Independent Developers and the JCP
  Posted May 09, 2003    PermaLink    Comments (0)  

Share Me Technolgies recently wondered How Many Independent Developers Join JCP? Well, I used to be a member, back before I got married, but not any more. Here's my experience:

First, as an individual you don't have to pony up $2000 to $5000 if you want to join as an individual. It's something on the order of $100 (this was back in Y2K, so things may have changed). But they will ask to make sure you are truly joining as an individual and not for your company as a way to save money. That's one of the biggest reasons it's not publicly listed. And it's not like a magazine subscription, don't forget to renew or cancel (unless you want some cratchety lady calling you up and berating you when you say "oh I thought I'de just let it expire").

What do you get when you pay? First you get earlier access to some of the specs that come outt of some of the JSRs, but it's not like a public draft, these are under NDA so you can't tell anyone or do aonything public with them. These are the community drafts. And that's all you get ... unless you get involved in a JSR.

JSRs are where the real action occurs. The loweset level of JSR involvement (that can be termed involvement) is as a member of the expert group. Basically all that does is it means you get even earlier access to the JSR drafts (and are under an even tighter NDA for them) and you get to talk on a mailing list to the spec lead who is responsible for delivering the spec (they usually write it as well). Getting in on al call for experts can be pathetically easy or incredably difficult, it depends on the spec lead. And then there is no process check or balance immediatly requiring them to listen to the experts in the group, so some groups have more sway in the spec and some have essentially none. The only real check and balance is political pressure ant the final approval vote.

Beyond that unless you are willing to pony up massive ammounts of time there really isn't much more for independent developers in the JCP. That's why I just let my membership expire.

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