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Java Community Process (JCP) Program Round Table
Executive Committee (EC) Members:
Working Together to Strengthen the Community

by John Bacon
  About the ECs
The Executive Committees (EC), the broad oversight boards chartered to guide the development and evolution of Java technologies. 2004 represents the fifth annual EC elections, the ECs were first elected by the JCP membership in the fall of 2000. There are two ECs. The Standard/Enterprise Edition (SE/EE) EC oversees the Java technologies for the desktop/server space (with responsibility for the J2SE and J2EE specifications). The Micro Edition (ME) EC that oversees the Java technologies for the consumer/embedded space(with responsibility for the J2ME specifications). Each EC has 16 members, 10 Sun nominees that were ratified by JCP members and 5 elected members from a pool of self-nominated companies and organizations. Terms are three years. Sun also holds a seat on each committee.
If the newly elected members of the Java Community Process (JCP) program Executive Committees (EC) were issuing report cards, the JCP program would get good grades in an important subject - Playing Well With Others. In the IT world, that subject means collaboration and compatability. The winners in the recently completed EC elections for the Standard/Enterprise Edition (SE/EE) slots were Apache Software, Borland, Nortel Networks, Google, Jboss and Intel. The Micro Edition (ME) winners were NTT DoCoMo, Samsung, Research in Motion, Intel and Orange France.
   Bill Bourne
Bill Bourne is a solutions architect for Nortel, which for the first time represents the telecommunications industry on the SE/EE EC. He says the JCP program is a mature, efficient, effective process that is becoming more friendly to alternative business models of collaboration, such as open-source business processes. "Making Java technology play well with other software platform architectures and ensuring that Java technologies play effectively in a utility computing environment are keys to a productive future," he says.
Bourne says the JCP program is key to avoiding "one of the big productivity killers in software development, what a friend of mine calls 're-inventing the flat tire.'" That, Bourne says, "is re-inventing the wheel, except the re-invention is not as good as the original!"
Takeshi Natsuno
Takeshi Natsuno is managing director of Multimedia Services for NTT DoCoMo, a new member of the ME EC that will strengthen Asian-Pacific representation. Natsuno agrees that the JCP program is crucial to avoding flat tires in technology. "The JCP program is well balanced and moving quickly to correspond to market demands" he says. "I believe that we can continue to make great strides."
Led by the EC, JCP program members collaborate to define the Java technology binary standard leading to compatible implementations and solutions that developers and the industry can trust in areas such as web services, wireless, tools and vertical industries. The current version, JCP 2.6, promotes public availability of specifications during their development, ensures the right of Spec Leads to deliver their technologies under a license of their choosing and ensures broad community participation in the open development of Java technology standards.
The results speak volumes. About a third of the 250 plus submitted JSRs have completed, led by over 55 organizations and individuals. They include such advances as two versions of the Java Micro Edition (CLDC/MID-P), three versions of the Java Standard Edition and three versions of the Java Enterprise Edition. In addition to Java technology iinterfaces for XML, web services, tools and vertical industries such as telecommunications.
Still, the representatives agree that much work is left to be done. Marc Fleury founded Atlanta-based JBoss in 2001 to provide professional services for customers of the open source JBoss Application Server. Fleury, a new EC member, says the JCP program needs to speed up and be more aggressive in the technologies it standardizes. "We must make sure that the 'allies' in the Java camp remain united and resist the urge to go proprietary," he says.
That involves playing well with other developers through the JCP program. "There's no better way to develop a deep knowledge of a package than to help develop the specs for it," says Josh Bloch, a Principal Engineer for Google, a new EC member. "You meet lots of smart and influential men and women on JCP expert groups. They become part of your network."
Read more from the newly elected JCP program EC members below.


   Eric Dittert
Intel: Eric Dittert
Eric Dittert is a Senior Staff Software Engineer in the Corporate Technology Group at Intel, where he has led or contributed to a number of advanced software research and development projects. These have included work in programming languages and systems, systems management, and security. He says the JCP is already a key provider of technology to the industry, and that its importance will continue to grow. So being involved, he says, is vital. "Participation in the process is absolutely the best way to learn what is needed and help make it happen."
Dittert says the JCP is "putting out great specs, but, especially in the J2ME space, there are several areas in which we could improve: architectural coherence, timeliness -- that is, being ahead of the needs of the market, and licensing that enables rapid adoption of Java technology." He believes JTWI (JSR 185) was a start toward architectural coordination, but "we need to press forward with MSA to ensure that application developers have a solid, well-known target platform." On the subject of licensing, Dittert favors transparency and commonality. "Open, uniform licensing practices would speed up adoption a lot," he says. "Also, it would be a huge step forward if we, as a community, could find a way to develop TCKs more efficiently so that they are less of a burden to spec leads and more cost-effective for independent implementors."
Takeshi Natsuno
NTT DoCoMo: Takeshi Natsuno
Takeshi Natsuno is Managing Director for Multimedia Services at DoCoMo and was named one of the world's 25 most influential e-business leaders by Business Week in 2001. He has overall responsibility for charting the business strategy of all multimedia related services of DoCoMo, including i-mode strategic alliances with global application / content providers and key Internet players. He says his company's participation is part of DoCoMo's effort to continuously change to accommodate developers' demand. "We believe it is most important that we continue to evolve our platform to attract customers and enlarge business opportunities for the developer community," Natsuno says. "I hope we can share this experience with other members of the community." He says that as a J2ME expert in the service provider segment, it is important to help developers actually deploy the technologies for the real market and generate revenue.
Natsuno says there is still an untapped potential market to be filled with innovative technologies that companies and individuals can contribute. MSA(JSR-248/249) is one that DoCoMo is considering. "The most important role JCP process can play is not only encouraging innovations, but also allowing evolution to fully accomplish a successful business outcome while maintaining the compatibility."
Philippe Lucas
Orange: Philippe Lucas
Philippe Lucas is director of standardization at Orange and is a member of the Open Mobile Alliance Board of Directors. He credits the JCP for delivering APIs for mobile phones that drive games and other services. He says Orange will work to enlarge the community of companies involved in the JCP process and to make it more open. Orange also wants to ensure that elements such as security and billing-related services are addressed, Lucas says. "Orange is bringing all its technical expertise in this field to ensure that the JCP works with the community of large developers so more applications to reach the mobile phones," he said.
Security and certification are the most compelling aspects to be addressed in the JCP, Lucas says. For example, Orange will strive to make sure that no application can be deployed using bearer capabilities without customer awareness. This is vital because of the lack of trust customers could have with third-party application, he says.
In the future, Lucas says he expects the JCP to be play a vital role as usage of IP based services increases, more attention is paid to increasing data applications and more of these applications are deployed in mobile devices. "The platforms to support multimedia must be simple and reliable to deploy applications in most devices with a large common core," Lucas said. "Otherwise we won't be able to use the full capabilities and the data applications will take more time to generate additional revenue for the whole industry."
Nobuhisa Yoda
RIM: Nobuhisa Yoda
Nobuhisa Yoda is Research in Motion's director of Standards and Licensing Japan, part of the Global Standards team that spearheads technology standards activities at forums around the world. "The success of the JCP process is evident," Yoda says. He notes that BlackBerry devices are based on the Java 2 Micro Edition (J2ME) standard, including CLDC and MIDP specifications. "It is vital to stay focused on providing business and technical solutions that satisfy real customer requirements and deliver a strong ROI," he says.
Yoda says that as technologies become more sophisticated, the biggest challenge for the EC is ensuring that the process continues to foster innovative ideas in a co-opertive environment. "As the need to wirelessly access corporate resources in a secure and efficient manner continues to grow, there will be an increased use of Java-based mobile devices as part of companies' overall enterprise solutions," Yoda says. . Accordingly, the community process will need to ensure that the various technologies that support J2EE, J2SE or J2ME can work together to build an end-to-end solution that extends robust enterprise systems to mobile environments. To drive this interoperability, the JCP process must continue to foster openness and innovativeness and also coordinate with other industry consortia and standards organizations, he says.
Young Joo Kim
Samsung: Young Joo Kim
Young Joo Kim is a vice president at Samsung in charge of the Networked Solutions Group, the User Interaction Group, the Application Framework Development Group and the Software Engineer Group. He says changes in the JCP process have made it a an important and fair process. He says that a practical advantage of EC participation is that "we can not only take a lead in a new Java application but also drive a new standard at the same time." In the future, he says to watch out for a convergence in mobile and home technology along with adaptive service deployment.


Geir Magnussson
Apache Software Foundation: Geir Magnusson
Geir Magnussson is a director at Apache and vice president of both the Geronimo Project and Java Community Project. "We've seen a continuing trend towards openness, enabling the open-source community to participate fully in the process by allowing open-source implementations of the specifications produced by the JCP," Magnusson said. He said Apache has helped lead these efforts with software such as Apache Tomcat, Apache Axis, Apache Geronimo, Apache Pluto and other projects that implement JSRs.
Involvement in the EC helps ensure continued innovation and growth of the "Java ecosystem," he said. "Wide participation of the community in the process ensures the health and relevance of Java, preserving and growing the investments we make learning and using the technology," he said.
He said Apache supports open-source (and closed-source) implementations of specifications that can be created during the spec creation progress to provide real-world feedback to the expert group. "Generally speaking, users are some of the best QA you can have," Magnusson said. "They do things to software that creators never imagined, or have needs never imagined." He credits the changes of JCP 2.6 with increasing the transparency of the spec creation process giving users more participation and opportunity for feedback.
The future? "I see that we'll have open-source implementations of the three 'platform versions' of Java - J2EE, J2SE and J2ME," he said. "J2EE has already been achieved." He said he expects the trend towards more openness will continue. "Previously, we've been concerned with a licensing and testing regime dedicated to 'protecting the castle' to ensure compatibility - we have achieved that and can now dedicate more energy to ensuring innovation and progress with Java technology"
  Axel Kratel
Borland: Axel Kratel
Axel Kratel is a senior product manager for the Borland product line. As the guy responsible for setting the direction of Borland's Java-based products and solutions, Kratel says he is pleased that as Java continues to mature, new players have gotten involved, and brought new technical challenges with them. The JCP has been nimble enough to adapt well to these changes and has successfully enabled the continuing evolution of the Java platform. "Participating in the JCP is a service that members of the community need to provide to keep the community healthy and moving forward," Kratel said. "The JCP represents the entire community, and it's in every member's best interest that the Java platform as a whole remains competitive."
Looking to the future, Kratel says that the JCP needs to address intellectual property issues and streamline the JSR process. "Over the next few years, the JCP has a great opportunity to continue to improve the process around JSRs and to provide faster turn around on new standards," he said. "The Java platform will expand into new areas and and serve a much broader market with a wider range of programming skills."
  Joshua Bloch
Google: Joshua Bloch
Joshua Bloch is a Principal Engineer at Google and former Distinguished Engineer at Sun Microsystems. He led the design and implementation of numerous Java platform features including the JDK 5.0 language enhancements and the Java Collections Framework. He is the author of the bestselling, Jolt Award-winning book, "Effective Java." "The (JCP Program Management Office) PMO has done a great job of putting all the right infrastructure in place to make things run smoothly," Bloch says. He says that "an era of transparency" is encouraging experts to work together. "I firmly believe that this leads to the highest quality specs. JSR 166 is a poster child for this approach," he says. "There's no better way to develop a deep knowledge of a package than to help develop the specs for it."
Bloch is a big booster of java.util.concurrent. He calls it "the future of concurrent
programming in Java. "I think the next couple of years will see the rapid adoption of the many new technologies introduced in JDK 5.0, as developers learn the power of generics, enums, the concurrency libraries and so on.
  Wayne Carr
Intel: Wayne Carr
Wayne Carr is an architect in Intel's CTG Programming Systems Lab, which conducts research in areas like virtual machines, garbage collection, memory management, caching, compilers and parallel computing. Carr is moving to the J2SE/EE Executive Committee (EC) after representing Intel on the J2ME EC. Wayne's previous standards work includes standards for data applications distributed over TV, mobile phone data application standards, W3C XML Schema, XHTML and W3C Advisory Committee.
Wayne points to the creation of the Executive Committees (EC), EC approval of all specs, and new requirements that earlier drafts be made public as examples of improvements that have been made to the JCP Process over the course of the JCP's history. Wayne believes the JCP should continue to evolve towards more openness and more democracy in decision making. For example, the TCK is so central to JCP Specs that details of the TCK License should be known as a JSR starts so all implementers know whether they will be able to license the TCK. Growing pains and all, the JCP has been responsive to the community, producing a wide variety of high quality specifications, he says. "The ability to create new core specs like JSR 166 Concurrency Utilities and, at the same time, to be open to creative, new ideas like JSR 241 Groovy shows a very good, healthy attitude in the JCP program."
Carr says it is an exciting time for new technologies in Java specs as the new features in J2SE 5.0 like generics and annotations open up new possibilities throughout Java. " All the Java platforms will reap the benefits of these core language changes over the coming years as benefits move up into J2EE and down into J2ME", he says.
  Marc Fleury

Jboss: Marc Fleury
Marc Fleury developed the first release of JBoss in 1999 while working as an independent consultant. He founded JBoss, Inc. in 2001 to provide professional services, including training, support, consulting and documentation, for customers of the open source JBoss Application Server. "We have seen good work come out of JCP but also some speed issues in getting relevant technology through the spec committees and to market," Fleury says. Look for JCP to speed up and be more aggressive in the technologies it standardizes, he says.
Fleury says that .NET has introduced some good features such as the possibility to do tag driven development. "We have responded in the Java camp with the introduction of Java5 and its support for tags," he says. "And by accelerating the JCP process we can put the specs back in the driving seat by at least standardizing faster the innovation that happens out there."
In the future he sees more and smaller specifications, service by services in order to have shorter cycles and faster timet to market for standardized innovation. For example specs should be 50 pages max, standardizing one service as opposed to the current "bible" format, Fleury says. Also the client side of the specification, the models of "rich, thin clients" is going to be increasingly important, he says.
  Bill Bourne
Nortel: Bill Bourne
Bill Bourne has spent most of his 25 years in the software and telecommunications industry with Nortel. Bill is a solutions architect and manager in the Architecture group of the Converged OAM Development organization which is responsible for all element and network management products for Nortel's Carrier product portfolio. He says that Nortel has embraced Java technology for use in telecommunications related products, and is an enthusiastic supporter of open, collaborative work through the JCP.
Bournel says that balancing the need to increase support for an open source culture while making sure that Java technologies and specifications don't "fork" into multiple incompatible versions is a key issue, along with promoting the adoption of JSRs, and seeing them have greater impact on the general industry. "Since I'm in the telecommunications industry, I'd point to the JAIN/SLEE and OSS/J JSRs as examples," he says. "These JSRs have seen some adoption but have a long way to go."
He says Nortel would also like to offer our expertise in telecommunications architecture and systems to encourage and guide the evolution of telecommunications related architectures and APIs for such things as Service Logic Execution, Call Control, Management, Services Control, access to standard protocols like H.248, SIP, etc, network security, and APIs used between applications in the converged network.