Java IoT Authors: Pat Romanski, Zakia Bouachraoui, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: Java IoT

Java IoT: Article

Open Source and Open Standards

A powerful combination

It's more difficult to find a "standard" definition of Open Standards, since (like standards themselves) there are many to choose from. (Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_standard) provides a useful summary.) Nevertheless there is general agreement on the fundamental characteristics of open standards: they are developed through an open and transparent process that permits all interested parties to participate, and they are freely available for viewing or implementing without discriminatory or excessive licensing fees. The devil is in the details - and there are a lot of details. For example, some definitions require royalty-free licensing while others permit license fees so long as these are "Reasonable And Non Discriminatory" (RAND).

Since I'm the chair of a standards organization you won't be surprised to learn that I believe in standards. They make the world go round. It would not be possible to mail a package or send an email message, drive a car or take an airplane trip, shop for food in a supermarket, obtain medical treatment in a hospital, watch TV or movies, enjoy a sports game, or do any of the other things that the modern world offers without standards. The processes through which the JCP develops standards (JSRs), while they might not meet all of the criteria in the strictest definition of open standards (no standards organization gets a perfect score), are reasonably open. For example, participation is open to all, JSRs are developed through a well-defined process that requires public review, and the resulting standards are licensed royalty-free to those who wish to implement them.

The acceptance and success of open source development methodologies pose both a challenge and an opportunity for standards organizations such as the JCP. Some argue that standards are less necessary in an open-source world, or that the collaborative efforts of open source communities can develop "de facto standards" in a more agile manner than the more traditional standards bodies whose processes are necessarily more cautious and time-consuming. I believe that both open standards and open source are necessary; they can and should complement each other. Open standards are essential to enable multiple competing implementations, protecting against vendor lock-in. Large corporations rely on standards to build industrial-strength systems, and governmental organizations are requiring that software developed and deployed in the service of their citizens be built on open standards. (See for example the European Union's Interoperability Framework (http://europa.eu.int/idabc/en/document/3761) for pan-European eGovernment Services.) Open source development methodologies and licenses can indeed bring agility, innovation, and collaboration to standards-developing organizations, and for this reason they are being increasingly adopted.

The JCP does not mandate open-source processes or licenses but it does enable and encourage them. Several JSRs have already been developed in this manner (Doug Lea's JSR 166: Concurrency Utilities (http://jcp.org/en/resources/guide/166-casestudy) , for example) and it's likely that this model will increasingly be followed in the future. Last year Sun decided to open-source its implementations of the Java SE, Java EE, and Java ME platforms, hence the OpenJDK team's visit to FOSDEM that I mentioned at the start of this article. The implications of this change are significant, and many of them are still to be worked out, but it's clear that this is the way that many if not all JSRs will be developed in the future. Similarly, while the JCP does not mandate transparent processes, these too are encouraged. (Our Process Document (http://jcp.org/en/procedures/jcp2) requires that spec leads provide a "transparency plan" to ensure that the members and the public have insight into and can participate in the JSR development process.) Over the years the JCP has become more open and transparent, and I confidently expect these trends to continue.

Open standards and open source are a powerful combination. Each supports and strengthens the other. Many of the most successful open-source projects are based on open standards (the Apache web server, for example, implements a variety of W3C standards). Open-source implementations of open standards help to clarify problems in the specification and to promote their adoption. In fact, it has been suggested that open-source implementations might be essential to the success of open standards.

These issues will be explored in more detail during a panel discussion (http://qcon.infoq.com/london/presentation/Open+Source+and+Open+Standards) that I will be leading at the QCon conference in London on March 12.

JSR Roundup
As usual, a variety of JSRs made progress during the past month. JSR 254 (http://jcp.org/en/jsr/detail?id=254): OSS Discovery API, led by Nakina Systems, made its final release. Two JSRs entered the Final Approval Ballot stage: JSR 225 (http://jcp.org/en/jsr/detail?id=225): XQuery API for Java, led by Oracle, which provides a uniform interface to a variety of different implementations of the W3C XQuery (http://www.w3.org/XML/Query) specification, and JSR 286 (http://jcp.org/en/jsr/detail?id=286): Portlet Specification 2.0, led by Star Spec Lead Stefan Hepper of IBM.

Two JSRs entered Public Review (their Public Review Ballots will take place during March). JSR 262 (http://jcp.org/en/jsr/detail?id=262): Web Services Connector for Java Management Extensions (JMX) Agents, led by Star Spec Lead Eamann McManus from Sun, enables the use of Web Services to remotely access JMX instrumentation. JSR 290 (http://jcp.org/en/jsr/detail?id=290): Java Language & XML User Interface Markup Integration, also led by Sun, enables the creation of rich user interfaces on mobile devices by leveraging W3C XML markup specifications such as Scalable Vector Graphics and the Compound Document Format.

Finally, two more JSRs made maintenance releases: JSR 243 (http://jcp.org/en/jsr/detail?id=243): Java Data Objects 2.0, and JSR 248 (http://jcp.org/en/jsr/detail?id=248): MSA, the Java ME umbrella specification.

For more details about the JSRs mentioned in this column and about the other activities of the JCP, please visit our website (http://jcp.org/en/home/index).

More Stories By Patrick Curran

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

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to ...
Dynatrace is an application performance management software company with products for the information technology departments and digital business owners of medium and large businesses. Building the Future of Monitoring with Artificial Intelligence. Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more busine...
The challenges of aggregating data from consumer-oriented devices, such as wearable technologies and smart thermostats, are fairly well-understood. However, there are a new set of challenges for IoT devices that generate megabytes or gigabytes of data per second. Certainly, the infrastructure will have to change, as those volumes of data will likely overwhelm the available bandwidth for aggregating the data into a central repository. Ochandarena discusses a whole new way to think about your next...
CloudEXPO | DevOpsSUMMIT | DXWorldEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.
All in Mobile is a place where we continually maximize their impact by fostering understanding, empathy, insights, creativity and joy. They believe that a truly useful and desirable mobile app doesn't need the brightest idea or the most advanced technology. A great product begins with understanding people. It's easy to think that customers will love your app, but can you justify it? They make sure your final app is something that users truly want and need. The only way to do this is by ...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that Big Data Federation to Exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO, colocated with DevOpsSUMMIT and DXWorldEXPO, November 12-13, 2018 in New York City. Big Data Federation, Inc. develops and applies artificial intelligence to predict financial and economic events that matter. The company uncovers patterns and precise drivers of performance and outcomes with the aid of machine-learning algorithms, big data, and fundamental analysis. Their products are deployed...
Cell networks have the advantage of long-range communications, reaching an estimated 90% of the world. But cell networks such as 2G, 3G and LTE consume lots of power and were designed for connecting people. They are not optimized for low- or battery-powered devices or for IoT applications with infrequently transmitted data. Cell IoT modules that support narrow-band IoT and 4G cell networks will enable cell connectivity, device management, and app enablement for low-power wide-area network IoT. B...
The hierarchical architecture that distributes "compute" within the network specially at the edge can enable new services by harnessing emerging technologies. But Edge-Compute comes at increased cost that needs to be managed and potentially augmented by creative architecture solutions as there will always a catching-up with the capacity demands. Processing power in smartphones has enhanced YoY and there is increasingly spare compute capacity that can be potentially pooled. Uber has successfully ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things'). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing. IoT is not about the devices, its about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. This paper discusses the considerations when dealing with the...