Java EE Guardians speak bluntly: “It could be months or years before Oracle is ready to focus on Java EE once again”
Where does the future of Java EE lie? After Oracle reduced its activities concerning Java Enterprise 8, community members created a group called „Java EE Guardians“. What goals do these Guardians have? And where does Java EE 8 stand and what’s next?
In a series of interviews we asked members of the Java EE Guardians for the initiative‘s background and their interpretation of the current situation with Java EE. Our second Guardian is Josh Juneau, Application Developer/System Analyst at Fermilab.
JAXenter: How would you describe the actual state of Java EE 8?
Josh Juneau: I believe that Java EE 8 is certainly underway, but the progress has slowed down greatly, and even halted for some of the JSRs in the past six months. Many of the JSRs started work, but most of those with Oracle spec leads have not progressed for months.
JAXenter: You are a member of a new group called Java EE Guardians“. What are the objectives of this group?
Josh Juneau: The objectives of the Java EE Guardians group is to try and motivate the community to help move Java EE forward by making them aware of the current situation. The JSRs can move forward with the help of the community, but the main goal is to ultimately get Oracle to start tending to Java EE 8, since they control most of the specifications.
JAXenter: Why did you decide to participate in the Java EE Guardians?
Josh Juneau: I wanted to research some of the JSRs to see if the halt of activity was actually factual. Indeed, I found after doing a bit of work that many of the Oracle spec leads have slowed down communication and activity, whereas others have halted work altogether. I did find, however, that those JSRs with active community members are moving forward…even if they do have an Oracle spec lead.
The biggest hurdle is that in order to release Java EE 8 as a standard, the JSRs need to be released under the Java EE umbrella.
JAXenter: Do you think Java EE could be run exclusively by the community without Oracle’s involvement?
Josh Juneau: I think Java EE could move forward via the community. However, the biggest hurdle is that in order to release Java EE 8 as a standard, the JSRs need to be released under the Java EE umbrella. The other muddy area is the TCK. I believe that many of the specs do not have an open TCK, and without passing the official TCK then a particular JSR could not be called final and part of Java EE. We truly need the owner of Java EE to step up and help move things forward.
JAXenter: And do you think Java EE should be run exclusively by the community? I mean – would it be able to bring the Java EE standard forward?
Josh Juneau: Good question. It seems like the community can and will do a good job of moving Java EE forward and maintaining it. However, it is just like anything else in that. Unless there is a major company paying members to work on a specification, then it can become difficult to achieve and maintain. It could certainly be done, but I think it would be difficult to maintain for the long term. For a long term solution, either Oracle or another major corporation needs to become supportive and fully behind moving Java EE forward.
JAXenter: What is your personal view of Java EE and its future?
Josh Juneau: I think the best situation would be for Oracle to allow the specification leads to begin investing time into their respective JSRs. However, I do not believe that will happen anytime soon. I fully believe that since Java EE and Java itself is not a large source of income for the company, they are looking elsewhere for their earnings…and right now the cloud is the big space. I believe they’ve diverted all of their resources to working on cloud initiatives, and it could be months or years before they’ve gotten to a point where they are ready to focus on Java EE once again.
That said, I think that despite all of the great things that Oracle has done for Java over the past six years, it may be time to hand the reigns over to those who have a more vested interest in moving things forward. If Java EE does not move forward in the near term then it will become stagnant, and the entire ecosystem will suffer.
Thank you very much!
Read the previous Java EE Guardians interview here.