From Vision to Beta
What were we thinking? Different people are bound to ask this with different tones and meanings. Richard Gabriel answers this question in his feature article A Vision for Java.net. At the core Gabriel aims to create a virtual gathering place for a diverse set of individuals "engaged in creative activities and imbued with tolerance for that diversity."
One of my favorite parts of Gabriels vision is that he talks about what Java.net will eventually have. It is has always been our intent to debut as a beta version of the site we may become. It actually took a lot of effort on the part of the core team to make sure those funding the site undertand that this is meant to be a work in progress and not a finished product. One of the components of this site is a wiki. We hope that it will be an organic entity that grows and thrives in ways that we may not now foresee.
Gabriel stresses the importance of self-determination and self-governance for communities in his vision. One of our design principles was to create a site that is interesting enough to bring you to it but incomplete enough that you can find a place you would like to contribute.
In the early days of the web it was popular for web sites to have an image of a yellow saw horse with the words "under construction". As people began to understand the dynamic nature of web pages and of the web itself, these warnings came down. Without the visual reminder, however, some sites ceased to be under construction. Our site is under construction. We hope to add more features and to tune the ones we debut with. Need a visual reminder? You can think of the cartwheeling Duke on the front page as a reminder to us that this site is still under construction.
Expect releases for this site in the same way you look forward to releases from your favorite open source projects. Between now and Tuesday we'll be polishing the site for Java.net 0.1 beta.
Daniel H Steinberg, Editor-in-Chief Java.net