initiate a JSR. Once the executive committee (EC) approves a JSR, the
JSR specification lead forms an expert group—a team of industry
experts from member corporations and individuals who will contrib-
ute to the requirements, design, and specification of the standard.
The expert group produces an early draft for review by the Java
community and the public. After further revisions, taking into
account any early draft feedback, the expert group produces the
public draft. Once approved, the reference implementation (RI) and
technology compatibility kit (TCK) can be completed and submitted
for final approval by the EC. The TCK is a suite of tests, tools, and
documentation that tests a vendor's implementation for compliance
with the specification. The RI is an implementation of the specifica-
tion that can pass the TCK and in some instances serve as a basis for
others to see how the specification is intended to be implemented.
The maintenance phase is reserved for completed specifications that
require further clarification, enhancement, or revisions.
Specification leads have significant latitude in how to organize
and run the evolution of the specification and the completeness and
complexity of the RI and TCK. However, there are some basic princi-
ples, such as taking a consensus-driven approach and iteratively
reviewing the specification work products.
The JCP itself evolves using the JCP process, with change proposals
initiated via a JSR, typically led by Sun and the JCP EC members serv-
ing as expert group members. The EC is responsible for approving
specifications at the major phases or checkpoints noted above. EC
members are drawn from a cross section of the Java community,
including major stakeholders in Java technology.
Why So Many Standards?
Standards usually evolve to serve a particular need, supporting a
particular technology, domain, or user group. Over the past century,
many standards bodies have evolved (e.g., ANSI, JTC 1, IEC, ISO,
OMG, JCP). Each applies different processes, requirements, and rig-
orousness to developing standards. In the domain of data mining,
standards originated to support different communities and needs:
the database community (SQL/MM), the data mining community in
general (vendors and users) for model representation and inter-
change (PMML) and data warehouse metadata exchange (CWM,
JDM XML Schema), the Service-Oriented Architecture community
(JDM Web Services), and the data mining Java community (JDM).