Admittedly new to this but I wanted to understand why there is a gap between Red Hat's JBoss EAP project (their enterprise version) and JBoss AS/Wildfly/community project.
Looking at this post from Red Hat, it seems that they don't withhold the source/patches. Makes sense since withholding the source would be a GPL violation, which in spirit wants source distributions so end users can recreate/reuse the binaries.
So if the sources are identical, then why isn't the AS/community version exactly at par with the EAP version? Shouldn't they be bit-exact, like having the same SHA256 value? It appears that the AS/community version usually lags by several hundred patches (from here, "Intro" section)
Talking about the latest JBoss Application Server is always tricky. Red Hat simultaneously offers two versions of JBoss: community edition, the current release where is 7.1.1-Final, and Enterprise Application Platform, EAP, edition where JBoss AS component version is 7.1.3-Final. The difference between these is actually a few hundred bug-fixes, which is enormous ...
Since EAP binary distribution is controlled by Red Hat, surely there is enough community interest that the community itself rebuilds and redistributes AS/Wildfly binaries that are at-par with the EAP binaries, right? (a single Maven server should suffice).
I mean look at the popularity of CentOS (the community version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux) - the community IS interested in using software in production without RedHat's blessings/support.
So, what am I missing here?
Your missing that JBoss AS has become WildFly - JBoss EAP 7.1 is based on WildFly 11.
The fixes applied to the maintenance releases of JBoss EAP are simultaneously sent upstream to the community repositories so a subsequent WildFly release would also contain those fixes, the difference is the WildFly releases also contain new features.