JEP process and Coin

Brian Goetz brian.goetz at
Thu Oct 6 08:43:33 PDT 2011

There have been a number of questions on this list about the JEP process 
[1], and how it relates to Project Coin.

JEP stands for "JDK Enhancement Proposal", and is part of our process 
for building a technical roadmap for the Java platform.  Filing a JEP 
(what we used to called a "one pager") is the first step towards 
inclusion of a proposed feature in the JDK.

The JEP process document linked below outlines the states a JEP can go 
through, from Draft (we're just talking) to Submitted (I think this is 
good enough to review) to Candidate (Group/Area leads think the idea has 
enough merit to not toss out) to Funded (someone has actually committed 
resources to making it happen.)  The last transition -- to Funded -- is 
the one at which this goes from being an idea to being part of the plan 
for some JDK release.

Note that the JEP process is not exclusively, or even primarily, 
intended for Java language changes (the JDK is far bigger than the Java 
language!)  The bar for language features will remain quite high, and in 
reality any language change will require a great deal of funding from 
Oracle.  Further, significant language changes will also still require a 
standalone JSR.

What JEP is not: it is not a "suggestion box" for drive-by requests. 
The JEP process is open to JDK *committers*, and it is unlikely a JEP 
will gain funding if the author is not prepared to contribute 
significant effort to the project's implementation or stewardship.

So, how does this relate to Coin?  Not to minimize the substantial 
community contribution to Coin, Sun and Oracle still contributed 
considerable effort and funding to validating, implementing, and testing 
the Coin features that were eventually included in Java SE 7.  Had the 
JEP process been in place at the time Coin was started, the likely use 
would have been that the Coin process selected features for inclusion 
through exact same process as was used, and then Sun would have 
sponsored and funded a JEP for each of the selected features (just as 
Sun stewarded them through the JCP process), and this seems a sensible 
model for future Coin-style enhancements.


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