Java EE Name Change To Jakarta EE

It's official: the new name for the technology formerly known as Java Enterprise Edition (and Project EE4J) is Jakarta EE.

The Eclipse Foundation's executive director Mike Milinkovich made the announcement today on the Life at Eclipse blog.

Nearly 7,000 Java community members voted on the new name, Milinkovich reported, which was one of two finalists to emerge from the Foundation's enterprise Java rebranding process. The other finalist, "Enterprise Profile," earned only 35.6% of the votes. The process concluded last Friday.

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, was 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.

"The EE4J [Project Management Committee] considered numerous factors," Beaton wrote, "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 question of what to call the Java EE 8-based platform contributed to the Foundation by Oracle last year—currently an Eclipse Top Level Charter project known as Eclipse Enterprise for Java (EE4J)—generated a strong response from the Java community, including intense opposition from some 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.

The emergence of "Jakarta" seemed a worthy compromise to many in the community, and opposition softened during the voting. David Blevins, founder and CEO of Tomitribe, pointed out the advantages of the new name in a Feb 8 blog post: "While 'Jakarta EE' is not only great because it can be shortened to 'JEE,' referred to simply as 'EE,' and provides us with a free pass on any acronyms that have 'J' in them, it also has room to grow."

"The bare word 'Jakarta' would be ours and in the future, we could create other things under this brand if we wanted," he added. "This may include 'Jakarta ME,' 'Jakarta MicroProfile,' or a conference called 'JakartaOne.' All of these names roll off the tongue, are instantly familiar and most importantly are community owned and free of any external licensing restrictions."

In his post, Milinkovich noted that permission to use the Jakarta EE trademark depends on "on passing an as-yet-to-be-defined compatibility program run by," which is the working group driving the evolution and broad adoption of technologies derived from or related to the Eclipse Enterprise for Java (EE4J) project.

"[A]s of today," Milinkovich wrote, "it is preferred that when you are generically referring to this open source software platform that you call it Jakarta EE rather than EE4J. EE4J, the Eclipse Top-level project, is the only name we've had for a couple of months, but as we at least tried to make clear, that was never intended to be the brand name."

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].