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Why the JCP and the Specification Requests Are Important
Why the JCP and the Specification Requests Are Important

Jon's Weekly JSR Roundup - Week 1 - JSR 94, Java Rule Engine API

(October 22, 2002) - Before we begin this week's column, I wanted to take a moment to set some expectations about what I will be writing about in this column. My goal is to keep you informed what is going on at the JCP and report on some of the JSRs. At times I will cover details about various specifications, other times I will just be providing updates and statuses.

Over the last year or so the Java community has spent considerable time debating the technical merits of Java over .NET. This debate, I contend, constantly misses the point. The focus was recently brought to light by Sun: marketing. Microsoft will outspend Sun in marketing .NET over Java. Now you may be asking yourself what this has to do with the JCP. Allow me to elaborate.

Microsoft will be happy to distract us with releasing the .NET version of the Pet Store and throw out technical details out about the CLR (common language runtime) so we can debate the platform independence of .NET. Meanwhile, in the conference rooms of the Fortune 500 organizations, Microsoft is out showing our managers and CIOs the ROI of .NET: how the enterprise already has NT/Win2K servers, how the language provides native Web services support, etc, etc.

Now back to what this has to do with the JCP: we, as developers, can look back over the last seven years since Java's inception at all the great development we have done and show just how productive Java can be. As the language grows through new specifications, we are able to develop more complex applications using standard APIs that are well thought out and have the industry support that the JCP provides.

As we develop solutions, we first look at the core API before we try to reinvent the wheel. Next, we look to the extension packages (JavaMail). Then last, but hopefully not least, we look at the JCP for emerging specifications to help us truly deliver useful business solutions as rapidly as possible so that we can move on to the next business improving application and show true ROI for Java development.

Are all the specification requests going to make it to into full-fledged releases? That is anyone's best guess. But it certainly makes sense to stay on top what is going on with them so that we don't spend time building something that we don't have to.

Thank you to those who took the time to make comments on the first JSR Watch column. Your comments will help me to make this into a useful column!

Please feel free to let me know what you think!

Jon Strande - jonstrande@yahoo.com

About Jon Strande
Jon Strande is a consultant with Perfect Order in
Harrisburg, PA. Jon is a Java Certified Programmer who
has written several articles on Java and was the past
president of his local JUG.

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