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Paperwork, Politics and Pain - Our year in the JCP (FOSDEM 2012)
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Paperwork, Politics and Pain - Our year in the JCP (FOSDEM 2012)


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In 2011 the London Java Community (LJC) stood for, and overwhelmingly won a seat in the open elections for a seat on the JCP Executive Committee (JCP EC), enough acronyms yet? We haven't even started! …

In 2011 the London Java Community (LJC) stood for, and overwhelmingly won a seat in the open elections for a seat on the JCP Executive Committee (JCP EC), enough acronyms yet? We haven't even started! It's been a whirlwind trip so far with a great deal learned about politics, acronyms, the due diligence required on a JSR, flights to exotic places (Jersey City!?), wrangling over the wording of a sentence and of course launching some developer lead initiatives.
There have of course been some great successes in moving Free Java forward such as the JSR-348 which is the start of reforming the JCP and JSRs towards a truly open and transparent model. This talk covers the good works done so far, some anecdotes of what it's like to work as a developer amongst a mix of technologists and techies and what we think is left to be done.

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  • \n
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  • This is an opinion --> We tend to have lots of those\n
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  • And on and on and on and on...\n
  • * With prominent departures.. --> The developer community needed more....\n* We have lots of community and FOSS experience\n
  • * Nice story about the win being announced at the EMEA OUG session\n* Committee --> Deep roots are important, Currently 8 very active members\n* Committee --> Conscious that we had a lot to prove\n
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  • * Have no products/services etc to fight for\n* Have a wide representation\n
  • * We voted yes on Java 7, but noted the lack of transparent mailing lists as a major concern!\n* Run JSRs like Karl Fogel suggests you run FOSS projects\n* Sentence structure, Legal interpretations, Spelling and Grammar and their impact, Points of order\n
  • * People and organisations started becoming interested in the JCP again, JCP elections for late 2011 were hard fought\n* An important social aspect for harder JSRs to come\n* Including Oracle *Gasp*, Surprised a number of observers\n* Think of it like invokedynamic, it’s the great enabler\n
  • Despite what the mainstream tech media reports\n
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  • JUGs can help build, Reference Implementations (RI), Technical Compatibility Kits (TCK)\n* Managing mailing lists, Triaging issues, Testing, Evangelism + more!\n
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  • * Laser focus\n
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  • Largely an uninteresting JSR for observers\n Some members were stirred from slumber\n
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  • To be blunt, not enough techies capable of voting on technical merit\n
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  • Transcript

    • 1. This work and content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported LicensePolitics, Positives,Paperwork and PainOur year to date in the JCPMartijn Verburg (@karianna)Ben Evans (@kittylyst) 1 Slide Design by Kerry Kenneally
    • 2. The secret reason we are here..... 2
    • 3. How this talk is going to work• This is a fact!• This is an opinion• We will not poke fun at large corporations 3
    • 4. Legal Disclaimer Slide• For the lawyers: “Lorem ipsum, Lorem ipsum, Lorem ipsum, Lorem ipsum, Lorem ipsum, Lorem ipsum, Lorem ipsum, Lorem ipsum, Lorem ipsum, Lorem ipsum, Lorem ipsum, Lorem ipsum, Lorem ipsum, Lorem ipsum, Lorem ipsum, Lorem ipsum, Lorem ipsum, Lorem ipsum, Lorem ipsum, Lorem ipsum, Lorem ipsum, Lorem ipsum, Lorem ipsum, Lorem ipsum, Lorem ipsum, Lorem ipsum, Lorem ipsum, Lorem ipsum, Lorem ipsum, Lorem ipsum, Lorem ipsum, Lorem ipsum, Lorem ipsum, Lorem ipsum, Lorem ipsum” 4
    • 5. Acronym Soup• One of the reasons why people shy away from the JCP• JUG - Java User Group• JSR - Java Specification Request• JCP - Java Community Process• RI - Reference Implementation• TCK - Technology Compatibility Kit 5
    • 6. How it all Started - I• FOSDEM 2011 – Inspired by the spirit shown in the Free Java room & too much beer• The developer community needed more representation• We’d been making noise for a while• It was politely suggested we step up 6
    • 7. How it all Started - II• ~March/April 2011 - We threw our hat in the ring• “We have the best general purpose VM in the world, and its Open. We want to build on this, who wants to come with?”• ~May 2011 - We won the open seat!• We formed a deep committee to deal with JCP matters• Change of beverage --> Red Wine 7
    • 8. Immediately some Paperwork & Pain• JSPAs are unfriendly to say the least• Quite difficult to deal with as a JUG or individual• PMO smoothed the path – But it’s still a barrier to entry for the uninitiated• Developers do not understand legalese – Does anybody? 8
    • 9. Our Openness and Transparency• LJC as a JUG is in an unique position• All our JCP decision making is in the open! – Meeting minutes – Our voting criteria – Our votes and why we voted – Thought processes on existing JSRs• “Meritocracy of the Willing” – No barriers to joining the LJC JCP Committee 9
    • 10. First order of Business - Vote on JSR 348• Openness and Transparency of JSRs and the JCP itself – Started by the Oracle before we joined• Exciting meetings about minute details• Endless phone conferences• Good to have deep roots with your JCP Reps – No one should go through that alone 10
    • 11. JSR-348 - A Massive success• JSR-348 was a hit• It didn’t cover everything the community wanted• It did get the full EC’s collaborating again• Some of the most vocal voices for openness were large vendors! – JSR itself was lead by Oracle• JSRs are now accessible to the technical community 11
    • 12. A General move towards openness• JCP EC members are pushing the FOSS agenda• The OpenJDK is now the RI for Java! – This includes the Mac• Oracle has promised all of its older JSRs will be run under 348 – They’re almost there• Small trademark and licensing issues have been cleaned up• There’s still obviously some important work left to do 12
    • 13. Adopt a JSR• With JSR-348 coming into being, developers could now act• JSRs were ripe for adoption by the wider Java community• So we launched ‘Adopt a JSR’ on Oct 31st 2011• LJC working with JCP to guide spec leads – With JSR-348 compliance – Making JSR-348 a positive FOSS experience 13
    • 14. What is the Adopt a JSR program?• See for full details• A JUG lead initiative to improve standards in the Java ecosystem• Groups of JUG members work on JSRs
    • 15. Why the JUGs get involved• To be involved in “Moving Java forward” – Sorry, we couldn’t resist• To ensure that ivory tower standards do not occur• To make sure the useful libraries and APIs get built• To boost the careers of JUG members – Gain new technical and community skills and much more!• It’s fun!
    • 16. How does it help the Standards?• Standards get earlier feedback – Leading to more developer friendly APIs• Standards get end user/developer expert input• Standards get developed more quickly• JUGs can also help with management of the JSR 16
    • 17. Who’s involved already?• See for up to date details – The London Java Community (UK) – SouJava (Brazil) – GoJava (Brazil) – Houston JUG (USA) – Chennai JUG (India)• + Several more starting out 17
    • 18. What difference have they really made?• The LJC is helping make sure JSR-310 gets through – Date and Time for Java 8 – Focussed on building the TCK, ~50% by Dec 2011• Houston JUG and Chennai JUG is working on JSR-347 – Data Grids API for Java EE – Helps avoid vendor lock in• Large increase in ‘passive participation’ – More downloads, mailing list subscribers etc 18
    • 19. Adopt the OpenJDK• A JUG lead program for working on the OpenJDK• Aim to to lower barriers to working with the OpenJDK – Potential to dramatically increase # of OpenJDK hackers• Currently working on a variety of issues – Website, Wiki, Build, JIRA Triage, Small bug clean ups & more• 19
    • 20. Realisations about the OpenJDK• Huge leaps made recently – It’s the RI for Java – Mac port is now in mainstream• Infrastructure problems need to be dealt with – Community wide problem, not just Oracle’s!• JEPs are a good idea in principle... – Their relationship with JSRs have a perception problem• Still large barriers to entry – Clouds of fog and mystery for the developer on the street 20
    • 21. A General move towards community• Adopt a JSR has been widely supported• Most JSRs need a massive Ux overhaul• OpenJDK hacking is being actively encouraged• OpenJDK needs a massive Ux overhaul 21
    • 22. The next bit of reform, JSR-355• (the 2nd)• Long overdue merging of the SE/EE and ME EC’s• Several EC members not turning up/voting – This made us quietly furious• A smaller, more focussed group will do a better job• Some political and bureaucratic wheeling and dealing 22
    • 23. The next bit of interesting reform...• The almighty (the 3rd)• Will look at the JSPA• Will look at TCKs and licensing• Lots of other small issues that require legal eagles• Many old arguments will come to the surface• We think it will be important to take a step back – Look at the TCK problem from different angles – Existing arguments are well documented 23
    • 24. Realisations about the JCP EC• The EC members do not discuss JSRs enough• There needs to be more technical balance – This is improving• EC members are not open enough about why they voted – Need to have meaningful commit messages!• There is a great deal of willingness to change – This is not reported enough 24
    • 25. Extra Lessons we’ve learned• It’s still easy to miss a vote – There’s no excuse for this we simply must all do better• Enthusiasm and optimism grinds down barriers• We recognised that when organisations throw their toys in public.... – It’s counter productive – Time is wasted• Companies like Oracle are not one giant machine with a single will – Patience is a virtue – Large companies have large turning circles 25
    • 26. Thanks for listening!• The acronyms become familiar, we promise!• We’re looking forward to working towards more Java freedom in 2012 – Shameless Plug: Re-elect us!• Need to get in touch? – Ben Evans (@kittylyst) – Martijn Verburg (@karianna)•• 26