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Where we are with the JDK Community

Posted by ray_gans on March 7, 2006 at 6:15 PM PST

It's been almost a year now since we started the JDK Community on java.net and I'd like to give a well deserved "Thank You!" to all of you who have participated and visited the site. As part of this thanks, I'd like to provide an update to where we stand and where we're going. I also want to invite anyone who is interested to take our survey to help us know what were doing right and where we can make improvements.

Over the past year Sun's goal for the JDK Community hasn't changed, we still want a vibrant environment where the developer community can interact with each other and with Sun engineering to help evolve Java SE, the JDK, and other related tools and technologies. In particular we want to attract developers who are passionate about the JDK and who are interested in collaboration.

To that end, here is what we've accomplished.

  • Hosted the Tiger, Mustang, and (soon) Dolphin projects to provide source and binary snapshots of the latest builds & updates.
  • Created and regularly monitored forums to address developer questions and feedback about the snapshots, contributed fixes and reported regressions.
  • Linked research projects from the JavaDesktop Community that were relevant to the JDK community.
  • Provided a home for over 30 research projects driven by both Sun and non-Sun project leaders.
  • Ran the Crack the Verifier Initiative for the community to look for problems in the new type checking verifier and received 5 issues to be addressed.
  • Currently running the Project Mustang Regressions Challenge Contest which received 87 submitted regressions that have led to 32 new bugs during the last 4 weeks. This contest runs through the end of March, so I encourage anyone who finds a binary compatibility problem in Mustang to check this out -- you might win a sweet Ultra 20 workstation.
  • Drove interest and feedback for the Mustang weekly snapshots through blogs (aggregated list), articles & news, and bug fixing and collaboration opportunities.
    • Roughly 70,000 downloads of weekly Mustang snapshot binaries since they were first posted in early November 2004.
    • Roughly 14,000 downloads of weekly Mustang source snapshots during the same period.
    • 448 bugs reported against these snapshots and 336 of them added to the bug database.
    • 181 bug fix and enhancement contributions to the Mustang project with 34 integrated into Mustang and 3 back-ported into Tiger updates. We want to get these numbers up and are working hard to evaluate and incorporate as many of the rest as possible.

Participation in the JDK Community through the end of February has been as follows:

  • 1,153 registered members to community projects covered under the Java Research License (JRL).
  • 321 registered contributors to these projects.
  • 942,483 visitors to community project pages.

Trends are up too. We've lately seen a huge growth in monthly visitors to JDK Community projects (over 4 times more visitors last month than we had in July) and doubled the number of Mustang contributed fixes during the last 2 months.

I'm sure there is more we can do to improve relevance and function of the JDK Community and its projects. We have lots of ideas, but want to hear from you as well. We'd like to know what's missing, what we're doing right, and how we can improve the site for regular and occasional visitors.

To help in this task, we developed a survey to collect some feedback. The survey contains 25 questions (many of which are optional for feedback) that should take less than 15 minutes to complete. It doesn't matter how often you've visited or participated in the JDK Community, we want to hear from you. Even if you've never visited the JDK Community pages before, take a look and then let us know what you think.

You can find the survey here. Thanks for participating!

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