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Sat, 12 Jul 2003
JCP: Innovation versus consolidation
Santiago Gala posted a comment to Andy's blog that says what I was trying to say better than how I said it.
I think a lot of issues with the JCP come from people trying to use it as a weapon, to impose and freeze a certain approach as "the right thing". This is where I find Ted's approach (routing the process around) right. On the other hand, having JCP to consolidate what people is already using is probably good.

Maybe, then, the problem is with the role of the JCP as "consolidator" versus "innovator" in the evolution of the Java platform.

Andy doesn't want to have the JCP at all:
I want Sun to ditch the whole JCP and move strictly towards open source.
I don't want to go that far. There's a role for standards, but both the JCP and W3C are acting as "innovators" (a better term might be experimenters) not consolidators. In his final talk at OSCON, r0ml suggested that the open source community
should aspire to create a definitive literature for particular problem domains.
That's the essence of what I'm talking about when I say we need to route around the JCP (and actually the same argument applies to the W3C). Even if Sun were convinced to ditch the JCP and just do open source, we still need something like what I described: a definitive, or semi-definitve literature, it's just that in that case the literature would be drawn from open source projects only instead of JSR's and open source is it would be today.

Regarding this comment:

You ignore them, I'd rather engage them.
You've fallen into the trap of revolving your world around Sun. By doing so you give them power. I *am* engaging them. I spent a few hours at OSCON with Danese Cooper and some other people talking about how to solve some of these same problems. Convincing Sun about the JCP is hard. Sun never wanted it, they were strong armed into it by the vendors. Think about that -- you not only have to persuade Sun, you have to persuade IBM, BEA, Oracle, etc., because the JCP is their place to play the lockin game under the guise of standards. I'm in favor of efforts to change the JCP, but I believe you've picked the harder battle, one I'm choosing not to fight (and that's all I was trying to say when I wrote die-hard, optimist, or wishful thinker). Just because I'm not going to fight that particular battle doesn't mean I'm going to sit on my hands.

I saw some things at OSCON that concern me greatly regarding the future of Java. The MS people who came to the dynamic languages BOF tried to come on the terms of the language implementors who were there. Sun has never done this. It's weird when I start to say, "Microsoft actually looks like the more open of the two companies". This is of course like Scylla and Charybdis, but nonetheless worrisome. Miguel's demo of Eclipse on IKVM on Mono should both console and worry people worried about Java. On the one hand, if this thing can be tuned up more, then we don't need a real Sun branded/developed Java VM anymore, and the whole thing is open source. Then we don't need Sun. We also have a migration path for all that Java code. On the other hand, it means playing in the MS vm sandbox, and I'm not naive about what that means. Time is growing short. We need to stop looking at Sun as the potential saviour of all this and take control of our own destiny. And if Sun wants to join us, that's fine.

[10:35] | [computers/programming/java] | # | TB | F | G | 1 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
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