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Collaboration Tools

HO: From my point of view, the thing that seems missing from the JCP process is some sort of collaboration platform that's integrated with the JCP.

PC: Actually, we are about to roll out some tools. It's not going to be a full Sourceforge-like platform because we don't have the resources to produce and host such a thing.

HO: How about Project Kenai?

PC: Well, we're going step by step. We're starting with forums and wikis and calendaring and stuff like that. We'll be rolling that out by, we hope, JavaOne, and we think that will help, but it's not like there's any shortage of such platforms and facilities for people who want them. So I'm less concerned about that, but we'll probably put up a Bugzilla to encourage people to do issue tracking.

HO: One thing I'd like to see would be the expert groups being able to aggregate their RSS feeds into a JSR's page so that you can see things as they happen.

PC: Yes, we're going to do that too, because it's unreasonable to expect people to go constantly check to see if anything new has happened. Every expert group is supposed to have it, in theory we do and we are now insisting on it, with observer aliases (for mailing lists) and a mailing list you can sign up to receive periodic announcements from the spec lead.

HO: Is there an easy way to find the observer aliases for a JSR.

PC: Yes, the details are on the FAQ. Currently it's a listserv instance, but we're switching to Mailman. It's on and the format is jsr-XXX-observers where XXX is the JSR number.

So anyway, when we did this survey last year, I'll be honest, there was a wide range, from people who were very active, going out there and just completely embracing the open process, to others who were paying lip service to it, they had an observer alias, but it really wasn't being used for much. So we're pushing that pretty hard.

HO:One thing that keeps coming up, especially with Java EE 6, is the "Apache Problem". Is anything happening with that? Apache have gone militant and voted no.

PC: Well Apache decided that some time ago. They have been fairly consistently voting no on Sun led JSRs.

HO: But this was the big one.

PC: Yes, it's really unfortunate. What we have here is a disagreement about legal and contractual matters. I'm not a lawyer and wouldn't try to second guess the lawyers. The Sun lawyers believe that the approach they are taking is permissible within the process. Apache believes that it's not, that it's against the spirit of an open standards organisation.

HO: As I'm reading it, Apache's issue is that they can't get a TCK for Java SE without having restrictions placed on them on how they can deploy what passes through the test kit, because removing the restrictions would let them do Java SE on phones, and they believe this is protectionism of the J2ME space.

PC: I think that's a fair reading of it. I don't speak for Sun...

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