[javaee-spec users] [jsr366-experts] Re: Compatibility Problems with MR Resource Annotation Widening

From: Bill Shannon <>
Date: Thu, 19 Feb 2015 16:59:27 -0800

In order to tighten the spec and improve application portability, we're going
to have to break some non-portable applications and some incompatible
implementations. If you think we can never do that, it's going to be very
hard to move the spec forward. And if every time we do that we have to add
a "compatible with old incorrect behavior" flag, we won't be able to manage
the complexity.

The longer we delay some of these clarifications to the spec, the more difficult
it's going to be to enforce them.

We've tried to be flexible in cases where there's a long history of products
not implementing the intent of the spec. For the EE.5.2.5 change, we allow
a deployment time option to address a common source of errors. Potentially
we could allow such an option to ignore some EE.5.2.2 errors, but allowing
completely different non-error behavior does *not* seem like a good idea.

If there's agreement on what the behavior *should* be, what's the advantage
of delaying that until Java EE 8?

Jason Greene wrote on 02/19/2015 12:36 PM:
> One thing that came up internally is that the language of this MR will break compatibility with existing applications:
> Section EE.5.2.2
> An environment entry declared in the application.xml descriptor or
> by an annotation on a class in the application package other than
> within a web module or EJB module must specify a JNDI name in the
> java:app or java:global namespace, for example:
> java:app/env/myString or java:global/someValue.
> Section EE.5.2.5
> Change the text starting on line 3 on page 74 from:
> Resource annotations may appear on any of the classes listed above,
> or on any superclass of any class listed above.
> to:
> Resource annotations may appear on any class in the application package.
> One common pattern that we have seen in applications, is that they contain annotated classes in ear/lib (interceptors, common base classes etc), which are reused across multiple components. The annotations are brought into effect by extending the class, and at that point the namespace references are relative to the EE component, not to the base class. With these changes if @Resource on a class in ear/lib specifies an unqualified name, the default is comp, which doesn’t exist for ear/lib, leading to undefined results (probably a failure, but maybe an unintended, potentially conflicting, mapping to java:app). Likewise, if @Resource on a class in ear/lib uses java:module then we again end up with undefined results. If a user happened to have specified @Resource on java:global then things start to work out, unless of course sharable was false, in which case we end up with a duplicate conflicting binding and failure again.
> Another problem is third party libraries which make use of common annotations using a different facility will suddenly be processed by EE containers and this also will likely lead to failure.
> It makes sense for @DatasourceDefinition (and friends), but we should still clarify the namespace handling for classes which are not a component and/or do not have a module namespace.
> --
> Jason T. Greene
> WildFly Lead / JBoss EAP Platform Architect
> JBoss, a division of Red Hat