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What Matters Most

Posted by sfharris on May 16, 2006 at 4:12 PM PDT

It is only natural that from year to year different themes are emphasized at JavaOne. This year the slogan seems to be "For Everything that Matters".

In the Sun General Session this morning Jonathan Schwartz and others placed an emphasis on "things that matter". Things that are important to Sun and the Java Community which it supports; and things that are important to the Java Community that in return supports Sun.

Community Matters

Perhaps first and foremost community matters. Many of the speakers including Jonathan, stated that "it's all about participation" and in some areas such as the JCP process they would love to see more participation from individuals.

Innovation Matters

We should expect more innovation from Sun, from the community, and from partners like JBoss, Red Hat, etc.

Compatibility Matters

Yes, Rich Green's announcement has made it official. Java will be open sourced, but the details of how it will be done are yet to be determined. The concern here, I think, is making certain that Java is made open in such a manner that will not destroy the compatibility that we have all come to depend upon.

Interoperability Matters

Maintaining interoperability between Web Services, Java and .Net, etc. (WSIT (formerly Project Tango)).

Openness Matters

By open sourcing such products as the NeatBeans Profiler, Mobility Pack, and the Mattise GUI Builder, Sun has reaffirmed its commitment to open source.

Some Personal Observations

Because of the nature of software, companies like Sun that foster active participation of community members form an interesting relationship, I think. It is not unusual for companies to ask customers to help design products by taking surveys and the like, but I think it is reasonably unprecedented for companies to ask (or even allow) for participation from outside individuals in fixing defects (JDK) or actually helping to build products (GlassFish).

But in the end I think what matters most is that through all of the above, a whole is created that much greater than the sum of the parts and that we all benefit not from the actions not of some munificent corporation but from the efforts that we all contribute to each other.

Oh yes, and I almost forgot.

At the end of the session, John Gage reminded us of the importance of connecting with our peers. His suggestion was to seek out others (perhaps at lunch time) and share experiences. That's definitely important as well.

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