ASF Leave JCP EC

ASF President Jim Jagielski Posts “More Emotional” Statement on JCP Resignation

If Apache's official resignation from the JCP EC sounded rather restrained, there's a reason: the "rougher" more "emotional" version was held back. Now, ASF President Jim Jagielski has posted this "more face-to-face conversational" note to Oracle at his blog, and it pulls no punches. In the document, the ASF accuse the EC of approving JSRs and TCKs that are fundamentally incompatible with open source. The JSRs make distributing a tested, compatible implementation impossible under any open source license – by anyone other than Oracle. In Jagielski's opinion, the EC have effectively given Oracle free reign to ignore its contractual obligations, whenever the company sees fit. "Yesterday's vote is the final straw," Jagielski says. He sounds resigned to the fact that Oracle will always "violate and not honor the JSPA agreements," but for him, what has changed is that the EC are now turning a blind eye to Oracle's actions. "The ASF can no longer justify its continued involvement within this entity."

He cannot resist pointing out that, in response to the ASF's earlier statement urging the EC to vote against Oracle, Oracle posted that they provide "TCK licenses under fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory terms consistent with its obligations under the JSPA." He calls this the "funniest and yet most inaccurate line yet in the whole ordeal." After all, the 5.C.III section of the JSPA prevents a spec lead from imposing "any contractual condition or covenant that would limit or restrict the right of any licensee to create or distribute such Independent Implementations," and Oracle's Field of Use restriction prevents tested code from being run on a PC in an enclosed environment. Oracle's OpenJDK does not contain the Field of Use clause on the TCK.

What does the future hold for the Java community, in light of this controversy? Jagielski hasn't given up hope yet of a new community process arising from the ashes of the JCP. Meanwhile, Peter Kriens has speculated this might be where the OSGI Alliance steps in, while Apache Software Foundation member Stephen Colebourne predicts that the JCP will stagger on as a useful tool for influencing Oracle – but the JCP's days of being a vendor-neutral open standards body are well and truly over.

Jessica Thornsby

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