Project proposal: JDK 7

Dalibor Topic robilad at
Thu Dec 6 13:19:59 UTC 2007

Mark Wielaard wrote:
> So I don't think that the JCP is a very appealing working environment
> for Free Software developers. Do you have an idea how to improve this?
We've discussed various approaches to improving the JCP for Free 
Software developers
within the GNU Classpath community over the past couple of years, but 
unfortunately, we
didn't find sufficient enthusiasm across the JCP's existing structures 
for the necessary reforms.
Since the Java platform itself wasn't Free Software, we correctly 
focused on fixing that
problem first, as it directly affected everyone in the Free Software 
community, rather than
the problems that mostly affected us as independent implementors.[1]

So, with the reference implementation becoming Free Software, the 
primary problem is pretty much
fixed. Now, I believe, is a good time to start thinking how to go about 
improving the JCP such that
it becomes an appealing working environment for Free Software developers.

My roadmap looks a bit like this:

* I'm very curious about Patrick Curran's session at JavaPolis[2] on the 
JCP. I'd like to learn more
about how the JCP works internally, in order to understand how to 
efficiently patch it without
regressions. My impression from discussions with various JCP members, is 
that the JCP
is currently looking for Free Software developers to provide guidance 
and assistance during its
transition towards a Java world where the Free Software model is the 
obvious choice for
development of community maintained standards. We should take this 
opportunity seriously,
in particular as individual developers and packagers, and not expect the 
proprietary software
vendors on the EC to be able to see the truths we regard as self evident 
in the same light without
some direct guidance.[3]

* I'd like to spend some time with you and Patrick in Antwerpen going 
over the JCP & JSPA
pain points, to see how, when, and with whom to proceed to fix them 
efficiently. I'd like to
have an understanding of what we can achieve if the Free Software 
developers act together in
their interest in what time frame.

* Then, I believe we should discuss that within the larger Free Software 
developer and packager
community, and at FOSDEM try to come up with a plan of action to address 
our needs.

dalibor topic

[1] Open source works better than open letters for some users, as ESR 
showed us back in 2003.


[3] The indirect approach didn't work as well as the direct engagement 
did for solving the primary
problem, i.e. positively engaging Sun directly during the past two years 
worked a lot better than
positively engaging someone else who may themselves eventually 
positively influence Sun to
liberate Java.  I believe the same holds for the JCP as a whole.

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