Concerns raised on WebSocket JSR over TCK license terms
Majority of executive committee vote in favour, but have underlying concerns over the WebSocket API for Java
Following last month’s proposal for a Websocket API to be
included in Java EE 7, the Java Executive
Committee EE/SE have voted on JSR 356 and whilst they have
voted in favour, issues remain over the specification’s TCK
As you can see above, 11 of 16 voted on for the WebSocket API to
be included as part of Java, yet both RedHat and Twitter abstained.
Google voted No. Credit Suiss and Goldman Sachs decided to not to
participate, once again raising questions over certain members’
commitment to the JCP.
It was RedHat who sounded the alarm early on, carefully pointing
out that even though they were all for the merits of the JSR, there
were outstanding issues surrounding the TCK license terms. They
argued that TCK testing should be free to interested parties,
rather than having to pay a fee to access it. They commented:
The RI license terms associated with the web sockets jsr
7. Fees, Royalties and Payments.a) Annual Fee.
$35,000 per year for access to the Technology in Source Code form
(Part. No. J2E88-UPD1-A889), which can be obtained only if you have
also ordered, or order concurrently, Part No. J2E88-TC4-A889
(tolicense the Java API for Web Sockets 1.0 TCK).
This appears to be in conflict with the JCP 2.8 terms this JSR
is governed by.
JCP 2.8 terms that I’ll argue are violated include:- “TCK license
terms must permit implementors to freely and publicly discuss the
testing process and detailed TCK test results with all interested
Allow the EC to assess the TCK quality per the guidelines in 4.2
FINAL APPROVAL BALLOT as one should not have to be a licensee to
view the source code, and due to the desire for transparency to the
community, non-EC members should be able to participate in
assessing the TCK, and RI.
RedHat added that they hoped ‘that the licensing issues are
resolved before this JSR comes up for final approval’, or they
would stick to their guns over an open and level playing field.
Others who voted yes echoed RedHat’s sentiments begging extra
consideration to be taken over TCK licensing before the final
The biggest Java User Group in the world, SouJava in Brazil
chose to be optimistic:
Although we agree that there are concerns about the TCK
licensing raised by other EC members, the spec lead has came
forward in the past few days and took important steps in starting
to address the issues raised. We expect that this trend will
continue, so we vote to approve the JSR to continue its course in
We hope this will be resolved forthwith and we can get an API
that is craved certainly by the community.