Friday, December 10, 2010

JCP Is Dead?

After 4 years it seems Oracle broke Apache's last straw, they left the JCP. Together with the independents. Sun originally promised to make Java a free platform, and I believed them. Guess I am naive but Sun's track record was pretty good at the time. Oracle originally objected to the fields of use restrictions before they bought Java but changed their mind now they're the owner and I guess IBM was bought off. It is surprising how Oracle seems to be aiming straight at their foot, do they regard the open source community as a minor aspect of Java? Is this (long gone after Android & iPhone) mobile market worth the cost of alienating their most fervent supporters?

It is a mess because I do not want to choose. I like the big corporations because the give credence to the Java platform and provide numerous resources to work on the platform. I do not think Java could have been created in an open source environment of volunteers. However, I also like Apache and other open source foundations because they provide diversity and innovation beyond corporate interest. And then again I do not like big corporations because politics often trump best technical solutions and I do not like open source communities because they too often mix idealism and work. Working together they keep each other in a good balance.

What is needed, and what was clearly promised by Sun all those years ago, is an independent organization where industry and open source community can meet and standardize without any one party being special. The OSGi is such an organization. An organization that has a lot of experience with Java specifications as well. Maybe the OSGi Alliance needs to make some organizational changes but it is and independent and experienced place to standardize where there currently is no other place like it.

It is sad to see how a closed eco-system like Apple's iPhone and iPad is thriving and how we are going to waste a lot of energy in the next years because we direct that energy on destroying and not creation. The tragedy of the commons revisited.

Peter Kriens

P.S. Neil Bartlett and I will hold another master class int the US Bay Area on January 18-21. The first one was a very good experience (also according to the participants!), though intense.

1 comment:

  1. Peter,

    Thanks for your honest and open thoughts. I hope, you'll take this as reason to speed the promise for true Independence, made several times, the last time I personally heard at JavaOne, OSGi Alliance would also welcome Individuals or Academic Members at no fee or a very moderate one similar to let's say Unicode Consortium.

    Working both with its technologies like ICU4J and the underlying OSGi stack in Project UOMo I am dealing with both. And since UOMo also continues where you stopped with OSGi Measurement some years ago, I'd love to join as Individual Member once that was finally possible.

    Some of the working groups especially that for Requirements also look very interesting here. And backs what you say about commercial interest, too. I saw that idea with JCP members like Credit Suisse and a glimpse of it with Hologic, but too many other things had happened around that time, so they were not seen as a business adding this "Requirements" aspect to the JCP by most. I hope, OSGi can open to more than just the commercial companies right now granted membership, so your bold pledge of taking part of the "fire" and spirit from where JCP lost part of it becomes true before all that's left of that fire may just be a "HotSpot" ;-)