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 license.
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 state:
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 parties.”
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 vote.
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 the process.
We hope this will be resolved forthwith and we can get an API that is craved certainly by the community.