Java News from Wednesday, July 11, 2007

In what I think is a first for the JCP, the micro edition Executive Committee has unanimously voted not to approve JSR 190 - Event Tracking API for J2ME. The concerns seem to be related to the licensing of the spec and reference implementation, not any technical issues. Committee member Jean-Marie Dautelle commented, "It has been brought to my attention that the license terms are still not compliant (despite the latest changes). Specifically, there is no explicit right to create an independent implementation and right to redistribute the RI. In order to see a new ballot with compliant license, I have no choice but to vote No." Other comments were similar.

I haven't been following this JSR closely, so I'm not sure what happened. or if it is likely to be repaired.

JSR 280, XML API for Java ME, has also been rejected for similar reasons, though not unanimously. Intel voted No with the following comment:

The Spec Leads need to assure the community that the licensing regime for JSR 280 will meet the spirit and the letter of the JSPA. Our preference for accomplishing this would be for the Spec Leads to provide the text of TCK and RI licenses that they commit to offer to any interested party and that meet the requirements of the JSPA.

Questions on this JSR from the EC have focused on the RI license. The Spec Leads have distributed to the EC a sample RI license. While we have no objection to the Spec Leads offering that license as one alternative, its restrictions on redistribution make it unacceptable in the role of the fulfilling the Spec Leads obligations for RI licensing as expressed in the JSPA.

To avoid any possible confusion, we note that RI licensing is a separate and distinct issue from TCK licensing, which has potentially a more wide-ranging impact than RI licensing, as exemplified by the situation encountered with JSR 176 Java SE 5. The Apache Open Letter on JSR 176 Java SE 5 claimed that field of use restrictions are being imposed on how Independent Implementations of the spec can be used. JCP requirements for licensing compatibility tests must not be used to limit or restrict Independent Implementations of JCP specs. We would be more comfortable if the Spec Lead had supplied a complete sample TCK license, but we are hopeful that, nevertheless, TCK licensing will not be an issue for JSR 280.