Yesterday in my post I made an assumption that the Java SE 7 JCP vote would now pass. But perhaps it isn't so obvious?
Votes on the JCP
The Java SE 7 decision is a vote in the JCP. That means that Oracle needs to win the vote.
Until now, every member of the JCP other than Oracle has been united in opposing Oracle's position. IBM broke that yesterday. So, lets see how the votes stack up on the committee...
Voting with Oracle (my assumptions):
- IBM - thats the deal announced yesterday
- HP - long term Oracle partner
- Fujitsu - always assumed to be a voting partner of Sun, now Oracle
- RedHat - see the report here
- Eclipse - see the report here (and a reminder of who pays the bills at Eclipse) Update, 14 Oct: This vote is confirmed.
Voting with Apache (my assumptions):
- Google - unless they're about to capitulate in the battle with Oracle
Oracle leads 6 to 2, with 8 votes to count.
There are three independent members of the JCP - Doug Lea, Werner Keil and Tim Pierls. I'd like to see these individuals state their position publicly. I'd like to hope that they would vote with Apache, although I do wonder where Doug Lea's research grant comes from.
Intel have long been at the forefront of the battle to change the JCP. They might stick by their guns and vote with Apache. They might not.
SAP were clear on their position during the takover. So, we'd expect them to vote with Apache. But murky corporate politics may roam here - are SAP and Oracle partners or very competitive?
Credit Suisse are an unknown quantity. In the past they have supported all the resolutions on Apache's side. Will pressure be brought to bear now?
VMWare (SpringSource) might well have supported Apache while still just SpringSource. But as VMWare, there is a much bigger company involved. I'd like to think they'd prefer the Apache view, but who knows?
Update, 14 Oct: I managed to miss Ericsson somehow. I've no real information on their stance, other than having supported Apache previously. They would benefit from a complete unemcumbered Apache Harmony which they could use in their phones.
And the vote count is...
Basically, its impossible to determine, but it should be clear that pressure will be brought to bear by Oracle to get the votes it needs. With 6 relatively safe votes, you might think that only 2 more are needed with 16 voters. Except the rules say otherwise....
So, Oracle needs a 2/3 majority of the votes cast for a "UJSR" (Umbrella JSR for a Platform, such as Java SE).
In other words, 6 votes against, or 5 votes and 2 abstentions would block Oracle.
I've listed 2 definite No, 2 or 3 likely and 4 unknowns. So, I'd say the vote could be close if key participants hold their nerve.
Eclipse and the JCP elections
Before the JCP vote on Java SE 7, there is a JCP election. If I've understood the rules correctly, both Google and Eclipse are up for re-election.
What if the JCP members chose not to re-elect Eclipse based on their sudden change of heart on this subject? (Which feels surprising because Eclipse is perceived like another open source Apache, which it isn't).
I wonder, given how close the vote might be, if replacing Eclipse with someone willing to vote No might be the key to ending the farce of the current JCP by the right means (voting).
To be clear - if the Java SE 7 vote is not Yes, Oracle will disband the JCP, that much should be obvious. Its a high stakes game, but has Oracle won yet?
Oracle are confident that they can get the vote passed. But can they?
Perhaps JCP members should unelect Eclipse, and elect someone who will stand up to Oracle in the upcoming vote? And if you're not a JCP member, maybe you should join today to get your vote!
Apache Software Foundation member, speaking personally
Oracle Java Champion, speaking personally
Not a committer on Harmony or OpenJDK