Oracle is under the scanner for its increase in lack of support for the Java Enterprise Edition (EE), a popular server-side platform for developing and running Java-based applications. The company has reportedly stopped funding development of the software, and is said to have asked its developers to work on other projects.
While the supporters of Java within and outside the office premise are reportedly not happy about the freeze, Oracle remains determinately silent on the issue. Ars Technica reports that the decisions that happen within the company are so opaque, that even the employees are unaware of a solid reason behind the move.
"The only response we've had so far has been Java EE specification leads telling us they are unable to move their work forward. They have not told us what they are working on instead," Reza Rahman, a former Java evangelist for Oracle told the publication.
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It is speculated that Oracle's lack of interest is due to its ongoing war with Google over the use of Java interfaces in Android's Dalvik programming language. Oracle's silence is making supporters within the Java community question the company's loyalty towards the entire Java platform. Oracle's disinterest has reportedly also given rise to a group called the Java EE Guardians, who have initiated a petition to pressure the company executives to reinstate development of the software, or let go of it completely and 'set it free'. They are also reportedly working on extensions to accommodate micro-services in Java EE, and are even looking at the legalities to develop Java EE features on their own.
Rahman says that Oracle's potential abandonment brings along many short term and long term risks for the Java community. "The Java ecosystem built over the past 20 years, with its open standards supported by multiple vendors, powers so much of what we owe our livelihoods to. Without continued investment and stewardship, every part of the Java ecosystem will become weakened over time, as will global IT, at least in the short term." Rahman believes.
Oracle has developed a nasty reputation of killing open source projects among the developer community. The company acquired Sun Microsystems in 2010, taking all of its open source projects in its kitty. Soon after, Oracle put the lid on development efforts into community-driven technologies like OpenSolaris and OpenOffice.org. No wonder then there are fears that Java EE will meet a similar fate.