Java Library Development Process..
As I started thinking about the issue of open-sourcing Java, I came to the initial conclusion that open sourcing J2SE Libraries would contribute to a more robust J2SE.
However, what I've come to realize is that open sourcing Java may not be the issue after all. The issue in my opinion (July 2004) is: Sun adopting the open source way of developing software. It works and it's successful. This must include: releasing often.
So far we've had six releases of J2SE (1.0 -> 1.5) over a period of roughly 9 years. That's approximately 1.5 years between releases. I'd like to see more of a linux model of releases. The linux kernel version at the moment is 2.6.8-rc1. Minor releases occur on the order of one per week.
I'd like to see J2SE managed the way the Linux kernel is, where Sun developers act primarily as project managers, distilling contributions, and releasing often.
Source versions of J2SE are already downloadable. That can be made a little more prominent so that folks out there with the time and interest can try out new minor releases and further improve upon them. Ever 18 months or so a major release can be cut.
I don't think it makes sense today to synchronize, say, releases of Swing with releases of JDBC because they both happen to be a part of J2SE.