Still Time to Vote on New Eclipse Java EE Name

The rebranding of enterprise Java continues, with "Jakarta" and "Enterprise Profile" emerging as the final two options offered by the Eclipse Foundation to the community in the second phase of the process. The Foundation is accepting votes until Feb. 23.

The quest by the Java community, led by the Java EE Guardians, to retain "Java" in naming the now-open platform, as well as "javax" for the standard package of extensions stalled last month when an adamant Oracle stated unequivocally that it will not be allowing the use of its trademarked brands for enterprise Java.

Currently an Eclipse Top Level Charter project known as Eclipse Enterprise for Java (EE4J), the Java EE 8-based platform contributed to the Foundation by Oracle last year, is now fated for a re-christening. The Foundation states on its Web site:

"... This new brand name will be used for the future platform based on the specifications created by a new community process. This brand name will also be used to recognize compatible, independent implementations (the open source projects that fall under the Eclipse EE4J top level project will be one such implementation.) Much like the OpenJDK project implements the Java SE Platform specification, the EE4J projects will provide implementations of a set of specifications that we today call Java EE: we need a new brand name for this platform…"

The Foundation reached out to the community for suggestions, and then "whittled this list down to two names." The Foundation noted that "Jakarta," which is the name of an Apache Software Foundation project retired in 2011, is used with the ASF's permission. Wayne Beaton, Director of Open Source Projects at the Eclipse Foundation, laid out the details of the selection process in a GitHub post.

Beaton followed up with a post about the final two name options: "The EE4J [Project Management Committee] considered numerous factors, but in the end the selection process effectively boiled down to identifying those names from the suggestions that The Eclipse Foundation can register and hold as a trademark on behalf of the community."

The renaming of Java EE generated intense opposition by enterprise Java community leaders. The Java EE Guardians published an open letter to Oracle making their argument for retaining the name. Among the signers was the father of Java himself, James Gosling.

Gartner analyst Anne Thomas was among those who felt early on that rebranding Java EE would be good for the technology and the community. "From my perspective, a change in name is a good thing," she told ADTmag in an earlier interview. "The Guardians (as well as IBM and Red Hat) want to take control of enterprise Java. The transfer of ownership of enterprise Java to The Eclipse Foundation is good for everyone involved. The EE4J project will be able to create new profiles that are more fitting for modern applications, and they won't be saddled with Java EE baggage. In time, EE4J will create its own brand cachet."

About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at [email protected].