JCP Elections Retrospective
Debate continues as to why Hologic were nominated, and what the elections mean for the future of JCP.
Hologic may have failed to win a seat on the JCP, but the debate as to why they were elected in the first place shows no sign of burning out, despite Oracle breaking with tradition, and speaking out as to why they nominated Hologic in the first place.
According to Adam Messinger, “small and mid-size companies like Hologic” are not currently represented on the JCP, which is why Oracle plumped for Hologic on the JCP. Oracle’s Jeb Dasteel posted a comment on the JUG Leaders mailing list, backing up Messinger’s argument by stating that the nomination was an attempt to “inject some much needed Java end-user and business perspective into the Executive Committee, as opposed to standards, technologist, technology vendor, and developer community perspectives – all of which are already well represented.”
This is an argument that has found support from the community. Savio Rodrigues commented that “when explained, the nomination of Hologic is perfectly logical. In fact, you could question why Java customers were not better represented on the Java Community Process (JCP) in the past.” Stephen Colebourne (who initially accused Oracle of trying to manipulate the vote) has posted a blog that also acknowledges the validity of Oracle’s train of thought. However, he makes the relevant point that, if Oracle were aiming to include an end-user perspective on the JCP, why choose Hologic over all the other companies? Just being a Java end-user, isn’t enough to set them out from the crowd.
When it comes to the ratified seats, newly-nominated Credit Suisse fared much better, assuming their ratified seat on the SE/EE EC, with 76.72% of the vote. So, what did they do right that Hologic didn’t? Stephen Colebourne identifies the key differences between Hologic and Credit Suisse: he judges Credit Suisse to be a “known company” with a presumed hard core Java operation. Both of these were sticking points for the Java community when it came to Hologic. No-one seemed to be sure of who Hologic were, and many – including Stephen Colebourne – questioned just how involved they were with Java, beyond their use of Oracle’s E-Business Suite.
Perhaps the most worrying thing to emerge from this controversial election, was the low turn out of voters. Of the 1286 registered voters, only 18% cast their vote, which is around 232 people and organisations. This continues the steady decrease in percentage of voters, from 33% in 2007, to 26% in 2008 and 21% in 2009. “The number of votes is roughly in line with the past but the turnout is lower,” summarised the Aquarium. This is particularly disappointing, considering the hype and controversy that surrounded this election. “Less than 250 people/companies (JCP members can be either) actually voted on the organisation that holds the power to decide the future of Java. With up to 10 million Java developers out there, this really is a tiny number. In fact, more people voted in the latest Java.net poll,” is Stephen Colebourne’s bleak summary. He interprets the low turn out, as further indication of the growing irrelevance of the JCP: “is this the best way to receive community feedback? Somehow it doesn’t feel like it. Once again I’m encouraged to push for radical JCP reform.”