This week, Oracle officially nominated SouJava for an Executive Commitee seat on the Java Community Process (JCP), and I’ve been indicated as the group’s representative. Since then I have received many e-mails, and started writing this lines several times, but couldn’t get too far… There is no simple messaging regarding the JCP these days. To even start means touching on all the large issues at stake, including Apache, Harmony, Android, OpenJDK, Java SE, the TCK, JSPA, Open Source, Oracle, and so much more… That’s not surprising. The JCP is at a crossroads where everything Java meets.
So, I’ll start simple and leave the other issues for other posts…
SouJava is an important and active Java Users Group, based in São Paulo, Brazil. It has tens of thousands of members and hosts activities in several cities. The group has been working with the JCP for a long time. It was the first JUG to join the program and has been promoting the JCP in Brazil for years. It also worked heavily to get the Brazilian Government to participate and recognize the importance of the JCP – and to add open source, standards and Java to the Government’s agenda. SouJava also pushed Brazilian developers to participate in the JCP, and many of the group’s directors have joined JSRs, which worked to extend the group’s experience. Our User Group is respected by developers, companies and the government, and participates in major discussions about software development in Brazil. By helping connect the Java and the open source communities, the group had an important participation in the open sourcing of Java. SouJava will bring its passion for open source, standards and Java technology to the JCP to fight for transparency and participation.
As for me, I have been involved with the JCP for a long time, even longer then SouJava. JCP’s Patrick says I’m one of the first individuals to join as a member. I’ve also participated in the backstage discussions of many of the issues that happened. I consider the JCP one of the most important cornerstones of Java technology – Java’s most important feature.
For a long time, I felt at ease with the JCP, since Apache was part of the Executive Committee. Geir Magnusson is a longtime friend, and the fact that he was fighting for the things I believe made me feel I had someone to defend my rights. I respect and understand Apache’s decision to leave the JCP, but for me, once Apache and Geir decided to step down, I felt I was losing my direct connection to the Process.
Personally, I see this as an opportunity to join the fight for more transparence and better developer participation in the JCP, as well as working to make sure the JCP respects the needs of open source communities. My discussions so far with Oracle make me believe that we are aligned on some of these issues, and it’s clear we already agree on disagreeing in others. This is fine; disagreements are, of course, part of the process.
However, there are still major steps ahead: SouJava needs to run the election and receive the approval of JCP members. If the members understand our participation is beneficial, we’ll need to get into the discussion and work out our proposals with Java developers. We understand it won’t be easy and it that is hard to make a difference. But the group is strong and independent. It will not shy away from tough discussions and hard decisions.
I would like to thank everybody for the supportive e-mails. I’m really excited with the opportunity, and will do my best to deserve the support I and SouJava have received. To be honest, I’m also a bit scared with the sheer size of this challenge. I sincerely hope we can measure up to expectations.