interest in open and fair competition. The JCP is now just a puppet organization maintained for mere appearances.

    IBM probably caved into dropping Harmony and developing OpenJDK because a considerable amount of IBM's products are written in Java and Oracle grabbed them by the genitals in a back room and told them to cease development on Harmony or get sued like Google.

    Hopefully now that Oracle has shown their true colors it will give rise to a new truly open language. Google go looks very promising and C++0X is still on the horizon.

  7. As an open source developer[ Go to top ]

    Quite honestly I've spent tens of thousands of hours working on open source stuff in java and c#. the argument that oracle owns your work just doesn't hold water. Oracle owns Java, but they don't own stuff written with java. Of course they can change the language and make other people's java programs stop working. That's never going to happen, since it would be suicide.

    All of this fear and loathing is good TV, but ultimately it doesn't matter. Java is a tool, not a religion. There's no reason to get all bent out of shape. One day Java will die and so will every other language, except maybe cobol. When that happens, the choice is to adapt or get out of programming.

  8. First of all this is a matter of ethics and integrity. Apache lobbied very hard and democratically put acceptable language into the JSPA to allow for a true clean room open source implementation of Java. Sun agreed to provide the TCK to Apache to certify their implementation. I encourage everyone to read the Apache FAQ on the Open Letter to Sun Microsystems. Based on the JSPA and the public agreement by Sun to allow Harmony to be certified Apache developers spent countless hours on developing Harmony only to find out years later all their efforts were for naught and that Oracle has no intention of honoring either the JSPA or Sun's previous arrangement. Maybe Oracle's actions hasn't impacted your projects but it certainly did theirs.

     

    I also think the community deserves a clear and honest assessment of where the Java platform is at and where it is going. People such as myself were under the impression based on the JSPA and prior commitments that the Java language was going to be maintained in a community effort lead be representative industry leaders. I was also anticipating that there would be multiple implementations of Java and that it could never be commandeered by a single companies commercial interests. Now when push comes to shove we find out that Oracle views the JCP as a marketing and public relations vehicle with no real binding authority and that from here on out there will only be a single Java platform implementation based on OpenJDK.  These are new revelations that should be understood by everyone evaluating Java as their platform of choice.  

  9. First of all this is a matter of ethics and integrity. Apache lobbied very hard and democratically put acceptable language into the JSPA to allow for a true clean room open source implementation of Java. Sun agreed to provide the TCK to Apache to certify their implementation. I encourage everyone to read the Apache FAQ on the Open Letter to Sun Microsystems. Based on the JSPA and the public agreement by Sun to allow Harmony to be certified Apache developers spent countless hours on developing Harmony only to find out years later all their efforts were for naught and that Oracle has no intention of honoring either the JSPA or Sun's previous arrangement. Maybe Oracle's actions hasn't impacted your projects but it certainly did theirs.

     

    I also think the community deserves a clear and honest assessment of where the Java platform is at and where it is going. People such as myself were under the impression based on the JSPA and prior commitments that the Java language was going to be maintained in a community effort lead be representative industry leaders. I was also anticipating that there would be multiple implementations of Java and that it could never be commandeered by a single companies commercial interests. Now when push comes to shove we find out that Oracle views the JCP as a marketing and public relations vehicle with no real binding authority and that from here on out there will only be a single Java platform implementation based on OpenJDK.  These are new revelations that should be understood by everyone evaluating Java as their platform of choice.  

    Ethics have nothing to do with business. Atleast not to me. Apache did lobby hard and lots of apache projects like tomcat, jstl, etc have put thousands of man hours into building useful tools. I've read apache letter to Sun in the past. Quite honestly, I never saw the value of harmony, but that's my bias opinion. I don't speak for apache or anyone else, it's just my opinion. It would have been more productive in my mind to create a new language and vm that wasn't going to rely on SUN being benevolent dictator. For me, the TCK rubber stamp doesn't really mean much.

  10. like they did Google, cause you aint be protected by the patent coverage available when you are certified by TCK.

  11. Apache resigns from JCP EC[ Go to top ]

    Does anyone care about JCP anymore ?. JCP has stopped being useful several years ago, so it doesn't matter that Oracle is taking 100% control of JCP.

  12. and that means a lot of people

  13. my say[ Go to top ]

    for me this is another "big bad news" after SUN's acquisition by oracle. Apache was much repected member than those giants in JCP. Orcale management need to learn that sucess of java was because of community support if they will continue to loose support like this, future of java is ....

  14. my say[ Go to top ]

    Well Said! After Oracle taken over the Sun,Java future is in big mess. Thanks for Serverside.com to share this info. We should not let oracle to do whatever they want. There should be court or body to put the breaks for Oracle. Its hightime that serverside.com should take initative of forming such a group.IBM should also play major role in leading this. Where is Java father sitting now. Without commenting on these developments. what is the media in general doing without making the Larry Ellison to take on this.

  15. Remember why we don't have Java 7[ Go to top ]

    Ask yourself this question...Why do we not have a Java 7 release?  Mainly it is because of Apache (not the developers, but the bureaucrats) filibustering the Java 7 vote in the JCP Executive Committee all because they didn't want a Field Of Use restriction for Harmony.   They felt entitled to the Java brand just because they are Apache.  For those of you who don't know the Field Of Use, (IIRC) was that Harmony wouldn't have been able to be used within a mobile environment.  IMO, I'd much rather have had a Java 7 release than to lift the FOU restriction just to make one Apache open source project  happy.  I'm upset with my company for supporting this fiasco.

    Another side point:

    To say that the JCP is useless, is, IMO, a big slap in the face to those of us who have put a lot of time, effort, engineering, and dollars to improve the Java platform, specifically on the EE side of things.  Specifically, the Apache CXF project who have created a top-notch SOAP implementation, as well, of course the Tomcat effort.  For Red Hat, we've put huge amount of engineering time into EJB, JPA, JSF, CDI, JAX-RS, and Validation.  There are many other companies, individuals, and open source projects that have made similar contributions.  Those of us who cared enough about the platform (and Sun and Oracle are both in this camp) have improved and evolved Java EE so that it is viable platform into the next decade, despite the best efforts of the "Party of NO" coalition of non-contributors on the EC and on the Java EE JSR.

    IMO, if you are unwilling to give up something to obtain the Java brand, if you're creating competing technologies that you have no intention of bringing back to the JCP to be standardized, if you or your company are not consumers or implementors of JCP specifications, then, you probably should leave the JCP.  In fact, I encourage it, so that the rest of us can have less obstacles in moving the platform forward.

    --

    Bill Burke

    RHT

    http://bill.burkecentral.com

  16. Remember why we don't have Java 7[ Go to top ]

    Ask yourself this question...Why do we not have a Java 7 release?  Mainly it is because of Apache (not the developers, but the bureaucrats) filibustering the Java 7 vote in the JCP Executive Committee all because they didn't want a Field Of Use restriction for Harmony.   They felt entitled to the Java brand just because they are Apache.  For those of you who don't know the Field Of Use, (IIRC) was that Harmony wouldn't have been able to be used within a mobile environment.  IMO, I'd much rather have had a Java 7 release than to lift the FOU restriction just to make one Apache open source project  happy.  I'm upset with my company for supporting this fiasco.

    Another side point:

    To say that the JCP is useless, is, IMO, a big slap in the face to those of us who have put a lot of time, effort, engineering, and dollars to improve the Java platform, specifically on the EE side of things.  Specifically, the Apache CXF project who have created a top-notch SOAP implementation, as well, of course the Tomcat effort.  For Red Hat, we've put huge amount of engineering time into EJB, JPA, JSF, CDI, JAX-RS, and Validation.  There are many other companies, individuals, and open source projects that have made similar contributions.  Those of us who cared enough about the platform (and Sun and Oracle are both in this camp) have improved and evolved Java EE so that it is viable platform into the next decade, despite the best efforts of the "Party of NO" coalition of non-contributors on the EC and on the Java EE JSR.

    IMO, if you are unwilling to give up something to obtain the Java brand, if you're creating competing technologies that you have no intention of bringing back to the JCP to be standardized, if you or your company are not consumers or implementors of JCP specifications, then, you probably should leave the JCP.  In fact, I encourage it, so that the rest of us can have less obstacles in moving the platform forward.

    --

    Bill Burke

    RHT

    http://bill.burkecentral.com

    I feel the same way about Harmony hijacking java 7. To me it "feels" a bit extreme.

  17. JDK 7 delays are Sun/Oracle's fault[ Go to top ]

    Work began on OpenJDK (JDK 7) four years ago right after the release of 1.6. The reason it is so far behind is because Sun wanted to throw everything and the kitchen sink into it and just recently Oracle finally dealt with with the scope creep by breaking the release into two parts. Remember the promise of modular Java (JSR 277)? Still vaporware. The uncertainty during the Oracle merger and large brain drain that ensued certainly didn't accelerate any dates. Blaming Apache for a JDK delay is a red herring. Some see mobile and embedded computing as the future of personal computing so letting Oracle dictate when and where a language may be used is certainly of concern for a legitimate Open Source organization. The JCP vote which would decide the license for Java for practically the next decade was the prime time to finally resolve once and for all the JSPA dispute and empty promises of Sun/Oracle. The votes were cast and let the chips fall where they may.

    The JCP was an excellent organization that many fought to maintain as an independent standards body. However with Oracle's now clear proprietary direction for the Java platform and the recognition of this by the academic and Open Source communities the future of the JCP is bleak. Why Red Hat would desire to have a fat proprietary layer of legal ambiguity sandwiched in the middle of their Open Source software stack is perplexing but most likely they are in the same boat as other vendors: years of capital investment in the Java platform with no viable alternative to transition to.

    Let's be 100% clear on Apache's JCP dispute: their expectation was that the JCP would deliver specifications and TCK's that would allow for an independent Open Source implementation to be  100% certified and therefore granted corresponding naming privileges and indemnification benefits. This is not an outlandish request and is in line with other true standards bodies such as the W3C and OASIS. The fallout from this conflict is clear: there is now from this point forward no JCP Java but Oracle Java. If everyone ultimately understands this then it can be considered the best possible result of this fiasco by both sides.