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From Geir Magnusson Jr <g...@pobox.com>
Subject Re: Starting a java specs project
Date Mon, 02 Jan 2006 18:19:03 GMT


Henri Yandell wrote:
> On 12/31/05, Craig L Russell <Craig.Russell@sun.com> wrote:
> 
>>I haven't been involved in any history here, so please forgive my naivete.
>>
>>I think I understand the rationale for developing spec jars here at Apache.
>>Please correct me if I'm wrong. In order to use a spec jar from the JCP, you
>>have to click a license every time you download it. And this can be a real
>>usability problem if every user of a project needs to manually download just
>>to click a license that they don't read anyway (oops, gotta stop that).
> 
> 
> Yep. Some are a real pain to find too; jdbc-stdext-2.0.jar springs to mind :)
> 
> 
>>I doubt that there is enough in common among the spec jar developers to
>>build a community around "spec jars". But certainly there is a community
>>among the developers of Servlet and a different community among the
>>developers of JDO and a different community for MyFaces, etc.
> 
> 
> You need community for two parts:
> 
> 1) Someone has to work on said website.
> 2) There needs to be a place for people to talk about said specs; not
> in terms of development, but in terms of "is anyone working on a Foo
> spec yet?", "here's a patch for the website" and "what's the best way
> for us to handle the naming scheme?".
> 
> The apache-jcp website is well on the way to this [http://www.apache.org/jcp/].
> 
> In addition to a simple site, browseable spec javadoc and download
> links(ibiblio?) would be nicer than having to dig into the particular
> TLP that happened to develop the code.
> 
> ----
> 
> Then we get onto the details:
> 
> * Should the source be in a shared location, or in the original TLP.
> * Do we put it under JCP [ie: www.apache.org/jcp and jcp-open@] or
> Jakarta [ie: jakarta.apache.org/specs and specs@]. I'm +1 to either.

I don't think /jcp is the right place.  /jcp is about policy, activism
and support for the JCP-related efforts of the ASF, of which the
technical ones are in the projects themselves.

> 
> [sales pitch :)]
> Really the second question is less about specs and more about
> whether/how we want a Java Federation at Apache. JCP is effectively
> the 'Java Community Process Federation at Apache', so it's natural
> that we'll have overlap issues between the two.
> 
> This very conversation is an example of why I think we need a Java
> federation; we're using general@incubator to discuss the Apache Java
> strategy because there's nowhere else more fitting.
> [/sales pitch]

The problem is that I don't think you can force it like that.  That's my
worry.  I don't think this is "The Apache Java Strategy" as much as a
sharing problem some Java projects have.  I suspect most of the problem
could be solved with a naming convention for jars, social awareness 
about the problem to get people to work together, and making sure
they get pushed to ibiblio since many people use Maven to build.

> 
> I'm rambling a bit; hopped up on flu medication at the moment :)

I think we need to step back and carefully reconsider exactly what
problem we're trying to solve.

Originally, we in Geronimo-land thought that it would be nice to push
our spec jars out to a common place so others can share, and we can get
others to push their's out too.  We had opportunity for inter-project
collaboration (like between Geroninmo and Scout on JAXR spec jars) and
we also hoped for collaboration between ASF projects and external
projects (like Apache Tomcat and Jetty for Servlet spec jars).

This discussion has been a useful exercise.  There are a bunch of
isssues that came up including legal/licensing, location and most
importantly, technical reality - what %-age of specs really have clean
interface or abstract class APIs with minimal implementation in API
classes?  JavaMail is clearly the problem child here, but I'm sure there
are more than we think....

So I'm still pro giving it a whirl, but a little more on the fence...

geir

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