Life at Eclipse

Musings on the Eclipse Foundation, the community and the ecosystem

Archive for January 2018

EE4J: Current Status and What’s Next

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There is a lot going on as Java EE continues its migration to the Eclipse Foundation. Since there are so many parallel threads, I thought it would be a good idea to recap where we are, and what is coming up in the next few weeks.

First off, we are continuing to work on arriving at a new brand name. Last week the PMC provided the Eclipse Foundation with a potential list of names, and we are running trademark reviews to see if we believe that they can be properly secured. Obviously, we need to have a high degree of confidence that we can freely use the name around the world if we are going to use it to replace some as well known as Java EE. Once we have a short list of potentials we will be starting a community vote to help arrive at a final choice.

Secondly, the code is moving from the existing Oracle-led Java EE organization on GitHub into EE4J. The first nine projects which were proposed have all been created and provisioned, and the code is being moved into them as we speak. The next step on this front will be to propose the next round of projects to move next. As I understand it, the Oracle team will be proposing the JSON-B API and JavaMail projects next. Soon after will come JAX-B, JAX-WS, JSTL, UEL, JAF, Security, JTA, Enterprise Management, Concurrency, and Common Annotations. Everyone involved strongly believes that a key factor in the success of this entire migration is the rapid creation of a diverse and engaged open source community around this code, so we are moving as rapidly as possible to get these projects up and running.

We want to demonstrate to the world that these projects are capable of shipping. Therefore the short-term objective is to have the EE4J project ship a Java EE 8-compliant release as quickly as possible: i.e. a Java EE 8 certified release of Eclipse Glassfish and related projects. There are a couple of positive reasons for doing this:

  1. It demonstrates that the EE4J projects are fully functional as open source projects, and that they and the PMC can run through the full process of a release under the auspices of the Eclipse Foundation and the Eclipse Development Process.
  2. It gets downloadable code that users and adopters can access and run from EE4J as quickly as possible. Creating an ecosystem of developers and companies using this code is important, and the sooner we start the better.

A comment on the API projects that are moving over: several have asked on the mailing lists if the fact that the source has moved means that we can start changing the APIs directly in the EE4J projects. The short answer is “please, not quite yet”. There are several reasons for that:

  1. We want to focus in the short term on shipping an EE 8 compliant release. So the fewer moving parts while we’re doing that, the better.
  2. There is going to be a new spec process that is going to be managing the evolution of these APIs in the future, and it hasn’t been set up yet.
  3. As has been discussed in several venues, this new spec process is going to be bootstrapped with some rules around the continued use of the javax namespace. We’re still working on what those rules are.

In the meantime if you really want to start prototyping some new APIs you are always free to fork the repos on GitHub.

Finally, we are working on establishing an Eclipse Foundation working group to provide a member-driven governance model for the EE4J community. Working groups are consortia which complement the Eclipse open source projects. Community-driven open source projects are great for a lot of things, but don’t do well with business and ecosystem topics such as marketing, developer outreach, branding, specifications, compliance programs, and the like. The first step in creating a working group is to write its core governance charter. We hope to have a draft of that available for review by the end of the month as well. My next blog post will provide some additional information and background on that topic.

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Written by Mike Milinkovich

January 23, 2018 at 12:48 pm

Posted in Foundation

Eclipse Community Directions for 2018

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As 2018 begins I would like to share a few thoughts on where I think the Eclipse community is heading.  I am looking forward to an incredibly busy year for myself, the staff of the Eclipse Foundation, and our community, because this is going to be a year of tremendous growth and opportunity. I will try to give a brief overview of what I see as some of the exciting things that are going on at the Eclipse Foundation. I am sure that I will miss some, so apologies in advance!

Of course the big news of the past few months was the announcement by Oracle that Java EE is going to be moving to the Eclipse Foundation. This represents the largest single contribution to the Eclipse community since — well, the original Eclipse IDE project in 2001. It is approximately 35 new projects, hundreds of new committers and contributors, and millions of lines of code. It is and was an incredible endorsement of the Eclipse Foundation’s mission as the leading organization for individuals and companies to collaborate on commercial-friendly open source software. Since the announcement in September, we have created the new Eclipse Enterprise for Java (EE4J) top-level project, and source code is starting to move into the projects. During 2018 our collective mission will be to create a functioning and successful community around this code, pick a new brand to replace Java EE going forward, ship a release compatible with Java EE 8, open source the Java EE TCKs, and establish a new specification process to shape the future of cloud native Java. I feel out of breath just thinking of it.

But in addition to this Java EE work, it is clear that the Eclipse Foundation is now playing a pivotal role in the future of the Java ecosystem. Projects such as Eclipse MicroProfile (microservices for Java), Eclipse OpenJ9 (Java virtual machine), Eclipse DeepLearning4J (machine learning), Eclipse Collections (highly scalable collections), Eclipse JNoSQL (NoSQL for Java EE) and Eclipse Vert.x (reactive apps for Java) are leading the next generation of Java innovation.

From the Eclipse Science community comes Eclipse XACC, which I believe is the world’s first community-led open source project in the new field of quantum computing. Originating from Oak Ridge National Laboratory, XACC is working to integrate quantum processors with the high-performance computing environments that are the backbone of modern scientific computing. It will be exciting to see XACC ship its first release in 2018, and to support its desire to create an open collaboration to shape the next generation of computing hardware and programming paradigms.

The Eclipse IoT community has been a significant growth area within the Eclipse community over the past couple of years. In 2017 Eclipse IoT grew to over 25 projects, and is attracting a substantial developer and corporate community.. It is also a terrifically ambitious group, with a vision of providing technology stacks that span the smallest of constrained devices, through device gateways, to cloud-scale data collection and management runtimes. Late in 2017 the group published a white paper on the role that open source will play in Industry 4.0, or industrial IoT. This white paper is important because in many ways it sets out the vision for the group, which has been primarily focused on industrial IoT. In 2018 the primary goal for Eclipse IoT is to start shipping these stacks rather than simply projects. In other words, to create cross-project collaborations that provide IoT adopters with more complete solutions rather than individual building blocks. This will go a long way to paving the way for broad industry adoption of these open source IoT technologies.

Finally, a word on developer tools — the Eclipse Foundation’s original franchise. I noticed recently that according to at least one source, the Eclipse IDE is maintaining its position as the #1 IDE in the world, and grew its market share substantially last year. The goal for this year is to continue this trend. In addition, the Eclipse Che cloud IDE continues to grow its community and adoption. As more and more developers work on cloud native applications, the appeal of a cloud IDE that works where they do is going to grow. Che is well positioned to be the leader in this space and is the only community-led cloud IDE.

Anyone who has seen me speak over the past couple of years has likely heard me express the idea that the “community is the capacity.” The Eclipse Foundation is a 30 person organization that supports a community of hundred of projects, hundreds of members, thousands of committers and contributors, and millions of users. Whenever I take a moment to reflect on what we accomplish together it is breathtaking. The breadth of the technology that we collectively produce is vast, and our community spans the globe. Equally exciting, engagement continues to grow with a variety of industries notably automotive, power, transportation, etc. interested in leveraging the Eclipse Foundation as the place for open, commercial collaboration.

I am incredibly optimistic that 2018 is going to be one of the most exciting years we’ve ever had, so please get involved!

Written by Mike Milinkovich

January 22, 2018 at 8:01 am

Posted in Foundation

EE4J Code Arrives

Last week the EE4J project achieved an important milestone when the source code for the API and reference implementation of JSON-P JSR-374 project was pushed by Dmitry Kornilov into its GitHub repository in the EE4J organization. This is the first project of the initial nine proposed to reach this stage.

This may seem like a small step in a very large process, but it is a concrete demonstration of the commitment to move forward with the migration of Java EE to the Eclipse Foundation. The Oracle team and the Eclipse Foundation staff had a ton of work to do to make this possible. This is definitely one of those cases where the visible code contributions are just the visible tip of an iceberg’s worth of effort.

Here are just a few examples of the work that went on to get to this stage:

  • The names of the projects such as Glassfish represent important trademarks in the industry. Oracle transferred ownership of these project names to the Eclipse Foundation so that they can be held and protected for the community.
  • The EMO staff reviewed the projects proposals, ran the project creation review, provisioned the repositories and set up the committer lists.
  • The Oracle team packaged up the source code and updated the file headers to reflect the new EPL-2.0 licensing.
  • The EMO IP staff scanned the code and ensured that all was well before approving it for initial check-in.

Now that the collective team has run through this process with JSON-P we will be working to get the remaining eight initial projects pushed out as quickly as possible. Hopefully by the end of this month. Meanwhile, more projects will be proposed and we will be migrating a steady stream of Java EE projects into EE4J.

Exciting times!

Written by Mike Milinkovich

January 15, 2018 at 11:51 am