More specs brew in the JCP

In addition to the new open source agreement, the JCP is currently reviewing other specifications that will affect Java's future

March 28, 2002 -- Certainly the most talked about news to come out of the Java Community Process (JCP) this JavaOne, Jason Hunter, vice president of the Apache Software Foundation and JCP Executive Committee member, announced that Apache has agreed with Sun and JCP members to secure the rights to implement open source Java specifications. Java Specification Request (JSR) 99 will change the Java Specification Agreement (JSPA), which all participating JCP members must sign, so that all open source projects will have a chance to enable Java implementations.

JSR 99 also proposes free access to test compatibility kits (TCKs) for qualified nonprofits and individuals, and, for those wanting to run the TCKs, a scholarship program for access to Sun's support services. This JSR also proposes setting limitations on how specification leads determine licensing terms and allowing a JSR's reference implementation and TCK to be licensed separately. The JCP plans to release JSR 99 for public review this May, with a final release planned for August.

Due to the intense pressure placed upon Sun to close the door on the open source issues plaguing the company in recent months, these JSRs now overshadow the other specifications currently brewing in the JCP. The Mobile Information Device Profile (MIDP) 2.0, the Mobile Media API, and JavaServer Faces, all scheduled for release this year, are among the JSRs the Java community is currently reviewing. During "JCP Initiative: An Update," Onno Kluyt, manager of the JCP program office, highlighted those and other JSRs to watch out for in the coming months.

JSR 118: MIDP 2.0

Lead by Motorola, JSR 118 proposes to improve MIDP's security model. MIDP 2.0 will support end-to-end transactional security with HTTPS. It will also support 2D games and sound. In addition, Version 2.0 will feature a more powerful UI (user interface) and layout controls. Currently in public review, JSR 118 is scheduled for release in third quarter 2002.

JSR 135: Mobile Media API

A compatible subset of MIDP 2.0, the proposed Mobile Media API will enable playback and control of media-based data on devices based on the Connected Limited Device Configuration (CLDC) and Connected Device Configuration (CDC) technologies. Nokia leads this project, which will support tone generation, sampled audio, MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface), and video. This JSR has completed its public review and will be released in April.

JSR 73: Data Mining API

Oracle's proposed Data Mining API would offer vendor-neutral access to data-mining systems and would satisfy Java's need for a standard way to mine data. The proposed JSR would support the following:

  • Creation of data-mining models
  • Scoring of data using models
  • Creation, storage, access, and maintenance of data and metadata supporting data-mining results
  • Select data transformations

Community review will begin in June. Oracle is expecting much community feedback on this JSR and has scheduled a release date of January 2003.

JSR 127: JavaServer Faces

Proposed by Sun, JavaServer Faces would allow creation of rich UIs with JavaServer Pages (JSPs). With no HTML/HTTP dependencies and a portable architecture, JavaServer Faces would increase Web developers' productivity. Currently an expert group is writing the community draft, which it will release for public review this spring. At that time, the JCP will also make an early access release available.

JSR 109: Implementing Enterprise Web Services

IBM submitted JSR 109 to define the programming model for implementing Web services in Java. JSR 109 will also define the client-side programming model for using Web services from Java. It will enable Web Services Description Language (WSDL) publishing, bean- and container-managed service selection, and secure service requests. The expert group will release the public draft in April, the final draft and reference implementation in June.

JSR 152: JSP 1.3

This fourth iteration of the JSP specification will release with J2EE 1.4, which Sun has scheduled for early 2003. It interacts with Servlet 2.4, the JSP standard tag library, and JavaServer Faces.

Look out for more changes

The introduction of JSR 99 will require an update to the JCP itself. Thus, Sun has proposed JSR 171, which would implement the process changes needed for JSR 99 and thus update the JCP to version 2.5. (JSR 171 will follow JSR 99's review and release schedule.) In addition to opening up Java implementations to open source projects, JCP 2.5 would also feature a new approach to forming expert groups. Currently, the specification lead puts together an expert group; under the new process, the executive committees would assume this responsibility. Ultimately, the JCP update is intended to ensure that Java implementations are available to all who wish to enable them.

Jennifer Orr is a senior editor at JavaWorld.

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