Ex-JCP Member Speaks Out

Doug Lea: ‘the JCP is no longer a credible specification and standards body.’

Jessica Thornsby

The news that Doug Lea is not in the running for the JCP EC caused some surprise. Now, he explains why he stepped down….

Doug Lea has posted an explanation of why he is not seeking another term on the JCP Executive Committee: he has lost his faith in the JCP.

“I believe that the JCP is no longer a credible specification and standards body, and there is no remaining useful role for an independent advocate for the academic and research community on the EC.”

This disillusionment stems from Oracle’s disregard of the rules that have already caused stalemates and “lost technical ground.” Presumably, he is referring to the JRSs, which the community and the Apache Software Foundation itself, have come to accept will never be forthcoming for the Harmony project. The catalyst for Doug Lea’s departure, was Oracle’s decision to submit SE release JSRs, as he’d decided that “the JCP can never again become more than an approval body for Oracle-backed initiatives.” He urges other members of the EC to consider the potential ramifications of being pragmatic, when casting their vote.

From here on in, Doug Lea is placing his hopes on OpenJDK. Although it is a shared-source, and not a shared-spec organisation, he praises its “Linux-style” model for collaboratively developed common source, as “likely to be more effective in meeting upcoming challenges than is the JCP.” Following his resignation from the JCP, he will be spending his time volunteering to establish a reincarnated OpenJDK as an ‘alternative’ to the JCP.

He advises people wishing to propose a specification, go through channels other than the JCP and predicts a downturn in the number of proposed specifications being submitted to the JCP.

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