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JSR Watch: JavaOne Wrap-up

And news from the Java Community

The year's biggest Java community event - JavaOne - finished recently. As it is for others in the Java world, this is a busy time for the JCP. We host various events for our members, we participate in discussions and BOFs, and like all other attendees, we enjoy the opportunity to meet with members of the Java developer community. In this column I'll review our JavaOne activities, and also discuss the new version of our jcp.org website, which we hope will encourage and enable even more community involvement in our work.

JavaOne Wrap-up
I won't spend a lot of time discussing the JavaOne keynote sessions. If you were there you probably saw them for yourself, and if you missed them you can view them online. However, one session is worth mentioning. On Thursday, Microsoft delivered the morning keynote. Given the historical rivalry between Sun and Microsoft (and between Java and the .NET Framework) this may seem surprising. However, as Microsoft pointed out, we live in a "multipolar world." No one technology dominates, and the majority of large institutions use a mix of technologies including both Java and .NET. Users expect interoperability, and this cannot be achieved without standards. Microsoft's participation is a tribute to the power of standards and the ubiquity of Java.

Although the majority of JavaOne technical sessions have a JCP connection, since they typically address technologies that have either been standardized through the Process or that build on such standards, three in particular are worth mentioning.

A panel discussion involving participants from Sun, Sony Ericsson, Orange, and Vodafone provided the opportunity to announce a new initiative to address fragmentation in the Java ME market. The JATAF (Java Application Terminal Alignment Framework) initiative will provide an open source test framework and test cases that can be used to identify behavioral differences between Java implementations on cell phones. If you're involved in any way in Java ME, and if you're concerned about the quality of Java ME implementations, I encourage you to participate in this effort. You can learn more at http://www.jataf.com.

As I did last year, I hosted a panel discussion on JSR 249: Mobile Service Architecture 2. The JSR 249 Expert Group, led by Kay Glahn from Vodafone and Erkki Rysa from Nokia, has been working for a couple of years now to define the next-generation technology stack for cell phones, and they're almost done. I was pleased to learn during this year's discussion that one of the features that has been incorporated into the JSR - minimum requirements for supported media types - was suggested by a member of the audience in last year's panel. Expert Groups do listen to your feedback!

Later in the week, I participated in a "meet the Java ME Executive Committee" discussion that resulted from the initiative of our two newest Java ME Expert Group members: Sean Sheedy (an individual developer) and John Rizzo from Aplix. We met with developers to learn about their concerns and to tell them what we are doing to address them. We have recently formed an Executive Committee Working Group to address various Java ME issues, and we promised to involve them in its activities. More on this later.

JavaOne is not just about keynotes and technical sessions - it's also an opportunity to socialize. We hosted several JCP events during the week, the highlight being a party at the Intercontinental Hotel on Tuesday evening, attended by EC members, JCP staff, Spec Leads, and Java User Group members. A good time was had by all (a link to pictures can be found on our blog). At this event we announced the winners of our annual awards:

  • JCP Program Member of the Year - Apache Software Foundation
  • JCP Program Participant of the Year - Doug Lea
  • Outstanding Spec Lead for Java SE/EE - Ed Burns for JSR 314 JavaServer Faces 2.0
  • Most Innovative JSR for Java SE/EE - JSR 316, Java EE 6 platform
  • Outstanding Spec Lead for Java ME - Mike Milikich for JSR 271
  • Most Innovative JSR for Java ME - JSR 271 Mobile Information Device Profile (MIDP) 3.0

Congratulations to the winners!

Jcp.org - New and Improved
It's been a long hard road, but we've finally rolled out a new version of the jcp.org website. There are many changes - a new user interface, improved navigation and search capabilities, individual registration, personalized content, and collaboration features that include discussion forums and Wikis, with more coming soon.

While the old site was principally a one-way communication channel, enabling the PMO, Executive Committees, and Expert Groups to pass information to our members, we hope that the new site will encourage more interactive two-way and multi-way communication. I could say more, but instead I encourage you to visit us and join in (see here for information about how to participate). Please also let us know what we can do to further improve the site.

Active JSRs
Once again there's more JSR news than I have room for in this column. For full details see the JSR Updates section on the JCP homepage or subscribe to our mailing list.) In the meantime, here are some highlights.

A new JSR was recently approved. JSR 330: Dependency Injection for Java, led by Rod Johnson from SpringSource and Bob Lee from Google, intends to define a standard mechanism for dependency injection in Java SE. Although this JSR was approved, several EC members expressed concerns about the need for coordination between it and JSR 299: Web Beans in order to avoid a divergence between the Java EE and Java SE platforms. (You can see the vote results, and read the comments, here.) It will be interesting to see how the Expert Group handles this challenge.

At the other end of the development cycle, two JSRs passed their final approval ballots.

JSR 279: Service Connection API for Java ME, led by Pia Niemela from Nokia and Jens Paetzold from Sun, provides a framework for access to networked services, incorporating support for service discovery, authentication, and identity. JSR 314: JavaServer Faces 2.0, led by Ed Burns and Roger Kitain from Sun, updates the JavaServer Faces specification, adding a variety of new features including AJAX support.

Two other JSRs have recently made their Final Releases.

JSR 113: Java Speech API 2, led by Charles Hemphill and Steve Rondel from Conversational Computing Corporation, has been many years in development. It builds on the Java Speech API 1.0 that was developed by Sun before the JCP came into existence, extending it to further enable developers to incorporate speech technology into Java applications. JSR 235: Service Data Objects, led by Kelvin Goodson from IBM and Radu Preotiuc-Pietro from Oracle, provides a standard way to access many different kinds of data, enabling the development of systems that use a service-oriented architecture (SOA).

Ideally, the Final Release - at which point the specification, RI, and TCK are actually available - follows shortly after Final Approval. In practice this has not always been the case, and release of these final materials has sometimes been delayed for many months. (The Final Release of JSR 113 took place almost exactly a year after its Final Approval ballot.) The recent revision of our Process Document through JSR 215 addressed this issue, requiring final materials to be posted within two weeks of the ballot.

However long it takes, completing a JSR is a major undertaking, and I offer my congratulations and thanks to all of these Spec Leads.

That's all for now. Don't forget to visit the new jcp.org!

More Stories By Patrick Curran

Patrick Curran is chair of the JCP and director of the JCP Program at Sun Microsystems, Inc.

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