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Eric Bruno

Dr. Dobb's Bloggers

Wither the JCP

October 22, 2010

A while ago I had predicted that the JCP would fall apart under Oracle's watch, and this appears to be occurring. First, statements from Mark Reinhold about JDK 7's "Plan B", where Oracle would simultaneously create a JSR and release Java SE 7 at some point in 2011 indicated this. Second, with IBM joining OpenJDK and abandoning Apache Harmony, it appeared that Oracle and IBM would be able to steamroll the JCP approval process going forward. Now, third, the resignation of Doug Lea from the JCP committee further indicates the deterioration of the JCP. There may even be other resignations we haven't yet heard of, or are yet to come.

In my opinion two things may come of this:

1) Oracle will accelerate the Java release cycle and, for the most part, good new features will be put into the JVM. This is at the risk of not having enough community involvement.

2) The OpenJDK will gain a lot of momentum in the community, and will take a life of its own. This is at the risk of forking the Java language and platform.

If you're a Java developer, you really should follow this one as it develops. At some point we may need to voice our opinion as a group to ensure the continued success of Java the language, and platform.

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