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To Blog or not to Blog...

Posted by dmax69 on July 15, 2004 at 10:14 AM PDT

I left the employ of Sun Microsystems in November of 2002, after nearly 9 years of service, the final 6 of which were spent traveling our fair globe with the heady title of "Technology Evangelist." Two decades spent in software development, dating back to the initial emergence of UNIX in the commercial environment (I remember tearing apart an early Sun 68000-based workstation running BSD in 1984, in hopes, with the addition of an 8-port serial board, we could turn it into a departmental server), I felt it was time for a well-deserved break. So took my leave of Networkdom, moved to rural Mississippi, and proceeded down the path of relaxation, reflection, and mid-life reinvention. And I was happy.

To my surprise, nearly a year later, my editor at Prentice-Hall (Sun Press) called to say that the manuscript for a book I'd put to bed in the summer of '02 seemed to be gaining relevance, and that the book would indeed be published. I dusted off my kudzu-rested brain, enjoined the task of final edit, and spent several weeks completing the book I previously feared might never be published. Part of that final editing process was getting in touch with Daniel Steinberg, who had been kind enough to write the forward to what has now been published as Network Distributed Computing: Fitscapes and Fallacies.

As part of our "catching up" process, Daniel informed me that he was now the editor of java.net and asked if I would be interested in "Blogging" for it. And I didn't know how to respond. The term "Blog" was new to me, something which had evidently emerged during my absence from the day-to-day churn of high-technology life. When I finally realized what it meant to "blog," it dawned on me that not only would I be interested, but it was something I had had ample practice at, having been a "blogger" on my own for some time. My first blog, which I called "The Evangelist Diary," was published on my own website in November 1998, two years into my stint as an evangelist. I kept that journal going the final 4 years in that role. So blogging is something I started doing well before it was called that...and something I am pleased to do again, though my role has changed.

I no longer "evangelize" on behalf of Sun. But I am still of the belief that much of what Sun has advocated over the past decade makes good sense....most especially Java. In truth, I would advocate Jini in any event. I think Jxta is as important to the world of distributed computing as Web Services. I believe Bill Joy may yet be ranked with Einstein in terms of impact on the 20th Century and that James Gosling is simply as cool as they come.

So anyway....I'm back. My intent is to write from the perspective of possibilities, which are legion in software. During the final years of my evangelism stint, my mantra became, "If there's hope for humanity, it's in software." And it is yet true, even in Mississippi

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