What’s going on with Java EE?

As it has been announced, Oracle decided to open up Java EE and donate each Java EE technology owned, to the Eclipse Foundation. This comes in four stages, and a current status is reported for instance by Java Evangelist. The umbrella of once Java EE projects in the Foundation has a code name Eclipse Enterprise for Java (EE4J) and Java EE is called Jakarta EE now. There is an EE4J Project Management Committee (PMC) that sets the future development course of Jakarta EE.

This does not mean Oracle stops working on the technologies immediately after the donation. On contrary, more activity around the projects is expected, and the community would be more involved in bringing up new ideas and features. The donation, however, comes with a side effect. Every Java EE project needs to go through the code evaluation by legal. Every piece of code, as well as each dependency, needs to be verified whether the license allows it to be donated. This is a lengthy process, the bigger the project, the longer the evaluation. This process means that every Java EE project needs to be frozen, no new features can be accepted, no pull requests (PR) are merged, since each new piece of code would need to be legally processed and the donation would get longer and longer. A similar legal process is on the donor side, as well as on the Foundation side, taking even a little bit more time. Unfortunately, someone feels that’s wrong. That the project is abandoned. That no one is responding. Apologies, here are the reasons.

So does that mean the pull requests can be accepted as soon as the Java EE project is donated? Well, for each donated project, the plan is to create one last release. The same code base should be used for a very first release within the Foundation. So after the last Java EE project is donated (including the big guys Glassfish and CTS), the first release takes place. No new features, no new code, only critical fixes allowed. The PRs are merged to another branch waiting for the second release. That eventually will be the proper Jakarta EE!

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