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2004 JCP Awards Ceremony
Most Outstanding Spec Lead for J2SE/J2EE Platform

And the winner is...
Click titles below for stories, or go back to intro.
Doug Lea
Bill Pugh
Joshua Bloch (Sun)
Roberto Chinnici (Sun)
Linda DeMichiel (Sun)
Mark Hornick (Oracle)
Tolga Capin (Nokia)
Zhiqun Chen (Sun)
Jon Ellis (Sun)
Roger Riggs (Sun)
Mark Young (Sun)
JSR 166 Concurrency Utilities
Enterprise JavaBeansTM 3.0
The Groovy Programming Language
Wireless Messaging API 2.0
Content Handler API
Advanced Multimedia

Digital Set Top Box Profile

A spec lead is obviously a critical component in the success of an expert group. Of those who had led one or more JSRs in the past year for the Java 2 Platform, Standard Edition (J2SE) or Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) communities, four were nominated Most Outstanding Spec Lead for J2SE/J2EE Platform:
  • Joshua Bloch (Sun), JSR 175 & 201 - Winner
  • Roberto Chinnici (Sun), JSR 101 & 224
  • Linda DeMichiel (Sun), JSR 153 & 220
  • Mark Hornick (Oracle), JSR 73

"All of the members of my expert groups share a desire to 'do the right thing' from a technical perspective, which helps enormously."
Joshua Bloch, Outstanding Spec Lead J2SE/J2EE

Bloch earned the award for his work with JSR 175 A Metadata Facility for the Java Programming Language and JSR 201 Extending the Java Programming Language with Enumerations, Autoboxing, Enhanced for Loops and Static Import.

Bloch believes he won the nomination because he had "the rare opportunity" to lead two of the most important "Tiger" JSRs. (Tiger is the code name for the next feature release of Java 2 Standard Edition, which is defined by approximately fifteen separate JSRs.) JSR 201 defined five new Java programming language features, while JSR 175 defined the new Annotation (or "Metadata") feature.

Quoting the late great mathematician Paul Erdos, "Problems worthy of attack prove their worth by fighting back," Bloch notes that these JSRs proved challenging from a technical standpoint. A spec lead would be hard pressed without an expert group, and Bloch praises both of his, who "rose to the occasion with a vengeance. I have nothing but good things to say about these expert groups -- they represent the JCP at its best."

The specs that resulted from these JSRs were worth the struggle, says Bloch. "In combination with JSR 14, Generics, they represent a real step forward for the Java programming language. When the language was introduced by James Gosling and his team back in 1995, it took off like a rocket because it struck a chord with developers. These new features build on that legacy. They make programs clearer, shorter, and safer, without sacrificing compatibility or compromising the spirit of the language."

Bloch denies that he is an especially unique spec lead. "I try to keep things informal, while maintaining forward progress. When disputes inevitably arise, I try to achieve a reasonable consensus as quickly as possible and without too many hurt feelings. All of the members of my expert groups share a desire to 'do the right thing' from a technical perspective, which helps enormously."

Bloch plans to remain actively involved in any JSRs affecting the Java programming language.