EclipseCon Europe 2017 key takeaways: Java 9, EE4J, Eclipse MicroProfile and more

Gabriela Motroc
EclipseCon Europe 2017

If you want to hear more about Eclipse and Java 9, Eclipse MicroProfile, EE4J or OpenJ9, you’ve come to the right place. We’re summarizing some of the sessions and keynotes happening as we speak at EclipseCon Europe 2017.

EclipseCon opening keynote

It’s all about transparency. Mike Milinkovich, the Executive Director of the Eclipse Foundation took the floor at EclipseCon Europe 2017 to acknowledge that Oracle’s decision to donate Java EE to the Eclipse Foundation (which, by the way, was triggered —among other reasons— by the presence of Eclipse MicroProfile in the Eclipse ecosystem) has trigged a huge change in the general perception of what the Eclipse Foundation is doing and what it stands for.

The fact that Java EE (it’s time we started calling it by its new name —EE4J—) is now under the stewardship of the Eclipse Foundation should not be taken lightly. The move can be quantified in the following way — it has led to the creation of almost 40 projects concurrently. Mike also mentioned OpenJ9 and Eclipse MicroProfile, as well as other exciting projects.

Eclipse & Java 9

Daniel Megert, leader of the Platform and the JDT sub-projects took us on a tour of what Java 9 means to Eclipse and what’s next for this duo. The most important message of this session (assuming that you are already familiar with the Java 9 features in Eclipse) has to do with JDK 18.3. The content is not fully clear but apparently, there are at least a couple of features that are worth Eclipse developers’ attention.


By the way —not related to EclipseCon—, if you want to know more about the Oxygen.1a IDE improvements (Java 9, JUnit 5, General, Gradle and PHP), Holger Voormann‘s video will definitely come in handy.

SEE ALSO: Eclipse Oxygen.1a is out — with support for Java 9 and JUnit 5

Java EE 8 is final — So what’s next?

Oracle’s David Delabassée talked about the new Java EE 8 features such as HTTP/2 support in Servlet 4.0, new JSON binding API and various enhancements in JSON-P 1.1, expansion of JAX-RS to support Server-Sent Events and a new reactive client API, new security API —this doesn’t mean Java wasn’t secure before, David emphasized— for cloud and PaaS based applications and multiple CDI enhancements including support for asynchronous events.

EE4J panel discussion

Now that Java EE 8 has been finalized, it’s time to talk about EE4J. We learned a lot from the panel discussion with Mike Milinkovich (Eclipse Foundation), Kevin Sutter (IBM), David Delabassée (Oracle), Heiko Rupp (Red Hat) and Dmitry Kornilov (Oracle) about opening up Java EE.

Mike made it clear that EE4J this is not a vendor-led project; it represents the collaborative effort of the community, vendors and Eclipse. He also confessed that his goal for EE4J is to make it ‘Code first, not spec first’.

Code first, not spec first.

Mike Milinkovich, Executive Director of the Eclipse Foundation

For those who are wondering, there will be a compatibility program.

Dmitry (speaking on Oracle’s behalf) emphasized that Oracle is not going to just give Java EE to the community and then wash their hands. Instead, they are going to support the entire process of moving Java EE to the Eclipse Foundation.

Eclipse OpenJ9

IBM’s Charlie Gracie (same person who discussed the J9 VM technology and IBM’s plans on open sourcing the technology earlier this year) presented the newly-created Eclipse OpenJ9 and taught the audience how to build OpenJDK with OpenJ9.

He explained that they focus on footprint while keeping an eye on performance as much as possible. Speaking of reducing footprint (up to 20 percent no less), one of the key takeaways from this session was J9ROMClass, a better classfile implementation which removes variability (where possible).

According to the Eclipse OpenJ9 repository, “the long-term goal of the Eclipse OpenJ9 project is to foster an open ecosystem of JVM developers that can collaborate and innovate with designers and developers of hardware platforms, operating systems, tools, and frameworks.”

The team also created an FAQ to answer common questions about OpenJ9 and how it fits into the OpenJDK ecosystem. However, if the FAQ fails to answer your questions, you should know that they monitor and participate in #OpenJ9 questions on Stack Overflow.

Try it out now — Pre-built OpenJDK binaries are now available on AdoptOpenJDK.

Gabriela Motroc
Gabriela Motroc was editor of and JAX Magazine. Before working at Software & Support Media Group, she studied International Communication Management at the Hague University of Applied Sciences.

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