EC Give JSRs Green Light

Quartet of JSRs Approved

Jessica Thornsby

JSRs 334, 335, 336 and 337 pass the EC vote.

Mark Reinhold has announced that the four recently proposed JSRs (JSR 334, JSR 335, JSR 336 and JSR 337) have been approved by the Executive Committee, after the committee requested a one-week extension of the voting period. Stephen Colebourne has revealed that Apache, Google and Tim Peierls voted against Java SE 7 and Java SE 8; Apache voted against Project Coin and Project Lambda, while Tim Peierls refused to vote on both accounts. What is particularly revealing, are the comments written by the JCP members while casting their ‘yes’ or ‘no’ vote for Java SE 7. Tim Peierls wanted to register his “extreme disappointment with Oracle’s failure to address EC questions about the licensing terms of this (Java SE 7) JSR.” He also indicates that, at one point, he was planning to abstain from the Java SE 7 vote, but Oracle’s failure to clarify issues with the licensing made him change his mind. This indicates that Oracle declined to answer some questions posed by the EC. “My interpretation is that Oracle no longer felt the need to justify its actions,” concludes Stephen Colebourne.

Google too had a problem with the licensing terms, calling it “wrong to condone the inclusion of field-of-use restrictions in a TCK license,” although they did agree with the technical content of the JSR. But, even those who voted in favour of the JSRs took the opportunity to register their unhappiness with the licensing terms. SAP wrote they were voting for the technical content, not the licensing terms, and registered their disappointment “that Oracle has decided to deny Apache a TCK license for Java 7.” IBM, Eclipse, RedHat, VMWare, and Credit Suisse all made a distinction between the technical merits, which they were in favour of, and the licensing terms, which they disapproved of, as they voted ‘yes’ on the JSR.

Stephen Colebourne is disappointed with the outcome, saying “give a bully an inch and they will take a mile….Voting “Yes” to it was simply cowardly.”

Apache voting against all the JSRs came as no surprise: the ASF previously accused Oracle of “violating their contractual obligation as set forth under the rules of the JCP by only offering a TCK license that imposes additional terms and conditions that are not compatible with open source or Free software licenses.” Therefore, the ASF no longer viewed Oracle as “a member in good standing” and hinted they would vote against the JSRs. The ASF encouraged other JCP members to join them in voting against Oracle, and threatened to leave the JCP if the vote passed. Despite Oracle accusing the ASF of encouraging stagnation of the Java platform with their threats, the Foundation refused to back down, replying with the blunt statement that “the ball is in your court. Honor the agreement.”

The big question now is, will the ASF follow through with their threat and leave the JCP?

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