Oracle says it is 'committed' to Java EE 8 – amid claims it quietly axed future development

Dumps proprietary API, will show all at JavaOne


Exclusive Oracle has told The Register it is "committed" to Java amid growing fears the IT giant had all but given up on Java EE – aka Java Platform, Enterprise Edition.

The Redwood City titan said it will present fresh plans for the future of Java EE 8 at its JavaOne conference in San Francisco in September.

Version eight is due to be released in the first half of 2017. However, over the past six months, it appeared Oracle had pretty much ceased development of the enterprise edition – a crucial component in hundreds of thousands of business applications – and instead quietly focused its engineers on other products and projects.

Oracle spokesman Mike Moeller tonight sought to allay those fears, and said a plan for the future of Java EE is brewing.

"Oracle is committed to Java and has a very well defined proposal for the next version of the Java EE specification – Java EE 8 – that will support developers as they seek to build new applications that are designed using micro-services on large-scale distributed computing and container-based environments on the Cloud," said Moeller.

"Oracle is working closely with key partners in the Java community to finalize the proposal and will share the full details with the broader Java community at JavaOne in September."

Java EE provides an API and runtime for enterprise-grade applications, and is developed via the Java Community Program: it is essentially an open specification driven by various organizations and implemented by Oracle and other Java EE vendors, such as IBM and Red Hat.

The Register understands that roughly a year ago, a movement started within Oracle to mothball its Java EE efforts and create a new proprietary enterprise-friendly Java runtime and API in its place – which Oracle would have total exclusive control over and wouldn't have to share with IBM, Red Hat and so on. While this new interface would use some parts of Java EE, it would be approximately 80 to 90 per cent proprietary.

As the group driving the proprietary project gained more clout internally, resources were diverted away from the development of Java EE, we're told.

This unannounced change of heart by Oracle was noticed by the Java EE community, which was alarmed by a decision to push back the release of Java EE 8 to 2017, and a drop-off in source code committed by Oracle to its own Java EE implementations.

The number of code commits and issues resolved by Oracle for its own JavaServer Faces implementation (Source: Java EE Guardians)

A campaign group called the Java EE Guardians was founded to put pressure on Oracle to commit to its Java EE 8 promises; its members include father-of-Java James Gosling and folks on the executive committee of the Java Community Process, which steers the development of Java EE.

"There is growing evidence that Oracle is conspicuously neglecting Java EE, weakening a very broad ecosystem that depends on strong Java EE development," the group said on its change.org petition, calling on Oracle supremo Larry Ellison to get behind the enterprise edition.

"Almost all work from Oracle on Java EE has ceased for more than six months with no end to the inactivity in sight. Unless things change soon Java EE 8 won’t be delivered in anywhere near the time when it was initially promised if it is delivered at all."

Very recently, however, amid intense pressure from the community, IBM and Red Hat, The Register understands Oracle executives realized that the proprietary API route would be a disaster: it would cause too much damage to the ecosystem, and there was no guarantee people would use the new closed-source API.

So now it's back to the original plan for Java EE 8: it is likely Oracle will stick to its H1 2017 timetable for publishing version eight but limit the scope of its new features in order to complete the work on time.

An early draft of the new specification emerged on time in the final quarter of 2015, but a version for public review – due to land in Q1 2016 – did not arrive. However, there's still time for a proposed final draft to be published on time in Q3 2016 to coincide with the JavaOne conference.

"This is really great news and a pleasant surprise," Reza Rahman, an ex-Oracle staffer, Java expert and spokesman for the Java EE Guardians, told The Register.

"We're really happy that Oracle is now listening to the community and is working towards finding a solution. We hope that going forward after this Oracle treats Java EE as a standard and not merely as a product." ®

Similar topics


Other stories you might like

  • Chip shortage forces temporary Raspberry Pi 4 price rise for the first time

    Ten-buck increase for 2GB model 'not here to stay' says Upton

    The price of a 2GB Raspberry Pi 4 single-board computer is going up $10, and its supply is expected to be capped at seven million devices this year due to the ongoing global chip shortage.

    Demand for components is outstripping manufacturing capacity at the moment; pre-pandemic, assembly lines were being red-lined as cloud giants and others snapped up parts fresh out of the fabs, and the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak really threw a spanner in the works, so to speak, exacerbating the situation.

    Everything from cars to smartphones have been affected by semiconductor supply constraints, including Raspberry Pis, it appears. Stock is especially tight for the Raspberry Pi Zero and the 2GB Raspberry Pi 4 models, we're told. As the semiconductor crunch shows no signs of letting up, the Raspberry Pi project is going to bump up the price for one particular model.

    Continue reading
  • Uncle Sam to clip wings of Pegasus-like spyware – sorry, 'intrusion software' – with proposed export controls

    Surveillance tech faces trade limits as America syncs policy with treaty obligations

    More than six years after proposing export restrictions on "intrusion software," the US Commerce Department's Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) has formulated a rule that it believes balances the latitude required to investigate cyber threats with the need to limit dangerous code.

    The BIS on Wednesday announced an interim final rule that defines when an export license will be required to distribute what is basically commercial spyware, in order to align US policy with the 1996 Wassenaar Arrangement, an international arms control regime.

    The rule [PDF] – which spans 65 pages – aims to prevent the distribution of surveillance tools, like NSO Group's Pegasus, to countries subject to arms controls, like China and Russia, while allowing legitimate security research and transactions to continue. Made available for public comment over the next 45 days, the rule is scheduled to be finalized in 90 days.

    Continue reading
  • Global IT spending to hit $4.5 trillion in 2022, says Gartner

    The future's bright, and expensive

    Corporate technology soothsayer Gartner is forecasting worldwide IT spending will hit $4.5tr in 2022, up 5.5 per cent from 2021.

    The strongest growth is set to come from enterprise software, which the analyst firm expects to increase by 11.5 per cent in 2022 to reach a global spending level of £670bn. Growth has fallen slightly, though. In 2021 it was 13.6 per cent for this market segment. The increase was driven by infrastructure software spending, which outpaced application software spending.

    The largest chunk of IT spending is set to remain communication services, which will reach £1.48tr next year, after modest growth of 2.1 per cent. The next largest category is IT services, which is set to grow by 8.9 per cent to reach $1.29tr over the next year, according to the analysts.

    Continue reading
  • Memory maker Micron moots $150bn mega manufacturing moneybag

    AI and 5G to fuel demand for new plants and R&D

    Chip giant Micron has announced a $150bn global investment plan designed to support manufacturing and research over the next decade.

    The memory maker said it would include expansion of its fabrication facilities to help meet demand.

    As well as chip shortages due to COVID-19 disruption, the $21bn-revenue company said it wanted to take advantage of the fact memory and storage accounts for around 30 per cent of the global semiconductor industry today.

    Continue reading
  • China to allow overseas investment in VPNs but Beijing keeps control of the generally discouraged tech

    Foreign ownership capped at 50%

    After years of restricting the use and ownership of VPNs, Beijing has agreed to let foreign entities hold up to a 50 per cent stake in domestic VPN companies.

    China has simultaneously a huge market and strict rules for VPNs as the country's Great Firewall attempts to keep its residents out of what it deems undesirable content and influence, such as Facebook or international news outlets.

    And while VPN technology is not illegal per se (it's just not practical for multinationals and other entities), users need a licence to operate one.

    Continue reading
  • Microsoft unveils Android apps for Windows 11 (for US users only)

    Windows Insiders get their hands on the Windows Subsystem for Android

    Microsoft has further teased the arrival of the Windows Subsystem for Android by detailing how the platform will work via a newly published document for Windows Insiders.

    The document, spotted by inveterate Microsoft prodder "WalkingCat" makes for interesting reading for developers keen to make their applications work in the Windows Subsystem for Android (WSA).

    WSA itself comprises the Android OS based on the Android Open Source Project 1.1 and, like the Windows Subsystem for Linux, runs in a virtual machine.

    Continue reading
  • Software Freedom Conservancy sues TV maker Vizio for GPL infringement

    Companies using GPL software should meet their obligations, lawsuit says

    The Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC), a non-profit which supports and defends free software, has taken legal action against Californian TV manufacturer Vizio Inc, claiming "repeated failures to fulfill even the basic requirements of the General Public License (GPL)."

    Member projects of the SFC include the Debian Copyright Aggregation Project, BusyBox, Git, GPL Compliance Project for Linux Developers, Homebrew, Mercurial, OpenWrt, phpMyAdmin, QEMU, Samba, Selenium, Wine, and many more.

    The GPL Compliance Project is described as "comprised of copyright holders in the kernel, Linux, who have contributed to Linux under its license, the GPLv2. These copyright holders have formally asked Conservancy to engage in compliance efforts for their copyrights in the Linux kernel."

    Continue reading
  • DRAM, it stacks up: SK hynix rolls out 819GB/s HBM3 tech

    Kit using the chips to appear next year at the earliest

    Korean DRAM fabber SK hynix has developed an HBM3 DRAM chip operating at 819GB/sec.

    HBM3 (High Bandwidth Memory 3) is a third generation of the HBM architecture which stacks DRAM chips one above another, connects them by vertical current-carrying holes called Through Silicon Vias (TSVs) to a base interposer board, via connecting micro-bumps, upon which is fastened a processor that accesses the data in the DRAM chip faster than it would through the traditional CPU socket interface.

    Seon-yong Cha, SK hynix's senior vice president for DRAM development, said: "Since its launch of the world's first HBM DRAM, SK hynix has succeeded in developing the industry's first HBM3 after leading the HBM2E market. We will continue our efforts to solidify our leadership in the premium memory market."

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021