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JCP Elections: Time to Choose Your EC Representatives for 2008

Vote early and often!

This is election time for the JCP: five seats on the Java ME Executive Committee (EC) and five seats on the Java SE/EE EC are up for re-election. All JCP members are eligible to vote and may cast one vote for each seat (hence the recommendation to vote often).

The voting process is in two stages. During October members cast their votes for three ratified seats on each EC. (Sun nominates the candidates for these seats.) In November a second round of elections takes place for two elected seats on each EC. (All JCP members may nominate themselves for elected seats.)

The ECs play a very important role within the JCP. Not only are they responsible for reviewing and voting on JSRs, but they also serve as the Expert Group for any changes to the organization's Process Document (http://jcp.org/en/procedures/jcp2) - its rules and procedures - and to the Java Specification Participation Agreement (JSPA) (www.jcp.org/aboutJava/communityprocess/JSPA2.pdf) - the legal contract between members and the organization. (Both of these documents are modified through the JSR process.) In addition EC members represent the interests of the JCP community to the broader public, and of course the interests of their particular section of the Java community within the organization.

A diverse, representative, and committed EC membership is vital to the health of the organization. Your votes matter. (Not a JCP member? There's still time to join. It's free for individuals and inexpensive for others, particularly non-commercial institutions.)

The election process, along with all of the other JCP rules of governance, is defined in the JCP Process Document (http://jcp.org/en/procedures/jcp2). For more information about the voting process, including a full timetable, see the EC Elections 2007 (http://jcp.org/en/whatsnew/elections) page on the JCP Website. The election process is managed by PriceWaterhouseCoopers; voting takes place and results are reported at http://jcpelection2007.org.

This Year's Nominations
The ratification process makes it possible for Sun, as the founder of the JCP and steward of the Java Platforms, to adjust the membership of the ECs to ensure that the interests of the entire Java community are represented. Factors that are considered include geographical location (we're a global community), leadership within the community (particularly in leading and participating in JSRs), and the representation of different sectors of the community (individuals, non-profits, and the large variety of commercial enterprises).

Sun's nominations for the ratified seats in this year's elections are:

  • On the ME EC: RIM, Samsung, and Time Warner Cable
  • On the SE/EE EC: Apache, Nortel, and Red Hat Middleware
All of these nominees, with the exception of Time Warner Cable, are already EC members. Why Time Warner? Because Java is not just for computers and cellphones any more...

Duke Goes to Hollywood
The North American cable industry is making a fundamental transition from set-top boxes based on proprietary technologies to set-tops, digital televisions, and related devices that support the OpenCable Platform (OCAP) (www.opencable.com/) standard. With Java ME technology as its foundation, OPAC enables new interactive TV-based applications and services such as viewer participation, interactive advertising, customized news and sports tickers, audience polling, and e-learning. Time Warner Cable has been an active proponent of Java technologies in the cable industry, both through their technical contributions and via their ambitious rollout of OpenCable Platform set-top boxes and applications (anticipated to be available to their full subscriber base within the next 18 months).

A similar transformation is under way in the DVD market. Blu-ray Disc is the next-generation optical disc format that significantly boosts the movie-viewing experience. Of course it's built on standards - what isn't? In this case the standards are defined and managed by the Blu-ray Disk Association (www.blu-raydisc.com/Index.html). In addition to supporting the best available high-definition video and audio quality, Blu-ray Disc supports Blu-ray Disk Java (BD-J) (http://developers.sun.com/learning/javaoneonline/2006/mobility/TS-1685.pdf), an advanced content platform based on Java ME technology and largely compatible with OPAC. BD-J supports bonus content far more sophisticated than that offered by legacy DVDs, making it possible to add features such as secondary video (for display of detailed production notes, director/cast commentary, and technical effects), in-movie gaming, downloading supplemental audio/video content, and user preferences and bookmarks. Blu-ray Disc is supported by most of the major consumer electronics vendors, PC vendors, and Hollywood studios.

In both of these areas it's clear not only that Java plays an important role, but also that the JCP cannot go it alone. The interrelationship of the JCP with OCAP and the Blu-ray Disk Association exemplifies the way in which standards organizations depend on each other.

Updated JSRs This Month: OSS/J
Another example of collaboration between standards bodies is provided by several JSRs that went final this month. The OSS through Java (OSS/J) Initiative (http://jcp.org/en/press/success/OSS) was formed in October 2000 by 15 JCP member companies to coordinate the work of developing Java specifications for Operations Support Systems (OSS). OSS software enables telecommunications companies to manage, monitor, and control their networks in areas such as billing, customer support, and directory services. In July 2006 the OSS/J Initiative joined forces with the TeleManagement Forum (www.tmforum.org/browse.aspx) - the leading standards organization for the telecom industry.

The OSS/J Initiative has been extremely successful, developing a total of 12 JSRs (go here for a full list: http://jcp.org/en/jsr/tech?listBy=3&listByType=tech) most of which have been completed and several of which have issued multiple maintenance releases.

This month two new OSS/J JSRs reached their Final Release stage and two others issued Maintenance Releases:
•  JSR 263: Fault Management API (http://jcp.org/en/jsr/detail?id=263), under the leadership of Motorola and more recently HP, made its Final Release in September. This JSR separates OSS fault-management APIs from the Quality of Service APIs defined in JSR 90, thereby enabling software vendors to implement fault management APIs separately while still being able to claim conformance to OSS and JCP specifications.
•  JSR 264: Order Management API (http://jcp.org/en/jsr/detail?id=264), led by Star Spec Lead Andreas Ebbert-Karroum from Nokia, also made its Final Release in September. This JSR incorporates and replaces the OSS/J Service Activation API.
•  JSR 142: The OSS Inventory API (http://jcp.org/en/jsr/detail?id=142), led by Star Spec Lead Pierre Gauthier from Oracle, and JSR 91: OSS Trouble Ticket API (http://jcp.org/en/jsr/detail?id=91), led by Roman Schlegel from Frox Communication, issued Maintenance Releases in August.

All the OSS/J JSRs are coordinated by another Star Spec Lead - Vincent Perrot from Sun, who leads JSR 144: OSS Common API (http://jcp.org/en/jsr/detail?id=144), which specifies the set of APIs that are common across all OSS/J JSRs. This JSR has issued a total of five Maintenance Releases so far.

Duke Goes to Detroit
As yet more proof that Java is everywhere, JSR 298: Telematics API for Java ME (http://jcp.org/en/jsr/detail?id=298) recently entered its Public Review ballot phase. This JSR, led by SK Telecom, defines APIs for automotive telematics services using embedded devices based on Java ME. The specification defines methods for controlling and obtaining diagnostic information from various vehicle components. Want to check your fuel-level, start your engine, or control your sound system from your cellphone? It may soon be possible thanks to the work of this Expert Group.

As always, the Focus on JSRs section of the JCP home page (http://jcp.org/en/home/index) provides full details about active JSRs. We welcome your involvement in the JSR development process, and please don't forget to vote (as often as the JCP process permits, but no more!)

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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