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A Call for "Open Enrollment" for MSA (Mobile Service Architecture) Advanced

Posted by sean_sheedy on October 24, 2007 at 4:46 AM PDT

MSA Advanced is chartered to define the next generation Mobile Java platform. So, it seems logical to get the experience and expertise of many users and citizens and developers into the discussions surrounding this new platform.

However, there are no individual experts in MSA Advanced.

The problem is that once an Expert Group (EG) has been selected, it's common for a JSR to stop accepting participants and remain closed at the discretion of the spec leads. Somehow this EG formed without Individual experts. MSA Advanced's web page on JCP.org shows that it started in summer 2004, and was scheduled to finish a little over a year later. A lot has changed in the mobile space since then, and the individual perspective would contribute valuable insights.

There is a precedent for joining JSRs after "open enrollment" ends. Motorola's Mike Milikich, the spec lead for MIDP3, has an open-door policy for any JCP member wanting to get involved with that JSR. The result is that many eyeballs have improved the richness and quality of the specification. The "too many cooks" problem has not materialized.

In his keynote at JavaOne 2006, Jonathan Schwartz said, "This is not a heavy-weight corporate kind of environment. You go to JCP.org, you register as an individual . . . We want to make sure that all voices are heard in the process . . . This is not about corporations defining a technology platform, this is about users and citizens and developers defining that platform."

I know many of the participants in MSA Advanced. They are intelligent and kind, and they and their companies have repeatedly demonstrated how much they value the role and the input of individual developers. Furthermore, MIDP3 has shown that there is great value in the contributions of individual developers in the EG process. Maybe a little reminder of this is all that is needed for the MSA Advanced EG to announce "open enrollment" in the very near future.

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