The JCP is a sham...
Published Thu, 23 Dec 2010
Reading the minutes from the key JCP EC meeting on Oracle's refusal to grant Apache a TCK licence, I think this dialog is very telling -
Doug asked Oracle to acknowledge that it was asking the ECs to condone breaking the JSPA rules. He said that if he was put in a position where he had to condone breaking the rules he would have to resign. Ken said that he understood, and would regret it if Doug resigned, but pointed out the importance of allowing the conversation to go forward. Josh Bloch asked again whether Oracle, who were on record as saying that to deny Apache a license without FOU restrictions is a violation of the JSPA, still feel that way. Ken Glueck responded that Oracle were not prepared to answer a legal question. Josh responded that Oracle had been willing to vote on this matter twice in the past. Ken responded that this is the situation now. Tim Peierls noted that Oracle has had plenty of time to prepare an answer. Ken pointed out again that the platform is stuck and we need to move forward.
Firstly, the "conversation" that Oracle are saying "must go forward" is the proposed Java SE 7/8 JSRs which were not the focus of this part of the discussion. Secondly Oracle is on the record (in the past) as saying that the TCK licence issue is at conflict with the JSPA rules, but is now unwilling to fix it or even discuss it.
Instead it is apparent from the above and the rest of the discussion too, that Oracle has used the stagnation of the Java platform as leverage for JCP members to turn a blind eye on Oracle's unwillingness to address the problems with TCK licencing the overall governance of the JCP.
I can't help but be reminded of "The Empire Strikes Back" -
LANDO: You said they'd be left in the city under my supervision! VADER: I am altering the deal. Pray I don't alter it any further.
Given the current state of affairs, JCP members may find they are not equal negotiating terms with Oracle and have a difficult choice between two risky options. Stay with Oracle and hope they make favorable choices, or leave the JCP and hope for a change coming from the community or from the pressure back on Oracle.
Oracle declared at the start of the call that they were prepared to act with or without the ECs blessing. Those remarks should not have gone unchallenged.
The JCP is a sham.
About the Author
Richard Nichols is an Australian software engineer with a passion for making things.