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 has been covering the high-tech beat from Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area for nearly two decades. He serves as Editor-at-Large for Application Development Trends ( and contributes regularly to Redmond Magazine, The Technology Horizons in Education Journal, and Campus Technology. He is the author of more than a dozen books, including The Everything Guide to Social Media; The Everything Computer Book; Blobitecture: Waveform Architecture and Digital Design; John Chambers and the Cisco Way; and Diablo: The Official Strategy Guide.



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