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Fire by the Fireside

Posted by lancebyoung on July 15, 2003 at 2:13 PM PDT


JavaOne 2003 was a
breakthrough event for me. Being my fifth JavaOne, I felt that it was
time to start sharing my Java experience with other JavaOne
attendees. So our group at ASIX, Inc. open sourced our framework for
complex client-side Java development and created proposals for
sessions and BOFs that we submitted for JavaOne 2003. The one session
about our open source project JuiPiter was accepted as an alternate.
So we came to JavaOne this year as backup speakers. This change of
roles brought me to JavaOne with a new attitude. It was time to give
back to JavaOne for all of the awesome content that it has provided
to me over the years.

Fireside Explosion

With good
intentions of asking my standard question, “When will the Java
team start writing libraries to assist in business application
development?”, I attended the pre-conference Fireside Chat. The
Fireside Chat gives alumni the chance to converse with the builders
of Java. I love meeting the folks behind Java at Sun, I feel that
they are some of the nicest and most brilliant people on the planet.
But even they can not solve all of our problems for us. As usual, the
panel hinted at upcoming features and announcements and the audience
asked the standard questions. The “What are you going to do for
me?” attitude of the audience slowly brought me to a boil and I
shot off some steam.

At the past four Fireside Chats I have
asked the same question, “What is Sun doing to make building
rich clients for business applications easier and better with Java
than what was possible with PowerBuilder or Forte some years ago?”.
Having never received a helpful answer, I continued to ask again year
after year. Last year I realized that it was not Sun's problem to
fix, it was mine! Our team had a problem and we needed to not only
fix it for ourselves, but push it out as open source in hopes of
fixing similar problems for others in the Java community.


We say the Java
community, but how many of us participate in it to make it a true
community? I “Caught the Fire” at the Fireside chat this
year and I am going to pass it on to you.

Instead of just
walking away disgusted, I stood-up at the end of the Fireside chat
and gave an impassioned speech. I realized later that I ripped off
JFK as you could condense the speech to, “Ask not what Sun can
do for you, but what you can do for the Java Community”.

The only way to push Java forward it to stand on the shoulders
of those who came before us. We must share useful code and techniques
so that others can learn from and build upon our experience. If you
build or have built a useful library or tool publish it in source or
cookbook fashion. Only then can we pull ourselves out of the past and
into the future with Java.

Get Fired Up

Danese Cooper, Sun's Open Source Diva,
decided to give me a voice and set me up with this blog, see href="">Catching Up

You will be hearing more from me soon, until then “Catch the
Fire” by getting involved with and pass on your
experience to others.

Lance B. Young

Senior Java

ASIX, Inc.

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