I mentioned the other day that Java is still incredibly important to us as a technology and community. But what about the area of standards? Well as our representative on the Executive Committee, that is something which is never far from my mind. I've spoken many times in the past about how we think the state of Java standardisation should be improved. Whether it's in the combined interviews Mark Proctor and I did for Red Monk, on the DZone Tech Chats, or on a panel session at QCon, the message is clear: the future of Java is tied critically to the future of the way in which it is governed. We're not the only ones to call attention to the often less than open ways in which the Java Community Process has been managed in the past; even Oracle did so prior to their acquisition of Sun. However, things have been improving and although the rate of change is often frustratingly slow, at least it is typically moving in the right direction.
As Scott mentioned last year, JSR 348 made some changes to the process that many of us have been asking for a while and we have been practicing in the JSRs that we lead. This isn't the end of changes to that process: as announced at JavaOne last year there is now the intention to merge the ME and SE/EE Executive Committees. Scott has a reference to the current discussions on that effort in his latest blog, so I encourage everyone to take a look and raise any concerns or questions through the appropriate channels. But this isn't going to be the end. For a start there's still a lot of work that we need to do on the processes, including further simplifications and more openness. Then it is likely that we'll need to look again at the merged EC: does a 25 seat body work well, for instance. So there's still a long road to travel before we reach our destination. However, I am hopeful that we'll get there and that it won't take us another 7 years.