Feeds

Sun's Java body to open smoke-filled rooms

No talking allowed

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More than a year after coming under pressure to break its corporate bias and to woo individuals, the Java Community Process has responded.

The body's announced proposed changes to the way it discusses, manages and votes on the Java language and platform. If accepted, the changes will be adopted by the JCP next month.

However, the group's sidestepped at least one crucial issue that could weaken its proposals and undermine its efforts to modernize and reach out to individuals. The current round of changes won't include modifications to a densely worded and complicated legal document that governs internal discussions and gags the very individual members it wants - and needs - from speaking to the wider world.

Also, there's a huge void over the future of Test Compatibility Kits (TCKs), essential to certifying that your Java implementation does not fragment the official spec. TCKs typically contain vendors' intellectual property (IP) under licenses that open-source projects and vendors cannot swallow, so they cannot be "officially" certified as compatible - hurting their adoption.

The JCP has said its Java Specification Request (JSR) 2.15 maintenance release for JCP 2.7 will not consider issues that are "difficult to implement or that require changes to the JSPA."

The JSPA is an onerous and confusingly worded 20-page legal contract with Sun Microsystems, which created the JCP more than 10 years ago, that says what you can - and can't - talk about outside the JCP. Participants writing, blogging or discussing about JCP meetings do so in contravention of the JSPA and at their own legal risk.

The JSPA was created to make a safe environment for technology companies talking about their intellectual property without exposing it to outside scrutiny.

The agreement, though, dates from a time when Java was an application server and middleware play where ideas came from big vendors in tight competition with each other, and is thoroughly at odds with today's culture of innovation from the community, where ideas are blogged and openly discussed.

Previously, current JCP chairman Patrick Curran has expressed a belief that the JSPA could be re-worded for simplicity and brevity - taking it down to one or a few pages.

On TCKs, JSR 215 is ambiguous. It will consider setting "minimum requirements" for TCKs and move the disclosure of TCK and other business terms to a point earlier in the process. This suggests you'll simply have a better idea of what vendors' IP a given TCK contains, but you still won't be able to use it if you're an open-source project or company.

Last year Curran expressed a belief in the need to make the JCP seem less like a closed shop by opening up meetings to outsiders and individuals, and by opening up the voting process.

JSR 215 suggests Curran got the big vendors that still dominate the JCP to come around to some of his thinking on this. His work may have become easier thanks to the fact Sun - which leads 30 per cent of all the Java specs - could get bought by Oracle and has become less obstructive.

In the interests of greater transparency, JSR 215 has suggested that observers be allowed on to expert groups, in addition to active members, while spec leads like Sun may be asked to provide regular updates to changes on Java that - in-turn - may get posted to a public web site.

To garner greater feedback on proposed changes JSR 215 will consider changing the Community Review to Early Draft Review and making it open to the public participation. Voting may also change: super majority ballots will be needed for all proposed changes, not just changes to Java Standard or Mobile editions.

You can read the full JSR here. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft on the Threshold of a new name for Windows next week
Rebranded OS reportedly set to be flung open by Redmond
'In... 15 feet... you will be HIT BY A TRAIN' Google patents the SPLAT-NAV
Alert system tips oblivious phone junkies to oncoming traffic
Apple: SO sorry for the iOS 8.0.1 UPDATE BUNGLE HORROR
Apple kills 'upgrade'. Hey, Microsoft. You sure you want to be like these guys?
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
ARM gives Internet of Things a piece of its mind – the Cortex-M7
32-bit core packs some DSP for VIP IoT CPU LOL
Lotus Notes inventor Ozzie invents app to talk to people on your phone
Imagine that. Startup floats with voice collab app for Win iPhone
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.