Whenever we need to discuss what’s going on with Java EE and large corporations it’s worth explaining the acronyms up front.
- JCP – Java Community Process – https://www.jcp.org – the standards body that overseas Java EE and Java SE. The LJC is a member of the Executive Committee.
- Java EE – Java Enterprise Edition – the set of APIs/standards that was lead by Oracle through the JCP, with the last release of the platform being Java EE 8.
- Jakarta EE – The new brand for what was Java EE. Jakarta EE specifications etc are hosted by the Eclipse Foundation under the EE4J project.
- EE4J – Eclipse Enterprise For Java.
- RI – Reference Implementation.
- TCK – Technology Compatibility Kit.
The London Java Community has been an ardent supporter of opening up Java EE. We have always wanted it to be a truly open source platform with regards to specifications, RI’s and TCK’s. In fact, it’s one of the core reasons we joined the Executive Committee on the JCP in order to try and effect that change. When Oracle decided to transition Java EE to the Eclipse Foundation as Jakarta EE (EE4J) our community members were delighted! We felt that enterprise Java technology would be totally free to evolve rapidly as demanded by the modern cloud-native world and applauded Oracle for opening up this vital piece of technology.
The LJC then joined the Jakarta EE Steering, Specification, and Marketing Committees to help support the various vendors and the Eclipse Foundation in transitioning this massive piece of technology. In the past year, it has been an absolute pleasure to work with the technologists at the vendors and in the community. In particular, a shout out must go to Will Lyons and Dmitry Kornilov from Oracle who has put in enormous amounts of work to transition TCKs and RI’s from Oracle to the Eclipse foundation. Dmitry also led the effort to run the very first TCK at Eclipse, passing Glassfish 5.1 in the process!
So the initial cutover of technology has occurred and we can start the more interesting work of continuing enterprise Java under the Jakarta EE brand at Eclipse. But there’s one extra hurdle we’re going to have to climb.
Jakarta EE and Java Trademarks
Sadly the Eclipse Foundation and Oracle were unable to come to an agreement for use of the existing javax package names for Jakarta EE. This basically means that Jakarta EE cannot extend key technologies like HttpServlet using the existing javax package naming scheme. As developers, this was a deeply frustrating decision, we’re used to being able to extend open source software in what we see as a reasonable manner!
Other folks in the ecosystem also commented on the decision:
- Oracle – Jakarta EE Update and Thoughts about Jakarta EE future without ‘javax’.
- Markus Karg – Oracle Killed Java EE
- Tomitribe – Jakarta EE: A New Hope
- Ivar Grimstad – Transitioning Jakarta EE to the “jakarta” namespace
- Mark Little – Jakarta EE and the future
- Alex Theedom – Jakarta EE: A Clean Slate
This is one of these areas were understanding that an Open Source license does not equal receiving all of the intellectual property rights associated with a piece of technology! In this particular case, it was the right to use the Java trademark, which Oracle has always restricted with some vigor.
Your existing Java EE applications will still work
Don’t panic, this doesn’t impact any of your existing Java EE or Spring applications. They will continue to work!
There will be a Path forward
This is really more of a creative technical challenge that the vendors, in particular, will need to resolve. Brainstorming on this has already begun!
If you’re interested in helping move Jakarta EE forward then you can already join a massive community working on this!
Join the Mailing Lists
We would suggest joining the ee-community and jakartaee-platform-dev mailing lists where much of the work to transition us from the javax namespace to the jakarta namespace will take place. Here’s a thread to get you started:
Next Community Meeting
The next community meeting is tomorrow! The details to join are listed below:
- May 8th 8am-9am PDT
- Zoom video call: https://eclipse.zoom.us/j/267901694
- Agenda Minutes: https://bit.ly/2Y0yAwc
We all sometimes wish that legal decisions by big companies favor the developer. Sadly that can’t always be the case, but with the freedom that open source gives us, we can find creative technical solutions to continue forging ahead with vital technologies to our industry. A blip in the road? Sure, but not one that will ultimately stop Jakarta EE from becoming a success.
Martijn Verburg aka The Diabolical Developer
On Behalf of the LJC team for Jakarta EE / JCP EC