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Apache Software Foundation Leaves the JCP Executive Committee

How many women does it take to cook borsch?

Apache Software Foundation left the JCP Executive Committee. This step caused turmoil in the Java community. Java developers started take sides. How do you take sides these days? You twit, you blog, you facebook. Some die hard folks sent emails.

Why won’t I take a side too? But first, I’ll make a bold assumption. Ninety five percent of Java developers don’t even know what the JCP is. Don’t believe me? Start asking the following question while interviewing job applicants, “What’s the difference between JCP, JSP, JSR, and JSF?” Then post interesting answers as comments to this blog. It’ll be fun.

Prior to the release, each version of Java SE, ME, or EE is a described in a set of specifications. For example, two weeks ago, JSR 336 has been passed – it contained the description  of the Java SE 7 content. Preparing of this document (let’s name it Borsch) if took four years after the release of Java SE 6. Similarly, Java EE is defined in e specifications for various technologies such as Servlets, JavaServer Pages (JSP), Enterprise Java Beans (EJB), Java Messaging Service (JMS) et al.

Each of these specifications has been defined by an open organization called Java Community Process (JCP). If a person or a group of people decides to propose a specification for some future technology, they would create so called Java Specification Request (JSR) and form a group of experts working on this specification. JSRs are numbered. For example, the specification for Servlets 3.0 was described in JSR 315. Let me pretend that I don’t know how painful the process of accepting the final release of JSR 315 was.

If you decide to get familiar with any specific JSR, visit this Web site . Currently, Java EE includes 45 JSRs, Java SE has 44, and Java ME (Micro Edition covers small devices) consists of 85. In other words, Java EE is (was?) based on standards.

Early in the morning, ten women have gathered in the kitchen of a poor but very friendly and outgoing lady called Sunny to cook Borsch. Each one brought her own recipe. Hours passed by but they still couldn’t agree on the set of ingredients to put in the pot. Finally, the burner was turned on, but another arguments began, “What’s the right level of the lid closure?”

Interestingly enough, the ladies didn’t care that much about the Borsch any longer. They really enjoyed The Process (a.k.a. Java Community Process). When Sunny’s husband came home, he saw ten happy ladies and no dinner on the table. No biggies. There was a pack of shrimps in the freezer, and 15 minutes later everyone enjoyed the dinner.

Am I loosing track here? Oh, yeah! Apache has left the JCP. Does it mean that these people won’t answer the phone when Oracle engineers will ask their opinion about some of the upcoming features of Java? Sure they will. Engineers always talk to engineers even though it’s sad that Oracle lawyers try to seriously censor what can be said. Are they unique in that? Hell no! Last week, one of the Java community leaders sent an email to the certain mailing list announcing that this was his last post about one Java-related subject because he was hired by Google…

Does it mean that Oracle wants to hurt Java while having all their middleware written in this great language? Of course not. Oracle has talented engineers, and they will find a way to listen to the community feedback regarding the future of Java with or without JCP. Will they cook Borsch even slower than the JCP did? I doubt it.

More Stories By Yakov Fain

Yakov Fain is a Java Champion and a co-founder of the IT consultancy Farata Systems and the product company SuranceBay. He wrote a thousand blogs (http://yakovfain.com) and several books about software development. Yakov authored and co-authored such books as "Angular 2 Development with TypeScript", "Java 24-Hour Trainer", and "Enterprise Web Development". His Twitter tag is @yfain

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