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InfoWorld: "Java.net: The JCP Alternative?"

Posted by jhunter on June 10, 2003 at 1:58 AM PDT

InfoWorld just published an article on how Java.net and the JCP might interact, and my name appears in the first sentence! Boy when you see that you hold your breath and hope the reporter got things right. You never know what crazy things you might find attributed to you. Happily, Bob McMillan usually gets the facts right, and he did pretty well here.

Now, I think the article's gratuitously melodramatic in jumping from my keynote speech last year to my thoughts that JDOM doesn't need to go through the JCP. The two issues aren't really related. The agreement announced last year was (primarily) that open source licenses were Ok for JSR implementations and that Sun would support that. That's already benefitted projects like Apache Axis. It never meant that the JCP would become a sort of hosting ground for open source projects.

I frequently advise people to let their business critical functions depend only on things that are either documented "standards" with multiple vendors or that are open source projects. Each provides protection from a single company deciding to discontinue support for what you depend on. It's ideal if you can have both -- an open source project that went through the JCP to be seen as a de facto standard -- but it's not required and is not always worth the effort. In my case with JDOM, I have limited time to volunteer, and I'd rather spend the time I can offer working on the software itself rather than navigating the JCP river. I had more time in the past, but I spent it working on the JCP 2.5 changes which I thought and still believe were more important.

If someone working on JDOM wanted to volunteer to lead the JCP portion of the project, I think that'd be great. I haven't officially cancelled the JSR because I'm hoping that might happen. But so far it seems open source folks prefer code to politics. Who can blame them?

BTW, I'm on a panel talking about the JCP, open source, and Java.net. It's Wednesday right after lunch and led by Frank Sommers. (12:15pm, Esplanade 303)

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