It’s Java just, not as we know it: Oracle-Jakarta name talks fail

Open-source enterprise Java won’t carry the official Java name or brand following the failure of talks between Oracle and the Eclipse Foundation.

Eclipse, which is working with Oracle to take stewardship of Java EE, cannot use the Java trademark that is owned by the database giant.

Mike Milinkovich, Eclipse Foundation executive director, blogged that the outcome followed “many months of good-faith negotiations.”

The pair have agreed the javax package namespace may only be used within Jakarta EE “as is” and without modification – meaning it must remain compatible with the official TCK.

Also, Jakarta EE component specifications that use the javax package namespace may be omitted entirely from future specifications for Jakarta EE.

And, finally, Java EE specification names must be changed to a Jakarta EE convention – a rule extending to all your favourite acronyms, such as EJB, JPA and JAX-RS.

“It is the best outcome we could mutually achieve for the community,” Milinkovich wrote.

Oracle announced its plan to release Java EE to the open-source community through the Eclipse Foundation in September 2017. It did so as Java fans worked on Java EE MicroProfile, an implementation of the main specification but for web builders that had been picked up by Eclipse.

One observer reckoned the failure to reach an agreement on using Java EE name was the project’s death knell. Career coder Markus Karg, blogged: “It [Jakarta EE] now is not the successor of Java EE as a global standard anymore, it is just some framework made by some foundation.”

Others see loss of the Java name as a good outcome, with an opportunity to simplify enterprise Java by moving to new packages rather than carry over the old. Streamlined, cruft-free Java is a community cause that will not die. Java architect, developer and author Adam Bien reckoned forcing projects to migrate by replacing javax packages with jakarta is “acceptable.”

“Such a migration could even introduce an opportunity to remove superfluous patterns, layers, indirections and libraries,” he wrote.

According to Milinkovich, however, the loss of trademark use changes little and Eclipse’s Jakarta EE Working Group and Oracle will “continue to do what they set out to do: namely move Java EE to the Eclipse Foundation.”

“The group remains committed to creating a Jakarta EE 8 specification, logoed under the Eclipse Foundation’s Jakarta trademark. Further, the group is also committed to future versions of the Jakarta EE specifications that deliver on the original promises of innovation and evolution in cloud-native Java,” Milinkovich wrote.