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Java: Just add Community

Posted by steve on June 12, 2003 at 8:39 AM PDT

I came to JavaOne looking for community. I found one, but it much different than the one I'm used to observing in the open source world. You see, here, there are barbarians at the gate.

Let me start by handing some kudos out. There is seriously cool voodoo being worked here. Some of the projects/code/goals that I've seen here are mind blowing and innovative. Something that I don't usually see on such a scale when breaking down the developer groups into just the ones developing open source apps. There is much to learn, but that is for another post.

In the open source community, as much as we like to fight amongst ourselves it is generally acknowledged to be one big group. Here it is not the case. There are two groups. The top down management type of folks who would include some at Sun, IBM, maybe even Jakarta a bit (word is that it's awefully hard to join guys); and then the proletariat who do such incredible things with their code and are becoming more engaged in the process that they can no longer be ignored.

There is a void between them, but it is closing. What is straddling this void is a reluctance within the top-downs to open the upper ranks, but a recognition that it works elsewhere and a acknowledgement within the proletariat that they must jump into the management in order to keep the code and the language healthy and vibrant.

This merge is a real community and it's starting to come together. It started before java.net and looks like it's been percolating (pun intended) for some time. Sure, it will be ugly for awhile. There will be struggles and fights, flamewars and open commentary that will get people hot under the collar, but these are the things that make a group of people stronger and what they do better.

It's also inevitable. The barbarians are at the gate.

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