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JSR Watch: Looking Back, Looking Ahead

2005 may be remembered as the year of eating cake

2005 may be remembered as the year of eating cake. I had the amusing honor of singing "Happy Birthday" and eat cake in Sao Paolo, Ede, San Francisco, Tokyo, and a couple more places as many Java groups and organizations around the world wanted to be part of the 10th year of Java technology. Together we journeyed from being amazed at a dancing Duke in a Web page to the full-frame, full-speed 3D graphics in today's computer games, all with the same technology. Just this year many achievements and events took place that deserve a mention, and I'd like to share my thoughts with you of what can be behind some this and what they may mean for the year ahead.

Let's start with the JCP Membership, which continued to increase. This year, as in previous years, the community increased by about 12-15%. Perhaps not too surprising. What pleased me is that the Java Community has become more inclusive of industries and geographies around the world, as illustrated by SouJava's joining from Brasil (the world's largest JUG and the first JUG to join), Tata Elxsi from India (worldwide provider of customized design solutions), and ChinaMobile from China (the first mobile service provider from that country to join).

An effort I lead at Sun in support of the goals of the JCP is Sun's TCK Scholarship Program. Established in 2002, the scholarship helps ensure that the cost of the rigorous compatibility testing process is not a barrier for not-for-profit organizations, universities, or qualified individual developers who want to build compatible implementations of JSRs led by Sun. Since this scholarship was established, quite a number of projects have benefited from it. In August, Sun extended the program for another three years. At http://java.sun.com/scholarship/ you'll find a list of scholarship recipients and the set of qualifications applicants are required to meet. You can send questions and applications to the Review Board at [email protected]. One scholarship application I would not at all be surprised to receive in the new year would be one from Project Harmony by the Apache Software Foundation for the Java SE 5 technology test suite.

Speaking of open source software, 2005 saw a further proliferation of this methodology and lifestyle. Apache's Harmony project is an example. Sun played its own part by moving its implementations of Java EE 5 and JSR 208, Java Business Integration, under the CDDL license. At java.net you can directly participate in the development of the next versions of the Java SE and Java EE platforms. While the Java SE 5 and Java SE 6 projects (aka JDK Community) haven't progressed that far using an open source software license, they show that not only did open source software as a licensing model continue its march in 2005, but that the lifestyle it represents - the desire for openness and transparency - also continued its march. This will clearly carry forward in 2006. Within the JCP all this plays too. Compared with a few years ago, participants in the community and observers from the side will now expect (and often demand) that the specification development process itself also be more visible, more tangible, and have higher interactivity. The JCP took strides toward this trend when in JCP 2.6 it made basic rule changes to make all spec reviews public and to make an Expert Group's work transparent through observers and other means. My team, the JCP Program Office, will be focusing on two things the coming year that speaks to this. We will encourage and entice Spec Leads and Expert Groups to be as transparent, open, participative, and inclusive as they have the courage to be. And we will be rolling out substantive changes to the JCP.org site, providing broad sets of tools to Spec Leads and Expert Groups so that they can easily develop specifications collaboratively and interactively with the community at large.

Spec Leads have one of the hardest jobs in the Java community: to bring together a group of developers, from differing walks of life and with often competing goals, to develop high-quality Java technology specifications that will enjoy wide adoption, and do all that on predictable and reasonable schedules. Compared with the first three years of the JCP, JSRs now complete 100-120 days faster on average. To recognize the hard work and expertise (both technically and often also psychological...) of these developers, the JCP started the Star Spec Lead program in 2005. We will continue this in the new year. The goal of this program is not just to give these individuals well-deserved attention but also to enable the transference of their expertise to fellow Spec Leads and community participants in order to continue to raise the knowledge-level and performance of the Community.

This year saw the return of the first Java technology to enter the Java Community Process. The real-time specification for Java was the effort that started the JCP in December 1998. Now, this group of industry experts have started JSR 282 to develop the next version of this technology, which should complete during the course of 2006. You should be able to look forward to many great JSRs to finish in 2006: Java EE 5 (JSR 244), Java SE 6 (JSR 270), Mobile Architecture for CLDC (JSR 248), Mobile Architecture for CDC (JSR 249), and MID-P v3 (JSR 271), among many others.

Stay tuned to jcp.org for more cool JCP program activities and opportunities to participate actively in Java technology standards innovation. If you're not a JCP member already, consider becoming one as one of your New Year's resolutions!

More Stories By Onno Kluyt

Onno Kluyt is the chairperson of the JCP Program Management Office, Sun Microsystems.

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SYS-CON Italy News Desk 02/10/06 10:15:56 AM EST

2005 may be remembered as the year of eating cake. I had the amusing honor of singing 'Happy Birthday' and eat cake in Sao Paolo, Ede, San Francisco, Tokyo, and a couple more places as many Java groups and organizations around the world wanted to be part of the 10th year of Java technology. Together we journeyed from being amazed at a dancing Duke in a Web page to the full-frame, full-speed 3D graphics in today's computer games, all with the same technology. Just this year many achievements and events took place that deserve a mention, and I'd like to share my thoughts with you of what can be behind some this and what they may mean for the year ahead.

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