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About the authors

Ben Evans is the LJC’s representative on the Java SE/EE Executive Committee. Martijn Verburg is one of the co-leaders of the London Java Community (LJC).

Introduction

Earlier this month, the LJC, aka the London Java User Group (JUG) became the first JUG to be elected to an open seat on the Java Standard Edition/Enterprise Edition Executive Committee (Java SE/EE EC in short). In this post, we’ll explain what the forthcoming changes to the Java Community Process (JCP) mean and how the LJC intends to help with the process of reform at the SE/EE Committee level.

What is the JCP? What is a JSR? What is the Executive Committee?

The JCP is the process by which new versions of Java and standardized Java technologies are produced. The process involves the use of a standardized set of documents which define the new technology. These are referred to as Java Specification Requests (JSRs). A JSR must also include:

  • A Reference Implementation (RI)
  • A Testing Compatibility Kit (TCK)

JSRs are usually referred to by their number – so for example the effort to define generics (which ultimately made its way into Java 5) was JSR 14, and the Java Persistence API (JPA) v2.0 was JSR 317. There are even JSRs for the new versions of Java itself! For example, JSR 336 defines what will be in Java SE 7.

The body which is responsible for deciding which JSRs can become official Java standards is the Executive Committee, which is made up of a number of corporations, exceptional individuals and interested parties – including ourselves, Oracle, IBM, Fujitsu, Google, Red Hat and others.

We’ll be putting up a post in the very near future which explains how our participation in the EC will work – but we want to hear your views about the issues facing the community – so we can do the best job of representing you that we can.

Every JSR goes through the same lifecycle, as shown in the diagram.

How to become a JCP member

You can become a JCP individual member very easily and you can also join as part of a corporate, academic, non-profit or JUG organisation (LJC members, please sign up!). This is the first step you should take to get involved. It’s actually very easy to join, see the JCP home page for instructions – http://jcp.org/en/home/index

It’s not as easy to get involved in a JSR as we’d like

Currently it can be quite difficult to get involved in some of the JSRs. Under existing rules, parts or even all of a JSR can effectively be run in private, making it impossible for outsiders to join. Most JSRs run at least partly in the open, but several don’t.

There is also a tendency to come up with a TCK and RI quite late in the process, which doesn’t allow the wider community to actually ‘play’ with the proposed JSR and give meaningful feedback.

Some JSRs are simply just deeply technical and only real experts can get involved early on, but that’s just the nature of the beast of something like JSR-292 (the new invokedynamic bytecode for the JVM).

But you should still jump on in

That said there are several JSRs which are run in the open and do solicit feedback with early RI’s and TCKs. Please visit the JCP home page and browse through the JSRs on the left hand menu. Each JSR page will list their public mailing lists, issue trackers etc. Simply join the mailing list, say hello and ask how you can help out (even though you’re not necessarily a domain expert).

JSR-107 (Caching) is an example of a recently revived JSR that’s running out in the open and is happy to receive help (big and small) from Java enthusiasts.

In the coming weeks, we’ll be explaining which JSRs are currently active – so people could participate in right now. We’re also about to see the work for JDK 8 kick off in earnest. This is a really great time to start thinking about how you could get involved.

If you have questions, or want to know more – please comment here, or start a thread on the LJC mailing list. We really want to help and encourage as many people to get involved as possible – and there’s lots of help available.

Things are about to get better!

This is a massive time of change in the Java ecosystem and during times of change you have the best chance to positively influence the outcome.

Oracle is working very hard to make the JCP and JSRs more open. Despite much anti-Oracle publicity, they really are trying hard (see JSR 348 comments below). Sure, there’s still plenty of areas that we’d like to see the process work differently (and we’ll be advocating for those), but our experience so far has been very positive and we think there’s real potential for some very constructive change.

For the first time, two JUGs are on the EC (us & SouJava – The Brazilian JUG). This means that the world wide developer community (9-10 million) has direct representation for the first time

JSR 348 has just been announced which is going to take great strides to open up the JCP, the Expert Groups (EGs) and just the overall ecosystem of standards. We implore you to get involved and send in feedback, whether its to us, your local JUG leader or through hte official JCP channels (see the contact us on at jcp.org)

The LJC and many other EC and EG members are very firmly in the camp of making JSRs more accessible to everyone. As well as enforcing openness via JSR 348, we also see a very real chance to have each JSR really engage with the community. We’re going to try and work with JSR EGs to see how we can raise their profile, make them really easy to access etc. Something along the lines of running a successful open source project is what we’re looking at.

Phew, long post. But there’s a reason for that, we’re really excited about the future! ūüôā

Cheers,
Ben (@kittylyst) & Martijn (@karianna)

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The London Java Community’s next free event is РSpring Roo РWednesday June 22nd Р6:30pm.

Please see link for details and to sign up ‚Äď http://www.meetup.com/Londonjavacommunity/events/19364801/

Jan Mach√°ńćek’s Spring Roo talk will introduce the ideas behind Roo and their technical implementation. The talk will show the main architectural choices of the Roo applications, explain the Spring configuration under the hood. Looking beyond the usual object-oriented Spring code, Jan will show how Roo understands the structure of the application using the source-level annotations and how it separates out the custom code from the code it generates using the intra-type Aspects.

To demonstrate all this, Jan will be showing how to use Roo to rapidly prototype your application and, once that’s done, how to take your application beyond the prototype. To close, we will discuss the question on everyone’s mind: “is Roo worth it?”

Who should attend:

– Developer’s with Java experience and appreciation of complex (web) applications; some Spring and AOP experience would be helpful.
– Graduates will enjoy the talk also – Jan will be mentioning computer science’s favourite: expert systems.

Agenda:

18:00: Doors Open
18:30: A series of lightning talks from members of the London Java Community
19:00: Main presentation – Jan Mach√°ńćek will present Spring Roo.
20:30: Networking

Bio:

Jan Mach√°ńćek is the technical director at Cake Solutions, highly experienced Java enterprise architect, consultant and developer with very strong technical and team management skills.

He works best in complex environments where his capable and assured grasp of issues and leadership qualities enable him to provide real value in managing and directing development to successful completion. Jan combines the deep insight of lean and agile management with the theoretical concepts of computer science, low-level programming, UNIX operating systems, RDBMSs and detailed knowledge of the contemporary Java EE frameworks with his authoring and speaking experience to mentor, drive and motivate large development teams.

Jan has demonstrated his technical and agile management skills on numerous projects in the public and private sectors; working with the in-house teams as well as delivering projects at Cake Solutions. He has led teams through the perils of agile software delivery, bringing control and value to the business and the joy of programming back to the technical teams. Jan shares his agile leadership experience in publications for the NCC, at public events and at national conferences.

Alongside several articles, Jan has authored 4 books; the most notable ones are Pro Spring and Pro Spring 2.5. He regularly speaks at conferences and developer events in the UK and abroad and he is the editor of the Open Source Journal.

In his spare time, Jan likes to explore new programming languages and experiment with microcontrollers. Jan also competes in time trials and road races as a member of the Manchester Wheelers’ Cycling Club.

Please Note:

Nearest tube: Barbican
Nearest Coffee Shop ‚Äď Sun Coffee Shop – 55-63 Goswell Road, London EC1V 7EN or Pret a Manger – 9/10 Charterhouse Buildings, London EC1M 7AN
should you arrive at the event early
Nearest Public House – Slaughtered Lamb

Please note SkillsMatter are hosting this event and are handling the attendance Рit is essential that you confirm your place at this link: http://skillsmatter.com/podcast/java-jee/spring-roo 

Thanks to everyone that made it out for this weeks developer sessions/technical test fest. We had a lot of first timers as well as some regular attendees. It was a good chance to discuss technical tests in general although I don’t think we managed to get anything finalised on the perfect technical test. Many of our members had a go at solving Fizz Buzz and a few of the other problems on the wall and many books were won. We may indeed carry this on next month so if you have any tech problems you are struggling with then bring them on and we’ll bring some books for the best solution!
 
Special thanks to Savvas & Mark for helping out with greeting on the night and making sure everyone had name labels, we’re always interested in new greeters so if you’re happy to help out for a few hours let me know.
 
It is difficult to get around to everyone so if there was anyone in attendance, looking for a new permanent Java position let Andrew or myself know. We have recently picked up a few new clients including a well known digital agency who have some amazingly innovative and creative projects (Java/Spring/Hibernate). Some of you may also have met ClearViews latest recruit. Kenric Starr has joined us as a junior consultant and is trying hard to learn about the Java language so that he can help many of you find new positions in the future. Kenric’s email address is k.starr@clearview-itrs.co.uk feel free to introduce yourself or offer any help/advice on the Java ecosystem or recruitment from your perspective.
 
Our next event is on 1st June at PlayFish’s office in South Kensington. We have UK Amazon evangelist Matt Wood talking on Amazon Beanstalk. We have about 10 seats left (90 gone) so please register if you’re interested: http://www.meetup.com/Londonjavacommunity/events/17394725/

June’s Developer Sessions is most likely to be based on developer war stories, here is the link, sign up and watch this space for more info. http://www.meetup.com/Londonjavacommunity/events/16692815/
 
See you all soon.
 
Barry Cranford
@barryclearview

Packt Publishing are currently running a Dynamics campaign on its website. As part of the campaign, Packt is offering an exclusive discount for all Microsoft Dynamics books during May 2011.

As you are aware – Microsoft Dynamics is one of the most popular technologies used in the market, and over the years Packthas been reputed as the leading publisher of Dynamics related books.To celebrate the recent publication of the Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 Reporting book, Packt is pleased to announce a series of attractive discounts on our wide range of Dynamics books:
  • Buy any Microsoft Dynamics printbook and get 20% off
  • Buy any Microsoft Dynamics eBook and get 30% off

Please see here for details – http://www.packtpub.com/article/exclusive-offer-microsoft-dynamics-books

JRebel maps your project workspace directly to your running application. When a developer makes a change to any class or resource in their IDE the change is immediately reflected in the application, skipping the build and redeploy phases. For further information see their site: http://www.zeroturnaround.com/jrebel

We have two personal licenses of JRebel including their Enterprise Add-on (a combined value of $159 USD) to offer this month.

To take part in the promotion all you have to do is send an email to me at b.cranford@clearview-itrs.co.uk with your name and email address. Please mark JRebel as the subject title.

Congratulations to last month‚Äôs winners ‚Äď Petr and Alessandro!

Thanks,

Barry

Hi all,

I spent two very productive days at the EMEA JUG/Oracle User Group leaders meeting in Prague (you can check out the #eouc tag in twitter to see the full stream of comments).

Oracle has now been the steward of Java for a couple of years and have taken great strides in listening to the Java User Group (JUG) community and adjusting how they work with us.

So instead sitting through a number of Oracle presentations (which was the style of the previous meetings), this mini-conference was focussed on un-conference style conversations, lightning talks and lots and lots of two-way communication with the Oracle representatives.  I have a greatly improved opinion of Oracle as a steward of Java as they continued to work extremely hard to record our feedback and in some cases were able to give us the changes we were looking for within a few hours.

I also learned a great deal from the existing Oracle user groups (which are typically focussed on products) in how they organise large communities, communicate formally and informally with Oracle and deal with the financial side of running a group.

In turn the Oracle user groups were able to take away points on how we use social media, create passionate users and break the mould of one-way communication with a vendor (Oracle in this case). ¬†Who knows, may they’ll even turn up in jeans and geek t-shirts next year ūüėČ

There is an amazing amount of collaboration that is possible, as the decisions affecting Java today heavily impact the Java/JVM based products that the Oracle User groups work with.

Of course the big news for us is that we are the first Java User Group (Ben Evans will be our representative) to win an Open seat on the Java SE/EE executive committee.  This means alongside Oracle, Google, IBM, Goldman Sachs et al we have voting rights on Java Specification Requests (JSRs) that define the future of the Java ecosystem.

We are humbled by the trust that the JCP members have given us us and alongside the Brazilian JUG (who were nominated and approved for the ratified seat on the committee) we look forward to representing the millions of Java developers and users around the world.

There is clearly more to be done, JCP reform and clarification over Java’s TCK need to be addressed sooner than later. ¬†The Oracle/Google lawsuit is also causing massive harm. ¬†However, with Java User Groups getting a seat at the table and with Oracle continuing to listen and adapt I am very excited about the future of the Java ecosystem.

Cheers,
Martijn (LJC co-leader)

The London Java Community’s next free event is AWS Elastic Beanstalk – 1st June 2011 – 6.30pm.

Please see link for details and to sign up – http://www.meetup.com/Londonjavacommunity/events/17394725/
If the event is showing as full do add yourself to the waiting list as we are hoping to open more slots asap.

Since 2006, Amazon Web Services have been providing on demand, pay-as-you-go infrastructure to teams of all sizes. This talk will introduce AWS Elastic Beanstalk, a new service for deploying Java code to the Amazon cloud platform. Elastic Beanstalk takes a packaged WAR file and automatically provisions load balanced, fault tolerant, auto-scaling elastic servers running a familiar Tomcat and Apache stack.

We’ll discuss how to work with Elastic Beanstalk, the underlying architectural patterns for getting the most from it, and integrating it into your development and test workflow from Eclipse. The presentation will include a live demo.

Who should attend:
All are welcome, from those new to Java to experienced enterprise architects, and no previous experience of cloud computing or the Amazon platform is required.

Agenda:
18:00: Doors Open
18:30: A series of lightning talks from members of the London Java Community.
19:00: Matt Wood – Amazon Evangelist will present Amazon Beanstalk.

Please Note:
Refreshments for this event are being sponsored by Playfish and Amazon.
Nearest tube: South Kensington
Nearest Coffee Shop ‚Äď Starbucks, 65-71 Sloane Avenue ‚Äď should you arrive at the event early

Packt Publishing are a unique publishing company specializing in highly focused books on specific technologies and solutions ‚Äď please visit their site to find out more about them: http://www.packtpub.com/

Each month we run a promotion with Packt in which LJC members will be selected at random to receive free books. This month we are offering 2 LJC members the chance to win;

First Prize Winner will receive 1 print copy of his/her choice
Runner Up Winner ‚Äď 1 ecopy of his/her choice

Here are the books on offer this month, the winner will be picked at random and announced at the end of the month:

Yahoo! User Interface Library 2.x Cookbook
Google App Engine Java and GWT Application Development 
Learning Ext JS 3.2
Android User Interface¬†Development: Beginner’s Guide
Java EE 6 with GlassFish 3 Application Server
NetBeans Platform 6.9 Developer’s Guide

To¬†take part in the promotion all you have to do is send an email to me at b.cranford@clearview-itrs.co.uk with your name, your book choice and the address you would like your book to be sent. Please mark ‚ÄėPackt Publishing‚Äô as the subject title.

Please visit the Packt site at www.packtpub.com

Congratulations to the winners of our April draw РSavvas D and Adrian S!

Good luck,

Barry Cranford

Hi all,

As many of you will have heard, the LJC has nominated itself for one of the open seats on the Java SE/EE executive committee (for details you can visit the nominations page).

So why does the LJC want to sit at the table with Oracle, IBM, Red Hat etc?

This is an important time for the global Java community. The JVM continues to rapidly evolve and with Java 7 we have forward momentum for the language itself. Oracle has stated many times that they wish to see Java remain the #1 platform and the LJC would also like to see this!

The London Java Community is a particularly diverse community of Java technology enthusiasts drawing upon a wide variety of experiences. The London Java Community is a particularly diverse community of Java technology enthusiasts drawing upon a wide variety of experiences. We count amongst our members:

  • JVM language implementors

  • open source committers and project leads

  • Engineers representing Java ecosystem vendors (Red Hat, Oracle, Atlassian, IBM and many more.
  • Many day-to-day commercial Java developers (representing finance, insurance, media, telcos + more)

  • JVM language enthusiasts (we have Scala, Groovy, Clojure groups)

  • Students

  • Academics

  • Start-up developers

  • And a whole heap of others

So we believe that we are uniquely placed to represent a variety of concerns. However, as a community we explicitly prejudice some concerns above others.

It has become quite clear that the open source model of development (and the corresponding open communities) drive technology forward quickly. It also drives forward open, practical standards that benefit all of us in the ecosystem.

We will strongly push for and put our support behind openness within the JCP and within each JSR.

As we put from our official position statement:

“We have the best general purpose virtual machine in the world, and its Open. We want to build on this, who wants to come with?”

We welcome questions in the comments section below, especially if you are a JCP member who is thinking of voting in the election ūüôā

Cheers,
Martijn Verburg (on behalf of the LJC)

Twitter: @karianna @java7developer

Events coming up
Ubuntu open week is running this week with a range of free online live workshops, via IRC, helping you get the most out of the open source software available on Ubuntu / Debian based Linux operating systems.  See the schedule

Clojure coding dojo is tonight at the Thoughtworks offices, another chance to practice your functional programming on the JVM.  There will also be sandwiches, quiche and sausage roles to keep the brain cells firing.. Sign up for quick to get one of the 3 remaining tickets.

The Python code dojo is on Thursday 5th May, so its a busy week of coding.  The event has one ticket left so sign up quick.

Summary of Last weeks events

I had a great time updating my PC’s and Laptops to the new release of Ubuntu 11.04 with the striking update to Unity desktop, now using Compiz so you get lots of cool 3D effects.¬† I find the new desktop layout really quick for launching and navigating between applications and there are lots of handy keyboard shortcuts, so the mouse (touchpad) gets a good rest.

If you have not seen the new desktop, have a look at the overview by OMG Ubuntu and have a look at the keyboard shortcut wallpaper.

Nothing much else happened last week that I know of ūüôā

What is the LJC

The London Java Community (LJC) is a group of Java Enthusiasts who are interested in benefiting from shared knowledge in the industry. Through our forum and regular meetings you can keep in touch with the latest industry developments, learn new Java (& other JVM) technologies, meet other developers, discuss technical/non technical issues and network further throughout the Java Community.

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