JCP open-source upgrade released

The JCP Program Management Office on Tuesday is launching a new version of its Java Community Process program, to be called JCP 2.5, which embraces open-source development.

The upgraded program enables participation of a wider variety of contributors and increases the flexibility of the process by which compatible implementations of Java technology are developed, according to the JCP office.

With the enhancements, JCP is evolving into a more effective forum for serving 3 million Java developers.

Under the new rules, JCP participants are able to implement compatible Java specifications of their own choosing, including open source.

"This allows you to distribute reference implementations under an open-source license or distribute commercial implementations under an open-source license," said Onno Kluyt, director of the JCP program office at Sun Microsystems Inc., in Santa Clara, Calif.

"Before [Version 2.5], open-source organizations did not necessarily have a guarantee that [with] any effort in the JCP they could use their open-source methodology and be compliant with the licensing requirements," he said.

The JCP is intended as an open process for developing and revising Java technology specifications, reference implementations, and technology-compatible kits.

The Java Specification Participation Agreement requires Java specifications to allow for development and distribution of compatible independent implementations; make specifications available separately; and offer Technology Compatibility Kits free of charge to qualified non-profits, educational institutions, and individuals.

The JCP 2.5 process document focuses on the implementation of the new agreement and on the continued availability of Java APIs as part of or independent of platform specifications.

From now on, JSRs (Java Specification Requests) must operate under the new agreement. The document already has been signed by JCP members such as Apache, BEA Systems, Motorola, and Nokia.

The new JCP 2.5 process document can be found here.

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