EE4J: Current Status and What’s Next
There is a lot going on as Java EE continues its migration to the Eclipse Foundation. Since there are so many parallel threads, I thought it would be a good idea to recap where we are, and what is coming up in the next few weeks.
First off, we are continuing to work on arriving at a new brand name. Last week the PMC provided the Eclipse Foundation with a potential list of names, and we are running trademark reviews to see if we believe that they can be properly secured. Obviously, we need to have a high degree of confidence that we can freely use the name around the world if we are going to use it to replace some as well known as Java EE. Once we have a short list of potentials we will be starting a community vote to help arrive at a final choice.
Secondly, the code is moving from the existing Oracle-led Java EE organization on GitHub into EE4J. The first nine projects which were proposed have all been created and provisioned, and the code is being moved into them as we speak. The next step on this front will be to propose the next round of projects to move next. As I understand it, the Oracle team will be proposing the JSON-B API and JavaMail projects next. Soon after will come JAX-B, JAX-WS, JSTL, UEL, JAF, Security, JTA, Enterprise Management, Concurrency, and Common Annotations. Everyone involved strongly believes that a key factor in the success of this entire migration is the rapid creation of a diverse and engaged open source community around this code, so we are moving as rapidly as possible to get these projects up and running.
We want to demonstrate to the world that these projects are capable of shipping. Therefore the short-term objective is to have the EE4J project ship a Java EE 8-compliant release as quickly as possible: i.e. a Java EE 8 certified release of Eclipse Glassfish and related projects. There are a couple of positive reasons for doing this:
- It demonstrates that the EE4J projects are fully functional as open source projects, and that they and the PMC can run through the full process of a release under the auspices of the Eclipse Foundation and the Eclipse Development Process.
- It gets downloadable code that users and adopters can access and run from EE4J as quickly as possible. Creating an ecosystem of developers and companies using this code is important, and the sooner we start the better.
A comment on the API projects that are moving over: several have asked on the mailing lists if the fact that the source has moved means that we can start changing the APIs directly in the EE4J projects. The short answer is “please, not quite yet”. There are several reasons for that:
- We want to focus in the short term on shipping an EE 8 compliant release. So the fewer moving parts while we’re doing that, the better.
- There is going to be a new spec process that is going to be managing the evolution of these APIs in the future, and it hasn’t been set up yet.
- As has been discussed in several venues, this new spec process is going to be bootstrapped with some rules around the continued use of the javax namespace. We’re still working on what those rules are.
In the meantime if you really want to start prototyping some new APIs you are always free to fork the repos on GitHub.
Finally, we are working on establishing an Eclipse Foundation working group to provide a member-driven governance model for the EE4J community. Working groups are consortia which complement the Eclipse open source projects. Community-driven open source projects are great for a lot of things, but don’t do well with business and ecosystem topics such as marketing, developer outreach, branding, specifications, compliance programs, and the like. The first step in creating a working group is to write its core governance charter. We hope to have a draft of that available for review by the end of the month as well. My next blog post will provide some additional information and background on that topic.