JavaOne 6 Years Later
It is six years since my last trip to San Francisco to attend JavaOne and boy has my agenda changed since them. Back then I was working on JBoss and there was a huge fight between Sun and the open-source community on a lot of issues surrounding Java. Now Sun is going to finally open-source Java which is a great success for the open-source idea but I couldn't care less.
The power of Java does not come from the language or even the JDK even though there is a lot in there lately and in my opinion too much. The power comes from the open-source projects around Java that improves and increases the usefulness of Java and I am not talking about the applications based on Java. There is networking stuff like JGroups and Azureus (bit-torrent), high availability like HA-JDBC and Terracotta, build systems like Ant and Maven, Log4j (logging), Rome (RSS feeds handling), concurrency, web frameworks and much much more. It is really hard to find a niche were one could start a novel open-source project because most likely someone else already had that idea and started a project like that.
What Java provides to me is the foundation that makes it easy to harness the power and versatility of all the open-source projects out there. Quite often a project has to ditch an open-source project only for the reason that it is too big for what the project needs it for but still then the code of that open-source project can be the inspiration of the stripped down version they are finally using.
That said I indent to participate on the Open Java project if something is bugging me and to participate in open-source project again. Even though I don't care much about open-sourcing Java I care about Java and I love to participate where it makes a difference for a few people. I need to make a living and that will not be through open-source, so far, but I would not be who I am now without open-source and my previous commitment for it. I learned so much about Java and how to manage and design projects that it outweighs the time I spent on it.
Enjoy - Andy