So long, JCP: Eclipse has a new Java spec process in mind

The Eclipse Foundation seeks an open source, lightweight, code-first approach to evolving enterprise Java

Through a new community process, the Eclipse Foundation seeks an open source, lightweight, code-first approach to evolving enterprise Java. The specification process and future revisions have to approved by the Eclipse board of directors.

If approved, a draft of the Eclipse Foundation Specification Process would be used for Jakarta EE, Eclipse’s implementation of enterprise Java as a new “open” specification process. The proposal would replace the Java Community Process (JCP), which has been used for amending the predecessor Java EE (Enterprise Edition) platform.

The Eclipse specification committee’s approach centers on these points:

  • Designing a process that would be as lightweight as possible.
  • Have the specification process be as close to open source development as possible.
  • Creation of a process that allows code-first development and enabling a culture where experimentation can happen in open source, with specifications based on those experiences.
  • Reusing the Eclipse Development Process when possible.
  • Taking care of intellectual property flows and protecting the community’s work from bad actors. With this in mind, specification committee approval is required for releases from specification projects in addition to normal project management committee approval. Also being introduced is the notion of “participants,” who are committers representing specific member companies. This is needed to ensure that intellectual property contributions, particularly patents, are properly captured by the process.

Eclipse is seeking feedback on its proposal, which can be offered via a community mailing list, which is the preferred method, or as document comments.