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Java EE Guardians Moving Forward with Jakarta EE

| by Michael Redlich Follow 15 Followers on Apr 11, 2018. Estimated reading time: 6 minutes |

Shortly after Java EE was rebranded to Jakarta EE, well-known Java EE evangelist, Reza Rahman, senior architect at CapTech Consulting and former Oracle evangelist, recently closed the change.org petition to declare victory in the original petition filed by the Java EE Guardians almost two years ago, in which they encouraged Oracle to move forward with Java EE 8.

The Java EE Guardians, an "independent grassroots group of people committed to moving the Java EE platform forward through active community participation and advocacy," was a driving force that ultimately led to Oracle open sourcing Java EE and transferring ownership to the Eclipse Foundation.

The Java EE Guardians ultimately chose to support the Jakara EE name after a long debate with Oracle to prevent the rebranding of the "Java" name and javax.* package names.

In the closing of his petition, Rahman reflected:

While the loss of the Java brand is disappointing, there is still much to celebrate. The renaming represents a fresh start for a very important part of the overall open standard Java platform under truly vendor-neutral, open source governance. Although it is still early, the Jakarta EE name is symbolically important and the name has so far still been relatively well received.

We have had a solid Java EE 8 release that is well on its way to being adopted widely. Java EE as a technology is now outside the controlling influence of a single commercial entity, addressing the fundamental issue this petition and the Java EE Guardians were trying to solve. Please be assured that none of this would have happened without your vocal support.

The Java EE Guardians are committed to moving Jakarta EE forward and to ensure that the best interests of the Java community is maintained.

Rahman spoke to InfoQ about the future of the Java EE Guardians and Jakarta EE.

InfoQ: Will the name of the Java EE Guardians be affected now that Java EE has been rebranded to Jakarta EE?

Reza Rahman: We recently put this very question to vote along with achieving some general consensus with regards to aligning with Jakarta EE/EE4J going forward.

The results of the vote were extremely close, but we have decided not to rename quite yet. However, we may indeed rename in the near future to Jakarta EE Guardians. I believe the consensus is that we will revisit the topic some time after the first Jakarta EE release.

InfoQ: The results of your two surveys last year indicated there was overwhelming support to keep the Java name and the javax.* package names. Have you gotten a sense of disappointment from the Java community about the rebranding of Java EE to Jakarta EE?

Rahman: This is a very difficult question to answer accurately and fairly. As the renaming vote indicates, people are likely still accepting the renaming only because they have to, not because they really see it in a positive light. That said, there is I think some concrete evidence at hand that the renaming will work out.

The London Java Community (LJC) voted to officially support Jakarta EE despite the renaming via a relatively grassroots poll. I have permission from the LJC folks to blog about these results soon and the results are at least initially encouraging, especially since I don't think these folks are as closely committed to Java EE as the Guardian community is.

I also plan to propose a more extensive grassroots Java EE Guardians poll on how people really feel about the renaming. I am afraid to do this too early as the new name may not have been sufficiently promoted quite yet. Perhaps the right time to do this poll is along with renaming the group itself, some time after the initial Jakarta EE release.

InfoQ: Now that Java EE has been open sourced, and OpenJDK aside, is there a chance that Oracle will one day move Java SE to the Eclipse Foundation?

Rahman: I hope and believe there is always a chance. For some of us, being independent of a profit making entity is where the entire Java platform truly belongs. That said, I know all too well Oracle has no current intention of decoupling from Java SE. I do think if the right people do the right things, JavaFX may wind up in more independent hands along with Java EE.

InfoQ: Now that the original charter has changed, will there be a new charter for the Java EE Guardians?

Rahman: To be honest, we already went through a couple of charter revamps. There was a major one after Java EE 8 was finally released and a minor one after the EE4J/Jakarta EE announcement was made. I do think we may tweak the charter a bit more to make crystal clear our mission going forward.

Despite the tweaks, honestly our core mission really remains basically the same. Our primary goal is to educate and evangelize. Our secondary goal is keeping our eyes and ears open to make sure grassroots community interests are being met. Towards this latter goal, we will need to raise awareness on issues and advance solutions if we absolutely must as a last resort.

InfoQ: What's on the horizon for the Java EE Guardians?

Rahman: In the immediate horizon, there are some minor tweaks to our charter, including formalizing a code of conduct to better protect people both in our community and beyond. Also in our close future I believe is distributing organizational responsibilities a bit more. I think it is a necessary step in our future to allow us to be more scalable, productive and resilient. All this is of course in addition to our core dual mission of grassroots evangelism and activism to help move forward the future of Java EE.

InfoQ: What else would you like our readers to know about the future of the Java EE Guardians and Jakarta EE?

Rahman: When I look back, it is nothing short of a miracle what has happened with both the Java EE Guardians and Jakarta EE. The truth though is that we would be foolish to become complacent now. It could mean an undoing of everything we have worked hard for. This is a time of great opportunity and some continued risk as well. The only way we can make sure the right things continue to happen is by building further grassroots support.

My sincere plea to anyone that cares about the future of Java is to engage and strengthen both the Java EE Guardians as well as Jakarta EE. I believe as I always have, that together we can build an even brighter future for Java no one can perhaps imagine today. All that is needed is a small amount of effort from many that care enough to try to make a big difference collectively. Never underestimate what you can help accomplish as a person working with others that share a common vision. You don't have to be a big shot to do any of this.

Resources

Editor's Note

Michael Redlich has been an active member of the Java EE Guardians since March 2018.

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