An open source Java web server, known as Jetty, is on its way to become an Eclipse Foundation project, according to its main developer Webtide.

Jetty is used as a server for rich Internet and embedded applications, and it has already has been part of several Eclipse projects, including acting as the web and application server for Equinox, the Eclipse OSGi-based plug-in platform for application development, Webtide said.

By becoming an Eclipse project, Jetty would gain from formalised processes and Q&A procedures that a greater developer base can provide, said Webtide. Anyone writing code for Eclipse, or who would like to contribute to Jetty, can work on the project.

Webtide expects Eclipse to accept the project after a 6- to 10-week public comment period. "All the feedback we received so far is toward that effect, but until it's done, it's not done," said Adam Lieber, Webtide CEO.

Jetty is based on the Java servlet container concept similar to Apache Tomcat, Lieber said. "You can layer other things on top of Jetty," and put it in devices such as phones, he noted. Bringing Jetty to Eclipse enables it to work with numerous Eclipse projects, said Lieber.

Jetty has been around about 12 years and has been downloaded an estimated tens of millions of times. "We've considered Jetty to be the best-kept secret out there, and after 12 years, it's an overnight success," said Lieber.

In a prepared statement released by Webtide, Eclipse executive director Mike Milinkovich endorsed the Jetty move. "This will add world-class runtime technology to the Eclipse runtimes initiative and create greater awareness for Jetty in the Eclipse community," Milinkovich said.

The proposal to have Jetty become part of Eclipse also would have it offered under a dual license. Currently licensed under Apache License 2.0, an Eclipse Public License format would be added when the project is accepted by Eclipse, Webtide said. Current users and other projects consuming Jetty continue to maintain current rights. The move also will help Jetty be used more by OSGi projects, said Webtide.

Webtide offers custom distributions of Jetty and related support services.