Java EE Guardians

Joint Community Open Letter on Java EE Naming and Packaging


Oracle has promised to open up the ownership of Java EE by moving it to the Eclipse Foundation via the EE4J project. This is a tremendously positive move that will make a very important part of the overall Java platform truly open and agile.

The problem is that Oracle wants to restrict the use of the word “Java” and the use of the “javax” packages for EE4J due to corporate branding concerns. This is forcing a rename of Java EE and the use of another package for new Java EE technologies. We believe this desire is not aligned with the best interests of the community and the industry. This may indeed also be true of Oracle’s own business interests as Java EE is moved further in the direction of microservices, the cloud and serverless computing.

The clearest evidence that the current direction to rename and repackage Java EE is wrongheaded is community opinion. When asked, developers overwhelmingly support keeping the Java EE name and “javax” packages (#1, #2). These preferences are so strong they have remained unchanged for several months even despite current declared EE4J plans.

There are several sensible reasons these preferences make sense:

All of these factors will likely stand in the way of the rapid success of a new platform with a new name and new package structure. Indeed these factors – particularly a perceived lack of continuity – may even negatively impact adoption of existing Java EE technologies.

On behalf of the community, the Java EE Guardians ask that Oracle and other EE4J stakeholders work together to allow the new platform to retain the Java EE name, the “javax.enterprise” package for new technologies and existing “javax” packages for existing technologies.

There are many ways these goals could be accomplished. The following are just a few obvious possibilities.

The Java EE Guardians sincerely hope Oracle and EE4J stakeholders listen to and adequately address community concerns. It must be noted that even if the naming and packaging issues are not properly resolved, timely forward movement of the EE4J initiative is still in the best interests of the community.

The Java EE Guardians stand behind the EE4J initiative even despite the fact that failing to properly resolve the naming and packaging issues will pose significant challenges to an already daunting effort.

The Java EE Guardians are a joint community of many Java Champions, Java User Groups, Java User Group leaders, JCP experts, JCP members, open source committers, authors, bloggers, speakers and ordinary Java developers around the world.