|[jakarta.ee-community] Java EE Specification Documents|
|I would like to address one of the transition points that hasn't yet been worked out completely in the Oracle-to-Eclipse donation process. This is the fact that the transfer of the Java EE specification documents is in question at this time, as we know that there are legal issues with transferring them directly to Eclipse, as-is. I know that there are varying opinions in the community as to whether the specification documents themselves are really essential moving forward, but I want to voice my opinion that they are a crucial part of the specification. Sure, the JavaDoc can be used to implement variations of a specification, but the concrete specification document should be followed as a baseline for anyone wishing to implement the specification, and without those documents being transferred, as-is, lots of history will be lost.|
I know that one possible solution would be to have a working group reproduce the specification documents for the individual EE4J projects. In my opinion, this would be a nightmare as it would be impossible to convey the wording contained in the specification document without plagiarism coming into question. If the wording (and ordering) of the documents were to change radically, then the initial intentions conveyed within the specifications may be lost. In short, the specification documents cannot be reproduced.
Another possible solution would be to create new specification documents, which could point back to the original documentation. This, in my opinion, may be a better solution. However, it may become cumbersome to be redirected from a new specification document back to the original...making the documentation difficult to follow. If the documents cannot be transferred outright, then maybe the new Jakarta EE Platform specification documents can utilize the section headers from the original specification documents as links to point back to the original documentation. It would be great if the new specifications can "quote" the original specification text, but I am not sure if that is legally possible. If linking back to the original text, then over time as sections of a specification are re-written to accommodate spec changes or new sections are added, the new specification documents would be able to progress without losing the history of the original specifications.
In the end, my intention is to ensure that the specification documents are not merely tossed aside as historical documentation. They need to be incorporated, somehow, into the new formal specification process moving forward. The best solution would ultimately be to allow them to be transferred as-is, but I know there are IP issues that likely make that not legally possible. I know that those at Oracle and the Eclipse will make the right decision and choose the best path forward.
There is a lot of great (difficult) work being done behind the scenes at both the Oracle and Eclipse camps to make this transition possible, and the community certainly appreciates all of the efforts. The open platform is going to be a great success, and I look forward to watching and helping the Jakarta EE Platform evolve.