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VMblog Expert Interview: Thabang Mashologu of The Eclipse Foundation, Talks about the latest release of Eclipse Temurin, a leading open source Java SE runtime

interview eclipse foundation mashologu 

The Eclipse Foundation, a leading open source foundation, in collaboration with the Adoptium Working Group, has announced the latest release of Eclipse Temurin’s Java SE runtime. 

To find out more about this release, what it means, and what's next, VMblog spoke to Thabang Mashologu, Vice President, Community and Outreach, at The Eclipse Foundation.

VMblog:  Can you give VMblog readers a quick background on the Eclipse Foundation and what you're announcing with Eclipse Temurin today?

Thabang: The Eclipse Foundation is a European-based global organization that is home to one of the largest open source software ecosystems in the world.  We're probably best known for the Eclipse IDE used by millions of developers or perhaps for the "center of gravity" for all things related to open source Java, including Jakarta EE, Adoptium, MicroProfile, and more. Although we've since diversified our range of technology domains to include Software-Defined Vehicles and Automotive, Cloud Development, IoT and Embedded Computing, today's news is really about Eclipse Temurin, which is the open source Java SE build based on OpenJDK we've developed with Adoptium. 

This is Eclipse Temurin's biggest release to date. We've included a number of security improvements, as well as support for 54 version/platform combinations and five major OpenJDK versions, underscoring Adoptium's commitment to a diverse and comprehensive range of supported builds spanning Linux, Mac, Windows, and various architectures, including x64, ARM, and RISC-V. With the addition of RISC-V support, we're opening the door for Java into new use cases and markets, including the Industrial IoT, robotics, automotive, and others.

As a result, it's not surprising that Eclipse Temurin is the fastest-growing open source Java SE runtime, currently exceeding 23 million downloads per month and more than 380 million downloads to date. A recent independent report (New Relic, State of the Java Ecosystem, April 2024) attests to Temurin's momentum, revealing a remarkable 50% year-over-year growth and establishing it as the second most popular JDK, commanding approximately 18% of the Java market.

VMblog:  To what trends does the Eclipse Foundation attribute Temurin's growth?

Thabang: One major factor is the innovation driven by the community. Vendors and developers alike are embracing Temurin because it's a secure, high-quality, and vendor-neutral JDK distribution with frequent updates and improvements backed by a strong community.

Cost savings are another significant driver. In this economic climate, we're all being forced to do more with less, so cost savings are crucial. Oracle's recent licensing changes have motivated many companies to seek more affordable, fully compatible alternatives. Temurin was growing before the licensing changes, but we've seen that accelerate since 2023. With Temurin, you get the best of both worlds: it's free to use and offers enterprise-caliber performance, security, and reliability.

Additionally, Temurin offers robust commercial support. Leading companies like Azul Systems, IBM, Open Elements, and Red Hat provide enterprise-grade support, which is crucial for businesses relying on Java for critical applications. This level of support ensures reliability and confidence in using Temurin for mission-critical tasks.

VMblog:  I'm glad you brought up security. Software supply chain security is something I'm hearing more and more about, so it's not surprising this is happening. Is this something that's on EF's radar?

Thabang: Absolutely! We have a strong focus on secure development practices. Alongside implementing the Supply-chain Levels for Software Artifacts (SLSA) framework for Eclipse Foundation projects, we are also developing our own set of security guidelines to ensure that software security best practices are integral to the development process. Earlier this year, we announced that Eclipse Temurin achieved level 3 SLSA compliance for its builds. 

Equally important is our commitment to assisting our members in aligning their projects with emerging regulations, like the European Union's Cybersecurity Resilience Act. As part of our proactive approach, we recently introduced the Open Regulatory Compliance initiative, a collaborative effort involving prominent foundations, including the Apache Software Foundation, OpenSSF Foundation, Blender Foundation, OpenSSL Software Foundation, PHP Foundation, Python Software Foundation, and the Rust Foundation. Together, we aim to establish process specifications based on best practices to facilitate compliance with these evolving regulations, thereby empowering organizations leveraging open source to more efficiently navigate regulatory landscapes.

VMblog:  Why RISC-V? What does this enable for Java developers?

Thabang: First, we're one of the first to extend Java support to RISC-V architectures. RISC-V has experienced tremendous growth over the past few years, with its microprocessors utilized across diverse sectors such as IoT, robotics, automotive, manufacturing, cloud, and telecom. Bringing RISC-V support to Java SE runtimes unlocks a range of new use cases, enabling a vast pool of Java developers to build secure, high-quality applications for everything from embedded systems to servers. The combination of Java and RISC-V offers an ideal platform for developers and companies looking to drive innovation by leveraging secure, enterprise-grade, and free-to-use technologies supported by strong communities.

VMblog:  What's next for Eclipse Temurin?

Thabang: We're fully expecting our growth and adoption trajectory to continue its upward momentum, fueled by ongoing innovation and continuous improvement. With new versions released quarterly, you can look forward to regular updates and fresh innovations with each release cycle.

Additionally, I'd like to extend an invitation to your readers interested in open source runtimes like Eclipse Temurin to join us at the Open Community for Java event during Open Community Experience (OCX). This transformative open source developer conference is scheduled for 22-24 October 2024 in Mainz, Germany. The event will cover topics related to Jakarta EE, Adoptium, MicroProfile, and open source enterprise Java, providing invaluable insights and networking opportunities.


Thabang Mashologu is the Vice President, Community and Outreach at the Eclipse Foundation, one of the world's largest open source software foundations. In this role, he is responsible for global marketing and program management for working groups and industry collaborations. He has over 20 years of broad experience in the tech industry, including engineering, product management, marketing, developer relations, and community development at startups, enterprises, and open source foundations. He is passionate about increasing opportunities for people from diverse backgrounds and perspectives to contribute to and participate in open source.

Published Tuesday, May 28, 2024 8:00 AM by David Marshall
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