Java Expert Turns Down SE Groups Invitation

Bob Lee Refuses To Join Java SE 7 and 8 Expert Groups

Jessica Thornsby

Bob Lee has made the difficult decision to turn down an invitation to the Java SE 7 and 8 expert groups, claiming Java SE is not open enough for him.

Bob Lee has announced that he has turned down an invitation to join the Java SE 7 and 8 expert groups. Despite admitting it was a difficult decision, he maintains that he wishes to contribute to open source projects and open standards, and Java SE’s anti-competitive licensing restrictions, means he cannot view it as an open standard. He agrees with Apache’s confrontational stance against Oracle, and “hope(s) Eclipse comes around.” Eclipse have generally been pragmatic about the situation, and although the Foundation have expressed their disapproval of Oracle withholding the TCK from Harmony, have decided “the time has come to move on.”

In the recently announced JSR’s, Oracle have applied additional licensing restrictions. Bob Lee questions whether this is even legal, as all of the intellectual property in Java SE was not created by Oracle. The JSPA section 4.D enables contributors to withdraw their IP contributions if a specification lead, such as Oracle, “makes significant changes” to the licensing terms.

Bob Lee seems to suggest this could be the way forward for contributors who feel their donations are being misused: “it’s not clear to me exactly how section 4.D applies to umbrella JSRs like Java SE, but I’d say that changes preventing independent open source implementations qualify as a “significant.”

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