LJC Election Position Paper

  • Openness and Transparency
  • Advocacy and Adopt-a-JSR
  • Technical gravitas

TLDR Summary: The LJC stands for active developer participation in standards, openness and transparency, promotion of F/OSS implementations and has no direct commercial interests in any proposed standard. We have initiated global programmes (Adopt a JSR, Adopt OpenJDK) directly involving developers in standards, improving them for the entire ecosystem.

History & Detailed Position

The London Java Community is a large (~2750) and rapidly growing group of developers who actively meet, discuss and work on the Java ecosystem.

During the 18 months we’ve been a JCP Executive Committee member, we’ve actively participated in reforming the JCP process itself and eroding the disconnect between developers and decision makers, through practical programmes and advocacy.

Our original goals were based on a few simple ideas:

  1. Openness and Transparency are essential for any functioning standards body, and the JCP must be reformed where necessary to achieve this.
  2. Better Standards are produced when ordinary end-users are fully engaged in the process of producing standards from start to finish.

As a user group, we have no direct commercial interests in the space.

Open-Source Software reduces barriers to entry for companies and reduces cost for non-commercial projects. We therefore seek to ensure that zero-cost open-source implementations of all standards are possible, and have the maximum possible patent and IP protection.

The LJC has made a major impact on the JCP, and its relations with developers and the Java community since being elected, by:

  • Being vocal advocates of reform and transparency in the relevant JSRs (348, 355)
  • Ensuring that commitments made by Spec Leads were followed through to completion.
  • Investigating JSRs which did not meet accepted standards of openness, and helping them to address any issues.
  • Founding the Adopt-a-JSR programme – to give a place for ordinary developers to get more involved in emerging standards and to start concentrating the enthusiasm and energy that exists in the community.

If re-elected we commit to:

  • Finishing the JCP reform efforts started in JSR 348 (JCP.next) and JSR 355 (EC Merge) by fixing IP Flow and Licensing issues in JSR 358 (JCP.next.3).
  • Taking our Adopt-a-JSR programme to the next level by seeding new Adopt-a-JSR teams in JUGs and organisations around the world.
  • Continue to run and promote workshops, talks and global collaboration by developers on JSRs.
  • Continuing to always stand up for the interests of developers and community – including promoting open-source implementations and projects.
  • Maintain a deep bench of talent in our committee, to ensure that developers are represented with the same time commitment that a major corporation can provide.

Our Committee

The LJC operates a JCP committee. This group is made up of volunteers who have agreed to abide by confidentiality rules, meet their commitments (including time commitments) and to work towards the goals agreed by consensus. The current committee members are: Ben Evans, Martijn Verburg, Trisha Gee, Richard Warburton, James Gough, Somay Nakhal and David Illsley.

This enables the LJC to avoid problems related to key person risk – with 7 members on the team, if one person needs to reduce their level of commitment then others can pick up their workload. We have discovered that running an effective EC seat requires at least 20 hours per week – equivalent to ½ person full-time. Given the LJC’s size, we feel confident that we can continue to staff the committee at the required level to provide a real voice for developers.

Openness and Transparency

We believe strongly in openness and transparency:

  • We publish the motivation behind previous voting decisions on the LJC blog in order to ensure complete transparency and open access.
  • We also publish the minutes of our committee meetings on the blog.
  • We are active promoters of transparency for JSRs. For example, we regularly monitor all JSRs to ensure that they are meeting their obligations in accordance with JCP 2.8 (JSR 348). This means open mailing lists, issue trackers etc.

Advocacy and Adopt-a-JSR

The LJC pioneered the Adopt-a-JSR program, encouraging developers to actively participate in specifications. Involvement includes everything from trialing beta APIs through to helping define the standard and implementing the Reference Implementation (RI). We are actively involved in the standardisation of JSR-310 (Datetime), and have run hackdays for JSR-310, JSR-335 (Lambdas) and JSR-308 (Type Annotations). These hackdays provide feedback on the usability of new features to the expert group and help prepare developers for upcoming changes to the Java language.

Adopt-a-JSR also highlights to developers the relevance of the JCP, and shows how they can impact the language and ecosystem they work with. To achieve this goal, the LJC has run talks, workshops and advocacy via social media such as Twitter and Java conferences such as JavaOne, Devoxx etc.

Technical Gravitas

As a large organisation of technologists we have expertise throughout the Java Platform, from deep dive tech to blue chip enterprise development. This gives us great insight into the technical merits of each JSR. Since we seek to represent a broad cross section of the community, our voting decisions are based not on the opinions of one person, but the consensus of a committee of peers.

In Summary

Eighteen months ago, the London Java Community pledged to improve the openness and transparency of the Java Community Process if elected to the JCP Executive Committee. We promised to help bridge the gap between the decision makers and on-the-ground developers. Our voting record and active participation in the JCP show that we have made real progress towards these goals. In addition, we achieved more than even we imagined by launching and championing Adopt-a-JSR, a program that has both improved feedback to expert groups from developers, and increased involvement from the people who use Java everyday in their professional capacities.

If re-elected, we will continue actively improving the openness and transparency of the JCP, and expand our successful programs to voice the needs of developers and communities worldwide.

The LJC JCP Committee