Skip to main content

"WebDAV Support for JAX-RS" Release 1.1

Posted by mkarg on December 10, 2009 at 1:20 AM PST

Over the past decade, OpenSource became a big hype. At the peak of the hype, big stakeholders like IBM, Oracle and Sun (and even Microsoft and SAP) turned a lot of their previously proprietary code into OpenSource. While they tell us that they do it because they are so noble and like to exploit the community's knowledge, typically the open sourced software is only for free in part or is still under their sole control and further development. There is a lot of OpenSource software which is just publicly viewable and freely usable but in fact developed completely in a closed way - you have no chance to contribute to the core design, but often are just used as source of free bug fixes.

Due to this truth, the more I am glad to see that more and more projects, even controlled by the big stakeholders, in fact do listen to what the community says. One of those is JAX-RS / Jersey, the API and RI for RESTful WebServices in Java. I am using Jersey since it's very first days and a year ago started contributing WebDAV support to it. While this contribution meanwhile moved into its own project due to technical reasons, still the project leaders listened to what I say. While developing the WebDAV code, I noticed several quirks in JAX-RS and provided proposals how the JAX-RS standard should get changed to solve this, and how the Jersey code should get modified to support it.

After a long tradition of agnostic and egomaniac OpenSource project leads at dozens of other projects I have contributed to in the past decade, I did not really expect to get any positive response. But the opposite happened: All of my proposals had been adopted (even in slightly modified way to preserve binary backwards compatibility to the previous quirk) to the recently published maintenance release 1.1 of JAX-RS. Not only was I happy that my WebDAV library now can get rid of some really nasty code smells induced by the needed workarounds, but more I was totally astonished that this adoption did happen.

As it seems, Marc and Paul (the leaders of JAX-RS / Jersey) really have understood what OpenSource really means: Communicate with the community, understand their needs and thoughts, accept their ideas. I would wish that more project leaders would assimilate this open mind and welcoming kind of leadership.

As I am known as being the grumbler of the software world, you will understand that this is everything but feigned or sarcastic: Marc and Paul, it was a pleasure to contribute.

So what is left over is to explain the title of this blog entry: Yesterday I published release 1.1 of "WebDAV Support for JAX-RS". The sole reason for this maintenance release was the adaption to my own standards proposals, now that JAX-RS 1.1 was published: The library got just smarter, it is easier to for me to maintain and for you to use it. Thanks to Marc's and Paul's care of my proposals, this simplification was possible, and this release is done solely to express my appreciation - it really does not contain any new features. If you like to add a WebDAV frontend to your JavaEE application, you should definitively take this library into consideration. It is written tightly to the JAX-RS 1.1 specification and is as lightweight as possible. It is independent of the JAX-RS implementation. And as JAX-RS is part of JavaEE 6, adding a WebDAV frontend couldn't be more easy, standards compliant and lightweight at the same time.