Sun Revises Java Community Process

Company says the update will make the process of standardizing Java technology more 'transparent.'

With the JavaOne Java developers conference just around the corner in June, Sun Microsystems Inc. is moving to further empower and unite the Java community.

The Santa Clara, Calif., company has made several moves recently aimed at strengthening the Java community, including making changes to the process of standardizing Java technology.

Last week, Sun, the Java Community Process (JCP) Program Management Office (PMO) and executive committees 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 new version of the JCP, 2.6, will be outlined in Java Specification Request (JSR) 215. The proposed changes in JCP 2.6 represent the second revision 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."

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 leads to provide status reports to the program management office, which would make it 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.

"Sun cannot change the rules on its own," Kluyt said. "Were making changes, and we hope to be done by year-end."

More information on the proposed JSR 215 can be found at

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.

Products that pass the test suite are certified as portable across all J2EE (Java 2 Enterprise Edition) application servers. Novell, of Provo, Utah, announced that its Extend product suite is Java Verified, including the Novell Extend Composer integration server and Novell Extend Director interaction server.

MRO Software, of Bedford, Mass., announced that its Maximo 5 asset management system also has completed the verification tests.

Glen Martin, senior manager for Java and J2EE at Sun, said, "Now we have some verified applications so purchasers can get applications that are compatible" with all the J2EE-compliant application servers.

Martin said there are 19 Java licensees shipping J2EE 1.3-compatible products. J2EE 1.3 launched in January 2002 with 13 vendors offering J2EE 1.3-compatible products. J2EE 1.4 will be available this summer, according to Sun. Beta versions of the specification are available now.

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