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Re: [jakarta.ee-community] Java EE Specification Documents

I for one would like to know what the key EE4J stakeholders are thinking about this.

One key to success is having excellent documentation for Jakarta EE - one in the form of a reference guide and another in the form of quick getting started guides for common use cases. In terms of existing Java EE, the Java EE Tutorial sort of served as the former and we never really had an official solution for the latter (though the FirstCup demo application helped a bit). Nonetheless, the specification document was always the go-to when you really needed to dig into the details, especially as a contributor, implementer or early author. Is one solution to simply focus on writing the reference guide and how-to material better and rely on Javadoc for more fine grained details?

How do other successful open standards do this?

On 6/23/2018 1:09 PM, Josh Juneau wrote:
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. ÂThis 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. ÂI 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. ÂSure, 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.
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I know that one possible solution would be to have a working group reproduce the specification documents for the individual EE4J projects. ÂIn 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. ÂIf the wording (and ordering) of the documents were to change radically, then the initial intentions conveyed within the specifications may be lost. ÂIn 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. ÂThis, 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. ÂIf 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. ÂIt would be great if the new specifications can "quote" the original specification text, but I am not sure if that is legally possible. ÂIf 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. ÂThey need to be incorporated, somehow, into the new formal specification process moving forward. ÂThe 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. ÂI 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. ÂThe open platform is going to be a great success, and I look forward to watching and helping the Jakarta EE Platform evolve.



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