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Poll Result: a Plurality Thinks the JCP Does a Good Job

Posted by editor on November 6, 2009 at 7:25 AM PST

The past week's poll results indicate that, in general, Java developers are of the opinion that the JCP performs a necessary but difficult task. The poll drew a relatively small number of votes: 171. The exact question and results were:

What's your view of the JCP's role in guiding Java's future?

  • 40% (68 votes) - It does a good job of ensuring Java's stability
  • 20% (34 votes) - I often disagree with its decisions, but we need it
  • 13% (22 votes) - It impedes Java's development
  • 6% (11 votes) - We'd be better off without the JCP
  • 18% (31 votes) - I don't know
  • 3% (5 votes) - Other

The standard caveat applies: this is a voluntary survey, not a scientific poll, etc., etc.

Among those who chose to vote, at least 60% believe the JCP plays a needed role. On the other hand, almost 20% of the voters view the JCP in a negative light, as an organization that at minimum impedes Java's development in important areas. A fairly large number of voters either don't have a strong view about the JCP, or their view wasn't among the options. No one posted a comment to this poll.

While 60% of the voters explicitly state that a standards organization is needed, I have to believe that some or most of the 20% who have a negative view of the JCP probably also share the view that a standards organization is needed to protect Java's integrity and prevent significant fracturing. Even the people who selected "we'd be better off without the JCP" may be expressing that they'd prefer a standards organization that's different in its structure and mode of operation from the JCP, rather than that they think having no Java standards organization whatsoever would be the ideal situation.

I was actually surprised by these results. When your viewpoint is formed by newsfeeds and blogs that reference the JCP, it's easy to get the idea that almost no one actually likes the JCP. What's publicized is lots of criticism.

But, then again, I suppose that makes sense. A standards organization is something where, if people are pleased, they'll just keep quiet and stay busy doing their work. Hence, the views that are publicly stated will typically be critiques, along with arguments on the relative importance of features that are being considered for approval.

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