Doug Lea on leaving the JCP and the way forward

Doug Lea posted why he is not seeking another term on the JCP Executive Committee:

I believe that the JCP is no longer a credible specification and standards body, and there is no remaining useful role for an independent advocate for the academic and research community on the EC.

Some have argued that JCP was never a credible standards body. I once disagreed: Sun initially placed in the JSPA and Process documents enough rules to ensure that the JCP could foster innovation, quality, and diversity, […] However, some of these rules, and violations of rules, have been found to be the source of stalemates and lost technical ground. […]

For the core Java platform (which these days roughly corresponds to Java SE), the only existing vehicle for which I can foresee a useful role for the academic and research community is OpenJDK. OpenJDK is a shared-source, not shared-spec body, so is superficially not an alternative at all. But at this point, a Linux-style model for collaboratively developed common source is likely to be more effective in meeting upcoming challenges than is the JCP.

I admit that I was one of those people who argued that the JCP always has been hostile towards Free Software communities. Which is why I personally always concentrated on just producing Free Software implementations and routed around the JCP whenever I could. But it is sad to see even people like Doug Lea loosing the faith. He was brave enough to at least try.

I do agree concentrating on a shared Free Software implementation distributed under the GPL is the best way forward for Java. If we can really turn such a project into a collaboratively developed common source base on which everybody is free to build innovative platforms. Hopefully OpenJDK, with a little help from IcedTea, GNU Classpath and friends, will be that project.

One Comment

  1. David Fu says:

    Hi Mark,

    It is sad to see how far Java has fallen since it was GPL’d. I miss the good old days when we fought for Free Java. Are there any plans to liberate Java from the new tyrant?? I think we can still rally around GNU Classpath, like may be produce a “GNU Android” project using GNU Classpath or IcedTea(it should be using Sun’s GPL’d code as much as possible to skirt the Software patents issue). I think there should be many people interested in a campaign like this. :)

    Friend of the Free Java Movement,
    David Fu.