Written by Kay Ewbank   
Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Despite long talks, Oracle has imposed requirements on the Eclipse Foundation that mean even the Java trademarks in the open source version won't be feasible.

According to minutes from the recent board meeting at Eclipse, Oracle's latest set of requirements are such that meeting them could even put the future of the Eclipse Foundation at risk. In particular, Oracle wants products such as the Eclipse IDE that are distributed by the Eclipse Foundation to only be bundled with Java runtimes certified by Oracle or its licensees, and not by any uncertified runtimes.

This would mean the Eclipse IDE and GlassFish would no longer be vendor-neutral., meaning the Foundation's tax exemption could be removed. In view of this, the Foundation felt it was impossible to agree to Oracle’s terms.




The problems go further, because Oracle also says that while the Eclipse Foundation can use existing code, it can't modify it unless the modified code is renamed - both the project name and the package name such as javax.*. This means any existing application would have to be refactored and recompiled.

According to Mike Milinkovich, executive director of the Eclipse Foundation, the implications of this are as follows:

  • The javax package namespace may be used within Jakarta EE specifications but may be used "as is" only.  No modification to the javax package namespace is permitted within Jakarta EE component specifications. Jakarta EE specifications that continue to use the javax package namespace must remain TCK compatible with the corresponding Java EE specifications.

  • Jakarta EE component specifications using the javax package namespace may be omitted entirely from future Jakarta EE Platform specifications.

  • Specification names must be changed from a "Java EE" naming convention to a "Jakarta EE" naming convention.  This includes acronyms such as EJB, JPA or JAX-RS.

This means every API in Jakarta EE will have to change as they all begin with javax. The minutes of the board meeting make clear that the new requirements were added late in the negotiations, well after the beginning of the transfer. It remains to be seen whether application vendors are willing to recompile their products to stay with the renamed Jakarta EE platform, especially as Oracle has a seat on the board of Eclipse and has already blocked decisions where a unanimous verdict is required. 



More Information

Eclipse Foundation Board Minutes

Jakarta EE Website

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 15 May 2019 )