Oracle Looks to 'Update and Revitalize' Java Community Process with New JSRs

Oracle has filed the first of two new Java Specification Requests (JSRs) meant to "update and revitalize" the Java Community Process (JCP). JSR 348, entitled "Towards a new version of the Java Community Process," proposes a variety of changes and adjustments to the JCP.

The JSR's description posted on the JCP Web site lists four areas in which Oracle is seeking these changes: "Transparency, Participation, Agility and Governance."

The longest list of proposed changes comes under the "Transparency" heading. Oracle is calling for greater transparency into Expert Group (EG) operations of the JCP with a mandate that certain recommended practices become requirements. The example listed: "[R]equiring all EG business to be carried out on public mailing lists, requiring issues and comments to be tracked through a publicly viewable issue-tracking mechanism, and requiring EGs to respond publicly to all comments."

The company is also seeking greater transparency into the operations of the Executive Committee (EC) by formalizing recommended procedures, such as the legal review of proposed licensing terms; the election process, through procedures that make it possible for voters to "meet the candidates;" the licensing process, by implementing a Change Log created during Maintenance Reviews to track changes in Specification Documents, Reference Implementations (RIs), and the Technology Compatibility Kit (TCK) terms over time; the TCK testing process, by publishing lists of compatible implementations on and removing "barriers to the disclosure of test results by licensees to their customers;" and IP flow, by verifying that any legal terms of use associated with collaboration software used by EGs are compatible with the Java Specification Participation Agreement (JSPA).

Oracle also wants to encourage greater participation in the activities of the EC and EGs through "public teleconferences, meetings, e-mail aliases and discussion forums." The company hopes to speed JSRs through the approval process through the imposition of "time-outs" for inactive or slow-moving JSRs. And it wants to merge the EG and the EC.

"In the past few months, Oracle and other partners in the Java Community Process have driven a revitalization of Java technology and standards with the approval of the JSRs for Java Platform, Standard Edition 7 and 8, as well as Java Platform, Enterprise Edition 7," JCP chair Patrick Curran said in a statement. "Now with the submission of the first JSR for, we are ready to begin the evolution of the Java Community Process itself, making it easier for both individuals and organizations to participate in the process.

Curran is also director of the JCP's Program Management Office. 

JSR 348 is the first of two JSRs Oracle has said it plans to offer the JCP. The second JSR will include "more complex changes to the JCP Process Document and will also impact the Java Specification Participation Agreement (JSPA)," Oracle announced in the group blog for the JCP program.

Both JSRs are part of Oracle's effort to define the next iteration of the JCP, which has been dubbed "" In its press materials, Oracle refers to JSR 348 as " JSR 1" and the promised second JSR as " JSR 2." Oracle has stated that it expects to have all of these changes completed and approved within about six months.

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John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at [email protected].