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J2EE Journal: Article

Women Spec Leads Make History for Java Technology

Women Spec Leads Make History for Java Technology

Every March here in the U.S. we mark Women's History Month in recognition of women's contribution to the progress of our world. Technology and the Java platform are benefiting as well from women's talent and dedication and an instantiation of that is women engineers' contribution to the development of Java standards through the Java Community Process Program. Several of them won the distinction of Star Spec Leads for their leadership in driving Java specifications from concept, submission, standard development, Technology Compatibility Kit (TCK), and Reference Implementation (RI) delivery.

Ekaterina Chtcherbina is one of them. She started with various projects in the area of innovative software architectures for mobile devices and mobile infrastructure at Siemens. Ekaterina focuses on developing standards related to the Java Micro Edition and until recently was co-Spec Lead of JSR 253 Mobile Telephony API (MTA) along with Eric Overtoom of Motorola; together they won the 2005 JCP Program Best Spec Lead Award for Java Micro Edition.

Ekaterina speaks passionately about Java and the community: "Java technology for me is not just a programming language, rather it is a new style of technology innovation. Java technology is not created somewhere and given to everyone as a final technology. Instead, the evolution of Java technology relies highly on community input. This makes the community feel involved in the creation of the technology that they are using. At the same time this process ensures the usefulness of Java technology for the community. These facts attracted me a lot."

Another Star Spec Lead is Jaana Majakangas. A senior design engineer at Nokia Corporation, Jaana has pursued a diversity of telephony software projects and made her debut in the JCP program in September 2003, quickly getting involved with Expert Groups. She attributes her success as Spec Lead of JSR 257 Contactless Communication API to excellent mentors, her colleagues Kimmo Loytana and Jere Kapyaho, also Star Spec Leads from Nokia.

Even before achieving Star status, Jaana found the spec lead work deeply satisfying. "I like my current role where we create a standard in some area, and it is interesting to see how it is then implemented in actual products. This gives us feedback on how we have succeeded," she says.

Currently co-specification lead of JSR 220 Enterprise JavaBeans 3.0, Linda DeMichiel, senior engineer at Sun Microsystems, has also gained the distinction of Star Spec Lead. Since she became involved with the JCP, she has participated in the development of several JSRs including leading EJBs 2.0 and EJBs 2.1. Holder of a PhD in computer science from Stanford University and with over 15 years of industry experience in the areas of databases, distributed computing, and object-oriented programming, Linda provides strong leadership for the JSR 220 Expert Group and lends her expertise to the effort of making EJB components easier to use and the EJB programming model more flexible and powerful.

Pia Niemela, another spec lead from Nokia Corporation, worked hard in March with her Expert Group to take JSR 256 Mobile Sensor API to its final development stage. The specification received the final approval from the EC last month and the final release posting will follow. This JSR targeted Java ME applications for which it defines generic sensor functionality optimized for resource-constrained devices like mobile devices. Congratulations to all women spec leads and experts who dedicate their time and exceptional talents to the development of Java standards and inspire other engineers to get involved with the Java community.

During the month of March a number of JSRs got closer to the finish line or crossed it. Java Data Objects 2.0 (JSR 243) was approved by the JCP EC in a final approval ballot. Led by Sun, this JSR's high-level objectives are to make JDO easier to use, closely align JDO with J2EE, standardize JDO's database support, and broaden the scope of JDO.

JSR 292, Supporting Dynamically Typed Languages on the Java Platform, recently submitted by Sun, was approved by the JCP EC to be developed through the JCP. This JSR initiative was prompted by the growing interest in running a variety of programming languages on the Java platform in particular scripting languages.

JSR 239 Java Bindings for OpenGL ES published its proposed final draft in March. This specification is an optional package and is inspired by the need to have access to hardware-accelerated 3D graphics from a low-level 3D graphics library.

In the final development stage, JSR 115 Java Authorization Contract for Containers filed its Maintenance Review draft. Developed by Sun, this JSR seeks to define a contract between containers and authorization service providers that will result in the implementation of providers for use by containers.

JSR 291 Dynamic Component Support for Java SE recently proposed by IBM was voted on and approved by the JCP EC as a new JSR to be developed under the JCP. This JSR sets out to establish an API for a dynamic component framework supporting existing Java SE environments based on the OSGi dynamic component model specifications.

JSR 253 Mobile Telephony API (MTA) co-spec led by Motorola and BenQ Corporation published its final release in March. This JSR creates a mobile telephony API and platform definition that utilizes common telephony features and is small and simple enough to be implemented on terminals with limited resources.

For details on any of these JSRs and the updates I highlighted, visit and the respective JSR pages.

Don't miss the opportunity to meet in May at the JavaOne Conference with the JCP PMO, EC representatives, spec leads, and expert group members at the activities we are organizing that include JCP training sessions, BOFs, technology sessions, and the popular Java technology community event. Check for the dates, times, and locations and mark your preferred event on your JavaOne Conference Calendar.

More Stories By Onno Kluyt

Onno Kluyt is the chairperson of the JCP Program Management Office, Sun Microsystems.

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