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Re: [jakartaee-platform-dev] Moving MicroProfile JWT to Jakarta Security?

For specification projects in a related space, the existence of more than one needs to be justified. There is a reason everyone involved in specification/standards work raises this well trodden satire out at some point:

On Nov 10, 2022 at 1:09:41 PM, Mike Milinkovich <mike.milinkovich@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:


Good points. There are indeed non-technical differentiators between MircoProfile and Jakarta EE. No one would dispute that.

But since we are discussing important philosophical points, let us add the fact that the Eclipse Foundation has always and will always permit competing projects, and that extends to specifications as well. We will never endorse the allocation of a market to one coalition of vendors over another set of vendors. So just because MicroProfile has a specification in a particular domain in no way prevents Jakarta EE from creating a similar spec. That work may or may not be based on prior work done at MicroProfile, so "move" doesn't really factor into the discussion.

As you point out, there are important non-technical differences between the two. Any one of those could be a good reason why Jakarta EE may wish to have its own specifications which overlap or compete with MicroProfile specs.  In other words, there can be a myriad of reasons why competing specs may occur: business, technical, community, vendor support, etc etc. But "MicroProfile did it first" does not provide it with any sort of veto.

On 2022-11-10 1:29 p.m., John Clingan wrote:
I’m inserting this as a general  point in this discussion,  which is related to joining the MP JWT call.

There are non-technical reasons MicroProfile exists. MicroProfile is a flatter working group with fewer processes, somewhat different values (like backwards compatibility differences), releases more often, and  is $250,000 USD cheaper *annually* (for large organizations) than joining Jakarta EE Working Group as a strategic member. Whenever talk of moving a specification to Jakarta, I feel the need to remind folks of the non-technical differences between Jakarta and MicroProfile.

For these reasons, I am against moving *any* specifications out of MicroProfile to Jakarta, although I am open to the idea of moving Jakarta specifications to MicroProfile. The exception is concurrency, which was always intended to move to Jakarta.

My two cents.

On Nov 9, 2022, at 9:52 AM, David Blevins <dblevins@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

On Nov 9, 2022, at 6:31 AM, arjan tijms <arjan.tijms@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:


On Tue, Nov 8, 2022 at 9:55 PM David Blevins <dblevins@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
MP JWT does define bindings for EJB, Servlets, JACC, JASPIC, etc.

True, although essentially spelling out everything is unnecessary if one just says that MP JWT in a Jakarta EE environment is/exposes itself as an Jakarta Security Authentication Mechanism. All those other things then follow from that. Specifically this authentication mechanism bit is missing there. I do see identity store being mentioned, and perhaps it comes from the confusion that many people have between the concept of an authentication mechanism (FORM, BASIC, etc) and an identity store (DB, LDAP, FILE, etc). 

I'd be on board for making these kinds of changes and improvements in MP JWT.  The next version planned is 3.0, so we can even make breaking changes if we needed to accommodate.  The next MP JWT call is Thursday, November 17th at 8:00am Pacific.  Are you open to attending at least once and discussing?  Here's the call information:

# Procedural

In CN4J we did agree to some technical principles.  One of them is that duplication should be avoided.

That is basically a good thing. The problem here is a little that MP JWT in a sense "hi-jacked" the JWT authentication mechanism from underneath Jakarta Security. Of course it's not that black and white in practice, and there were many valid arguments for MP to introduce JWT in the way it did. But the matter of fact remains that Jakarta Security planned for a number of authentication mechanisms that went beyond the ones provided by servlet, such as Open ID Connect (OAuth) and JWT. 

These didn't make it into 1.0, and because of the move to Eclipse the new features effort was stalled for years. In that timeframe JWT was introduced in MP. Currently Jakarta EE is open for new features again, but it finds some features are now "controversial" only because MP implemented them in the meantime. Again, there was no malintent (I was even part of the original MP JWT team then), but it's an unfortunate situation.

I do understand how things can feel that way from an emotional perspective.  My emotional perspective is that we're fortunate to have this conversation at all, because when MicroProfile and MP JWT were created Java EE was dead with no plans to continue.  I'm thankful and proud of MicroProfile for its impact on the decision to open source Java EE.  I'm happy that both Jakarta EE and MicroProfile now live at the Eclipse Foundation and are implemented side-by-side in most the major implementations.

Sure, we don't want duplication between specs, but we also don't want duplication between say two specs in Jakarta EE.  Compared to the challenges we've faced over the last 6 or 7 years, this feels very manageable.


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Mike Milinkovich

Executive Director | Eclipse Foundation AISBL


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