Java EE set to start a new journey: Where is it leading?
Discussions about Java EE‘s future are more intense than ever. We talked with Ivar Grimstad, Martijn Verburg, Reza Rahman and Josh Juneau about Oracle’s decision to move Java EE to an open source foundation and now it’s time to welcome another group of experts to weigh in on the latest developments.
What’s next for Java EE?
After the upcoming release of Java EE 8, which just received the green light from the JCP Expert Committee, the Java Enterprise Edition is to become more open, transparent and innovative. To achieve this, Oracle has proposed that Java EE be transferred to a vendor-neutral foundation. This would also imply new processes and an alternative licensing policy, according to Oracle’s Java EE evangelist David Delabassee.
We talked with Ivar Grimstad, Martijn Verburg, Reza Rahman and Josh Juneau about Oracle’s decision to move Java EE to an open source foundation and now it’s time to welcome more experts to the conversation.
Oracle has announced its intention to move Java EE technologies to an open source foundation. Is Oracle’s decision a good one?
Meet the experts
Anatole Tresch: I welcome this step in principle. The community is already very much involved in the development of Java EE, so the transition to an OSS model is almost logical. I can also well imagine that with this step, the innovation in the Java EE area will pick up again, which in the end benefits everyone.
Sebastian Daschner: I think the decision to move Java EE to an open source foundation offers a lot of opportunities and potential — especially to push the platform forward a little faster than in the past. However, I think the concept of the JCP (Java Community Process) with the Executive Committee and the Expert Groups works very well. Combining a similar concept with simpler open source licenses and faster procedures would certainly help the platform. I wrote a few thoughts about this in my blog post.
Oracle is taking a big step in a direction that has long been demanded by the community.
Christian Kaltepoth: Nobody really expected Oracle to announce such a thing. Oracle is thus taking a big step in a direction that has long been demanded by the community. In the past, Oracle’s handling of Java EE has been subject to severe criticism. Up until now, Oracle has driven Java EE almost on its own and has always had great control over the direction in which the development was moving. I, therefore, see the handover of Java EE to an open source foundation as a very positive step. I hope that Java EE can be further developed in a more open and flexible way in the future. I think this step opens up the opportunity for the community to get more involvement in Java EE.
However, the announcement also suggests that Oracle may want to be less active in the work on Java EE in the future. As much as a more open development of Java EE is a positive development, one has to consider that Oracle has done a lot for the platform in the past. The gap that may now arise must, therefore, be closed. I sincerely hope that the community will be able to play this role. In any case, it is extremely positive that Oracle informed the community very early on and initiated the plans. This gives us hope that together we can find a good solution for the future of Java EE.
Which foundation should be the new host of Java EE? A newly-founded „Java EE Foundation“, Eclipse, Apache – or something different?
Anatole Tresch: I see no reason to start a new foundation. In order to guarantee a balance between the companies and people involved, I would like to see a community with an established and clearly regulated process model, such as the Apache Foundation. The mechanisms there are sometimes rather time-consuming, but they guarantee that none of the stakeholders involved can exert unilateral influence. I think the reason for that is Java EE’s wide spread.
Sebastian Daschner: For me personally, this is not so much a question of the chosen foundation – I think all three solutions could work well – but rather one of the actual implementation à la Expert Group-like committees. Another interesting question is whether it is possible to merge the transfer of Java EE with Eclipse MicroProfile.
The essential question is what will happen to the Java Community Process in the future.
Christian Kaltepoth: This question is very difficult to answer at the moment. I think that both the Eclipse Foundation and the Apache Software Foundation would be suitable candidates. Both organizations have been providing a home to many large open source projects for years and have a lot of experience in this area.
The essential question is what will happen to the Java Community Process in the future. It currently looks as though the JCP will remain in its present form and continue to provide the legal framework for the JSRs. If this stays that way, there is no obstacle in choosing either Eclipse or Apache. However, if the JCP is to be replaced by another organization in the long term, then it may be more sensible to establish a “Java EE Foundation”, which specializes in the development of standards in the Java EE environment. But I think that we can only speculate on this at this point in time.
Java EE poll
JAXenter.de launched a poll to find out what foundation is the most suitable host for Java EE. So far, the Apache Software Foundation is voters’ favorite, followed by the idea of founding a new Java EE Foundation. 20 percent of voters believe that The Eclipse Foundation is the best host and six percent say that Java EE should remain with Oracle. The Linux Foundation has failed to convince people that it would be a good host, gathering only two percent of the votes.
There’s still time to vote!
The idea of opening up Java EE will be discussed with the community, their licensees and several candidate foundations to see if Java EE can move forward in this direction.