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Attended: Richard Warburton, Martijn Verburg, Ben Evans, David Illsley, Graham Allan, Somay Nakhal, Kim Ross

* Graham to schedule the March meeting
* Wrote a couple of articles for Java Magazine – Adopt A JSR & Hackday
* Still looking for a JEE person – failing
* JSON/WebSockets hack day done! Yaaaaay – very little feedback back to organisers
    * Short retrospective after the hackday?  (on the hack day and the JSR)
    * Split the hack day with experienced/novice users – offer intro to novice users
    * Possibly better to have joint hack days running on weekends
* David to write up JSON/WebSockets hackday feedback
* Richard to add the how to run a hackday presentation somewhere more visable
* Martijn to write a thank you post to Trish
* LJC to publicly write it’s position on JSR 358 – Google doc to put our thoughts in.
* David to take the tertiary position as the LJC JCP rep – to check with work first (GDS)
* Adopt a JSR global call – “Awesome call” – covered: Facebook page started by Brazillians, how to run a hack day, adopt a jar, bunch of git commits
* Adopt OpenJDK – Going well – Trying to get OpenJDK onto github. Looking into the best way to submit patches to OpenJDK

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A couple of weeks ago we (Trisha and Martijn) were fortunate enough to represent the LJC at JavaOne in San Francisco.  There has already been a lot said about JavaOne 2011 (and our talks etc there), so this post will focus on the LJC activities. There were two main areas for us to focus on:

  1. Our seat on the Java Community Process (JCP) Executive Committee (EC) gave us opportunities to meet the right people in order to discuss the high level problems facing the Java platform today.
  2. Getting to know the other Java User Groups (JUGs) that are out there, learn from what they’re doing and tell them about the cool stuff we get up to!

After User Group and community Sunday, which had several sessions on both user groups and the JCP, it was clear that the involvement of two major communities (us and the Brazilian JUG – SouJava) in the JCP EC had woken people up.  We both had many conversations with people from organisations who had previously seen the JCP as largely irrelevant, but now were not only taking notice but contemplating getting involved themselves!

It’s pure speculation, of course, but it seems that our involvement along with SouJava’s sparked a number of the current list of candidates to nominate themselves.

Oracle provided plenty of opportunities to get to know all the players in the JCP, and they were also trying their best to understand the ecosystem of the community.  There were sessions, lunches, BOFs and dinners giving us plenty of opportunities to mingle, get to know people and share ideas. And lots of free drink.  We like to think that the Developer Sessions have provided us with the training required to maintain a professional, technically-minded conversation after a small glass or two :-).

It was great to be nominated for the JCP awards, and we got a nice nod from a couple of the winners who acknowledged that we’d shaken things up in the space in a good way.

The Thursday keynote brought together a lot of the themes from the week around community, Martijn represented us up on stage.  We announced the intent to launch our ‘Adopt a JSR’ program globally across all JUGs and other organisations which was well received by the crowd and generally extolled people to join their local JUG and make things happen. It was a really great way to round off the conference, to highlight that ultimately without us, the developers, the whole platform would be pretty pointless.

People were genuinely impressed with the number of members we have in the LJC (over 1900) and even more so by the numbers who actively participate, either coming to events or on the mailing list (or both).  It made us feel proud to be part of such an active and diverse community.

However it did get us thinking about even more things we could do – in particular, lots of these people want to see the cool events we organise and get involved even though they’re not in London.  It’s something we’ve always wanted to provide but seems like a lot of work, but we’re hoping to make this happen with streaming and /or recordings of our events via Parleys.com.

The other thing that inspired us was being present at two different live podcast events.  We’re totally excited about the whole podcast thing, even though listening to one on Trisha’s way to work would probably result in Certain Death for her (she bikes to work).  It’s a great way to build a community. Literally having a voice and a tone is a great way to engage people.  It’s a natural extension of the aggregated blogs (which, incidentally, people we spoke to loved). Needless to say our first podcast will be coming soon!

What the LJC can take away from JavaOne is:

  1. Oracle is definitely committed to regular, on-time big-number releases for the Java platform, and have a reasonable release plan with rough ideas of what could be in 8 and 9.
  2. Java has a community that other languages can only dream of (that’s us), and Oracle is also keen to support that.
  3. The JCP, after years of floundering in the wilderness, is finding a purpose in life, and other organisations are seeing this and want a part of it
  4. We, the LJC, have an amazing community with some great events, great ideas and great members.  We have even more ideas we can implement.
Cheers,
Trisha and Martijn

Attendees: Trisha Gee; Mike Barker; Barry Cranford; Martijn Verburg; Ben Evans; Simon Maple

As an overall note, we don’t assign action points to specific people in the meeting other than those whose names are mentioned above.  Rather than swamp ourselves with process, we’re feeling our way around to see what’s going to work best for us as a grassroots user organisation.

  1. We agreed that Barry would hold the physical paperwork at his company offices. This resolves point 11 of the last meeting.
  2. We agreed unanimously that James Gough would be added to the LJC/JCP committee.
  3. Patrick Curran, the chair of the JCP, will be visiting London on July 9th. We resolved to hold a social at Vinopolis, open to all LJC members, to meet Patrick. Trish to organize.
  4. Ben to blog about the inactive JSRs to see if any LJC members are interested in helping to get them going again – the start of an “adopt a JSR” program.
  5. Ben to post to list about bean validation 1.1 JSR and see if any LJC members would be a good for for the EG that Emmanuel Bernard (Red Hat) is putting together.
  6. We agreed unanimously that Trish should act as tertiary for the JCP Committee, and attend EC (and JSR 348 – JCP.next) meetings in the event than neither Ben nor Martijn is available.
  7. We  discussed the possibility of setting up a “community interest” JCP mailing list for JUG leaders – to try to reduce the possibility of swamping the current jug-leaders mailing list. It was felt that this was worth discussing further with Bruno Souza (SouJava) and other community EC members.
  8. We discussed which forthcoming standards the LJC may be able to contribute to technically (ie areas where we have members who could make a good contribution). The initial list of obvious areas is: Bean Validation, Modularity / Jigsaw, Lambda, JMS 2.0, Coin 8 and MLVM. Further discussion is needed to see how we can best help our members to get involved.
  9. It was noted that we need to tag JCP-related posts on the blog as a way of keeping track of our involvement in the JCP and open work threads – this will also provide a useful public record of our contribution.
  10. Ben to organize the next Committee Meeting in mid-July.

LJC members – this is a unique opportunity for you to get involved in helping guide the future of the Java ecosystem! Please contact me (Ben Evans – @kittylyst on twitter, or through my profile on the LJC meetup.com site) and let’s talk!

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! 🙂

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

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 😉

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)

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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