“We should use Java EE 8 in present tense and EE4J when speaking of the next release”
There’s a lot going on in the Java EE world (or should we say EE4J?!) right now but perhaps we should stop thinking about what’s to come and focus on the Java EE 8 release. We talked with Java Champion Josh Juneau about his favorite features, the features he would have liked to see in Java EE 8, the new name and more.
It’s been two weeks since Java EE 8 was released but we’re still collecting thoughts and reviews from people who’ve tried it already. We talked with David Heffelfinger, an independent consultant focusing on Java, Java EE and J2EE and with Reza Rahman, founder of the Java EE Guardians, former official Java EE evangelist at Oracle and a long time contributor to Java EE JSRs in the JCP and now it’s time to welcome Java Champion Josh Juneau to the conversation.
“Java EE 8 — a critical release”
One of the reasons why the release of Java EE 8 is special has to do with its future — from now on, it will function under the stewardship of the Eclipse Foundation. “By open sourcing Java EE technologies to the Eclipse Foundation, we have set it up for ongoing success in the future,” Mike Lehmann, vice president of product management at Oracle said.
As Reza Rahman pointed out, Java EE 8 is “a critical release.” From now on, we will be talking less about Java EE and more about EE4J.
Let’s see what Josh Juneau has to say about Java EE 8 and the new name.
JAXenter: Java EE 8 has just been released. What is your favorite feature and why?
Josh Juneau: I have many favorite features in the Java EE 8 release, it’s very difficult to choose just one. From the JPA Date/Time enhancements to the JSF 2.3 enhancements, there are plenty of great features in the release.
If I have to choose just one, I would have to choose the addition of the JSON Binding API, as it helps to close the gap for Java developers working with JSON.
JAXenter: Are there features you would have liked to see in Java EE 8 but were not included?
Josh Juneau: I would have liked to see the configuration and health checking APIs make it into Java EE 8. However, since these were specifications that were proposed late in the game, it is certainly understandable that they could not be completed in time. I also would have liked to see the MVC framework make it into the release, but I am glad that it is being continued on its own so that interested parties can still pursue.
I would have liked to see the MVC framework make it into the release, but I am glad that it is being continued on its own so that interested parties can still pursue.
JAXenter: Java EE is in the midst of moving to the Eclipse Foundation. What are the benefits of an open source Java EE? Was Oracle’s decision to move Java EE technologies to an open source foundation a good one?
Josh Juneau: There are many benefits that will be gained by moving Java EE to an open source foundation. One of the main benefits is more transparency and community involvement.
I believe Java EE 8 was one of the most community driven releases to date, and I think the community is ready to continue helping the ecosystem evolve. By making it open, community involvement should get even easier. Another benefit is that it will force a rethinking of the processes that are in place today. The JCP has been great for Java EE, but since it is very formal, it tends to slow down the release schedule in some cases. Hopefully, by moving to an open source foundation, this process can be refined (perhaps under the JCP) to make it easier to achieve a more frequent release cycle. This day in age, it is important to have a more dynamic and frequent release cycle, as technology is constantly evolving at a fast pace.
JAXenter: How will the community benefit from the move?
Josh Juneau: The community will benefit because it will be easier to get involved, as all sources should be easy to grab and build. The open TCK will allow the community to run tests against different builds to ensure compliance. I feel that an open Java EE also has the opportunity to evolve at a faster pace, so everyone will benefit from more frequent updates which will help our technology retain the leading edge.
The JCP has been great for Java EE, but since it is very formal, it tends to slow down the release schedule in some cases.
JAXenter: We did a quick survey and found that our readers wanted to see Java EE under the stewardship of the Apache Software Foundation. Do you think Eclipse Foundation is a better choice?
Josh Juneau: I personally think that both Apache and Eclipse were fine choices for obtaining stewardship of Java EE. I believe the MicroProfile project helped forge the way for Java EE moving to Eclipse. It is a great example of how a project can be moved forward by the community. This is good news for Java EE, as the MicroProfile has been handled very well from the start. Not only does it move at a fast pace, but it also involves open collaboration from multiple vendors. These are the types of advancements we need for the open Java EE to be a success.
JAXenter: There will be no Java EE anymore — EE4J (Eclipse Enterprise for Java) is a new top-level Eclipse project. What do you think of the name?
Josh Juneau: I personally do not mind the name, but I fear that it may cause confusion in the space because the “4” in EE4J does not decipher into anything…and it may be confused with a version number like J2EE of the past. I personally prefer Eclipse Enterprise Java (EEJ) over EE4J.
If I had my choice, the Eclipse Foundation would not be incorporated into the name as it may also cause confusion around the Eclipse IDE. However, since EE4J has been decided upon, I think we should embrace it as the JavaEE.next. It is important, however, not to forget about the very important Java EE 8 that was just recently released. I do not believe we should speak about Java EE 8 as EE4J, but rather, use EE4J when speaking of the next release, and use Java EE 8 in the present.
JAXenter: Should Java EE and Eclipse MicroProfile be merged?
Josh Juneau: I do not think that they should be merged. However, I feel that the MicroProfile can be simply another “Java EE” profile, much like the “Web Profile”, and vendors/developers should have their choice of which flavor of Java EE they’d like to use and or support. I hope to see more in this area as well, as there is an opportunity to make profiles that are suitable for a number of other targeted solutions.
Check out the other two Java EE 8 interviews: