We have a very big stake at CloudBees in the success of Java in the cloud age. The huge community of Java developers and their inventiveness is the reason we have an unshakeable belief that Java will continue to be used to solve the hardest problems in the most efficient manner in the cloud world of elastic resources and hosted services. You can see how we’re doing our part to drive the Java platform in the direction it needs to go, if you’ve ever tried the CloudBees PaaS.
At CloudBees, we are also big believers in the value of standards. Given the pace of change driven by vendors like CloudBees and the community overall, it’s certainly very early to standardize cloud- or PaaS-oriented specifics of the Java platform. It is important, however, to make sure that the mechanism for Java standardization — the Java Community Process (JCP) — works properly with the developer and vendor community that drives the innovation. There are two levers available to the community. One is the important hands-on work of expert groups, the work within a Java Specification Request (JSR). The other is driven by the Executive Committee. One of the most important roles of the Executive Committee is to revise the Java Community Process itself and to act on behalf of the community.
The JCP has been through some difficult times leading up to and following Oracle’s acquisition of Sun. But, the injection of JUGs and some different players, as well as Oracle’s continued commitment to the forum, have resulted in some “low hanging fruit” process improvements. Programs like Adopt-a-JSR have also shown how the community makes a big difference. CloudBees has helped by making milestone OpenJDK builds available for developers, and by supporting FOSS projects on CloudBees. Still, there is some hard work ahead of the JCP Executive Committee. The hard work requires cutting through some of the remaining barriers that introduce friction between developers and the JCP — things like moving toward standard, permissive licensing models for all JSRs and encouraging more open approaches for collaboration with open source communities. This work is hard because it intersects with vendor financial interests and intellectual property issues — and Oracle is not the only vendor in this equation, even if it has the most investment and control within the current JCP environment. The work ahead for the JCP Executive Committee is not going to be fun, but it is important. It’s important for CloudBees as a business, and it’s important to the community overall and the continued success of Java over the long run.