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Star Spec Lead Profiles

The Java Community Process (JCP) program applauds the community's Star Spec Leads. These leaders earned this honor through their efficient, prompt, and transparent communication with their Expert Group, the Program Management Office (PMO), and the Executive Committee (EC). They used community web pages, observer aliases, and other tools to communicate with their expert group, the JCP program community, and the public. They kept their Java Specification Requests (JSRs) on schedule by making sure their team stayed focused and felt appreciated. The JCP program congratulates and honors these Star Spec Leads.

Vincent Perrot
Vincent Perrot approaches life as an engineer. If there is a problem to be solved, he'd like to do it thoroughly so that others can build on its foundation. He has an engineering diploma in Electricity from the Higher National School of Electricity (E.N.S.I.E.G) and a master's degree in Advanced Robotics and Systems from Sup Areo, the Higher National School of Aeronautics and Space.
Having worked with Java technology in all phases, from development to adoption and promotion, Vince fully appreciates its ease of use. He says, "I have a lot of programmatic language experience -- from assembly language for real time and embedded systems to C++ for telecom applications -- and Java technology is the first language that merges all the domains when computer science is involved."
Ongoing Interest in Three Java Technologies
Vince started his career as a real-time kernel software and network application developer, and later worked at Hewlett Packard in the Advanced Intelligent Network domain. By October 1996, he had joined Sun Microsystems' Telecom Management Network team. Two years later he got involved with the JCP program as an observer of one of the earliest Java Specification Requests, the JSR 3 Java Management Extensions (JMX) Specification. He helped develop and later became the technical lead of JDMK (Java Dynamic Management Kit), Sun's implementation of JMX. He stays involved in the creation of this network management technology by participating as an observer of the JMX technology JSRs. JSR 70, 71, 146, 160, JSR 255 and 262.
In the telecommunications space, Vince created an early draft of the JSR 11 JAIN TCAP Specification, based on the initiative he launched with three other Sun Microsystems fellows. Vince also came up with the first demonstration system of JAIN for Supercomm 98. His interest continues through his deep involvement in the JSR 18 JAIN OAM API Specification.
A founding father of the OSS (Operations Support System) through Java (OSS/J) initiative, Vince is the Spec Lead for JSR 144 OSS Common API. This API factorizes all the commonalities and patterns that emerge across the entire OSS/J API portfolio, which requires his expertise to serve all other OSS technology JSRs. See also the OSS Success Story.
Vince says, "As all the OSS JSRs inherit from JSR 144, I provide support and help to the Expert Groups regarding usage and leveraging of JSR 144. I also help make sure the design follows the OSS/J design guidelines related to the OSS API's specification and definition." He plays the innovative role of "proxy," or administrative buffer between the PMO and the Spec Leads of each and every OSS/J API. In this role, he ensures the consistency of all OSS deliverables and handles administrative tasks, such as submission, on behalf of the Spec Lead to allow the Spec Lead and the Expert Group to focus more on developing the API itself. Although JSR 144 is in a maintenance phase and experts are no longer directly involved, the OSS/J architectural group within the OSS/J initiative is still actively evolving OSS/J design guidelines.
Vince's commitment to these three technologies remains firm. He says, "Between JDMK/JMX, JAIN, and OSS/J, I increasingly took more and more responsibilities in these projects. And I continue to work in the development, design, architecture, evangelization, and support of those Java technologies."
Communication Carries the Momentum
Communication with the Expert Group is one of the most important Spec Lead responsibilities, Vince feels. Because his JSR 144 experts are scattered world-wide, they don't often get together in the same location. However, Vince knows that these meetings are important when they do happen. "My experience demonstrates that Face 2 Face is the most productive manner to progress, although difficult to organize these last four years due to travel cost reductions and travel bans. Therefore, we leverage as much as possible the developers and OSS industry conferences to meet in person," he says. In a JSR's early stage, the goals and objectives are spelled out and acknowledged by all experts in the group. To continue the Expert Group's momentum, he relies on weekly conference calls, using web tools like to synchronize participants. Every meeting includes an agenda and minutes, and all of the JSR's "mature" material is posted on a private project on
Vince points to three essential communication ingredients for starting, quickly progressing, and achieving consensus between experts: having a clearly identified goal, leveraging existing standards such as 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), and recruiting the "top-gun" experts in the industry domain whose company's substantial commitment to the OSS/J initiative backs them up. He says, "The decision process is always based on consensus, and I've never had to force a decision." As Spec Lead, Vince attends to the daily challenge of motivating experts to stay focused and support each other in all of the tasks they voluntarily take on.
For keeping the communication open, Vince finds the community page useful, except in not permitting information and documents to be classified, organized, or tracked by version. Back in 1998, Vince says experts focused on the spec document only, addressing the Reference Implementation (RI) and Technology Compatibility Kit (TCK) only much later. Now, however, especially when JSRs inherit design guidelines or common components, an Expert Group often creates the spec, RI, and TCK in parallel. Vince observes that private project pages on do better to address expert needs at all stages of a JSR, and all OSS JSRs now have or soon will have private and public pages on
Because of his current proxy role, Vince stays in direct contact with the PMO, handling administrative tasks on behalf all the OSS technology Spec Leads. He says, "The PMO folks are all very reactive and supportive. They always provide the exact and accurate information. And it is always a real pleasure to be in touch with them. Having the PMO handle all the specification versions was one of the best achievements of the JCP program as it simplifies the intermediate phases a lot." Vince has received very few notes of concern from the EC, probably because he is so highly experienced in dealing with the JCP program that he addresses administrative concerns before they become an issue.
Best Practices Don't Reinvent the Wheel
We're all in this together, so Vince's engineering attitude is to solve the problem and share it to the extent that he can. For example, to spare others from what Vince calls "specifier's block" -- the fear of writing that comes when starting with a blank page -- the OSS/J initiative came up with templates for typical documents (spec, design guides, installation guides, and so forth) and environments for joint development. These templates, which have already been forwarded to the PMO, are available for free to all who are interested in joining or contributing to the OSS/J initiative. They not only help writers to focus on the main points rather than the blank page, but they also give all OSS-related specifications a similar look and feel, making it easier for readers to navigate the structured content.
Foundational specifications can also save work for future Spec Leads. The OSS design guidelines and JSR 144 together address the generic integration issues that an OSS Expert Group might have. Using JSR 144 as a baseline, an Expert Group can focus only on the domain's specific issues. Similarly, the licensing and working model is the same for all OSS/J JSRs: provided free of charge, in source code for the RI, and in binary for the TCK. All are available on in similarly structured build and deployment environments.
Star Spec Lead Is Touched
Vince says, "Working on OSS/J is by far the most enriching experience in my professional life. It is a privilege to work everyday with some of the best telecommunications experts in the world. And what many people would consider as a human challenge, quickly turned for me into a fantastic journey along which I made friends that I admire, and who I hope do care about me. But OSS/J gets all of us so busy and focused that there is no time to dream about awards. When I was told that I was chosen by my peer Java developers as a JCP Star Spec Lead, I was really taken by surprise and deeply moved. I was only hoping to get the respect of my OSS/J fellows. So being distinguished by the Java community at large was like reaching the summit of the mountains that surround my house after a 10-hour hike, to see the sunset over the Alps -- a warm feeling of accomplishment. I sincerely hope my personal experience will help other Spec Leads move the Java platform to even greater success."
In addition to hiking the countryside, Vince bikes, skis, and plays the geometrically challenging game of snooker (billiards). He has renovated nearly his entire house in France as a do-it-yourself project.
Go to the Star Spec Lead Program page for more information.
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