With the JavaOne Java developers conference next week, Sun Microsystems Inc. is moving to further empower and unite the Java community.
The Santa Clara, Calif., company has made several moves recently to strengthen the Java fellowship, including making changes to the process of standardizing Java technology.
Most recently, Sun and the JCP PMO (Java Community Process Program Management Office) and executive committees late last month announced plans to update the JCP to make the whole process more "transparent," said Onno Kluyt, a Sun engineer and director of the JCP PMO.
The updated JCP will be known as Version 2.6 and will be outlined in JSR (Java Specification Request) 215. The proposed JCP 2.6 changes represent the second revision of the program in eight months.
"In October, we finished putting in changes to the current version, JCP 2.5," Kluyt said. "JCP 2.5 focused on legal aspects and changes around intellectual property and licensing models and making the JCP adoptable for open-source members.
"Were now focusing more on day-to-day things like how to make expert groups more effective, how to make the process more transparent and how to speed up the process," he said.
Kluyt said other changes include a proposal for a new class of member, the Expert Group Observer, which will enable more developers to provide feedback on JSRs. JSR 215 will also require specification leaders to provide status reports to the PMO, which would make them available to the entire community.
The JCP consists of 650 companies and individuals that vote on changes and revisions to the Java platform.
JSR 215 is one of the largest JSRs, with 28 organizations involved, Kluyt said. Sun officials said a final draft of the JSR is expected to be passed in November.
"These are definitely positive proposals, but bear in mind these are just proposals," said Carl Fetie, an analyst with Forrester Research Inc., in Cambridge, Mass. Yet, "anything that opens up JCP to more scrutiny from the community has got to be good," Fetie said. "This has been an ongoing concern for Sun."
Earlier this month, Sun announced that the first group of "Java Verified" applications had been released to market. Six companies, including Novell Inc., MRO Software Inc. and Sun itself announced that they now offer products that have passed the Java Application Verification Kit.