Tene chats with a
member of Azul’s
JAVA IN ACTION
The JCP is there
to move the Java
but in areas where
So I don’t think that the JCP should be dictating specific license terms or saying specifically that certain licenses are allowed or not.
But I do think that some guidelines and some
boundaries are needed. For example, reliable
and lasting access to TCKs under a known,
predictable set of terms is a fundamental
need for companies, projects, and individuals to invest in implementing and following
a standard under the JCP. We should clearly
and strongly define the minimal requirements that JSRs should meet for providing
such access. We’ve seen over the last few
years a lot of stagnation.
Java Magazine: Has Oracle delivered on the
promise of increased transparency and openness in the JCP?
Tene: I would say that Oracle is in the process
of delivering. I wouldn’t say it has delivered.
We see a lot of promise and very good intentions, but it’s still too early to say that we see
actual results. As part of the community,
we look at this as something we continuously have to watch. Part of our role in the
Executive Committee is to be that external,
non-Oracle watchful eye that points out
when we’re heading in the wrong direction.
Let’s be specific. We certainly have seen
the JCP deliver on JSR 348 and improved rules
and improved transparency so that community efforts will match what the community
wants. But the process is only about half
done. We still have more work to do in relation to things like the JSPA [Java Specification
Participation Agreement] document that will
be addressed in a future JSR.
The specific areas that we are concerned
with are in-flux situations where the new
rules that we’ve put in place actually contra-
dict the previous way we’ve been working.
So things that were fine a year ago under the
previous process are now in contradiction
with the new rules. And some of that has
not yet been resolved. New rules that control
what we can or can’t do can stand in the way
of doing work that we were previously able
to do. For example, including confidential
information in the materials discussed and
worked on by JSR expert groups stands, in my
opinion, in contradiction with the transpar-
ency rules and requirements of JCP 2. 8 and
JSR 348, but the JSPA in some cases allows
and sometimes even requires expert group
members to maintain levels of confidential-
ity around work that is material to a JSR. This
sort of contradiction can potentially bring JSR
work to a halt if we do not resolve it through
rule changes and the JCP.next efforts.
Java Magazine: Do you think there’s a percep-
tion in the IT community that Java is aging
or that some other language or platform will
replace it soon?
Tene: Yes, I think that there is a perception
that Java is aging. There’s a lot of talk about it
slowing in innovation. The interesting thing is
that one usually hears this sort of thing in the
context of some new technology that is actu-
ally overtaking and replacing an older plat-
form. But I think that this is not the case with
the Java platform. The Java platform has been
around for 17 years and has been enormously
successful. Two or three years after Java first
emerged, it was already clear that it was dis-
placing other development and deployment
platforms. I don’t currently see some other
emerging platform that is threatening Java
like Java threatened other platforms. There
are many interesting new developments in
dynamic and functional languages, rapid
development techniques, and other inno-
vations that are not necessarily in the Java
language, but the vast majority of those tend
to target and run on the Java platform rather
than threatening it. </article>
Janice J. Heiss is the Java acquisitions editor at
Oracle and a technology editor at Java Magazine.