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OpenJDK != JCP


Doug Lea's decision to resign from the JCP has been discussed by others, like Henrik. There is one thing I'd like to point out, that may not be clear to everyone reading the various opinions on blogs, etc. : OpenJDK is a very technical open source community - it's a 'codeocracy' (see this paper on how the Linux kernel works introducing the term). It's where code that may make its way into future Java SE implementations gets written, tried out, and improved by a community of developers from a variety of backgrounds. It's a really nice community, and if you are interested in participating, you can learn more about it here.

It is not a standards body, though, by any measure.

There is a good reason for that: the JCP already exists.

Over the years, the JCP was, as Bill Burke says, "already becoming much more open" - including more transparent expert group mailing lists, and open source RIs like Glassfish. In particular, the JCP, with its elections and members based participation model, allows a much broader set of competing interests in the Java ecosystem to be brought to the table then an open source project strictly focused on technical implementation & working code can.

Open source projects are in practice often very self-selecting - if you don't have the technical skill it takes to write high quality code, or don't like the license, or don't enjoy passionately debating this week's color of the bikeshed, you're most likely going to have a hard time getting to a point where you can participate in them very successfully.

An organization like the ASF, for example, that Oracle has nominated along with Hologic for a ratified seat on the Java SE/EE EC in this year's JCP elections, can represent the interests of its community much better in the JCP, than in OpenJDK, where it doesn't actively contribute and participate in technical development.

For that reason, I'm glad that we have both the JCP and OpenJDK - they both serve a useful purpose for the Java community, and they both should continue to improve.