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JXTA Kitchen

Posted by bondolo on October 20, 2004 at 9:31 PM PDT

On a rainy Tuesday in October deep within Sun's Santa Clara campus the first JXTA Developer Kitchen was held. Since this was the first time that a JXTA kitchen has been held nobody was quite sure how it would turn out.

If you've never been to a developer kitchen, it's worth a little explaining. It's not a tutorial and it's not a meeting. I've heard two different stories about the origin of the name "kitchen" one involves the famous "kitchen debate" between Richard Nixon and Nikita Kruschev and the other ties the origin to a cooking demonstration. Regardless, the main intention of a developer kitchen is to provide developers who are using a technology with a lightly structured opportunity to interact with the developers who are building and maintaining the technology. Kitchens are often used for new or emerging technologies because they can really help speed adoption.

So, JXTA's been around for three plus years, why was this the first? Dunno. In hindsight it sure seems like we should have been having these every six months for the last four years. We've also had almost a dozen JXTA Community Meetings and the Sun JXTA team has met with many times with customers and potential adopters.

Those things are different though. We're (the Sun JXTA team) pretty committed to trying always trying new approaches to improve the JXTA community. Nine months ago for the JXTA J2SE Jambalya release we introduced "Bug Day", an idea taken from the Mozilla and Gnome communities, this time it was developer kitchens, which have been used for both USB, BlueTooth and by Apple for their technologies. We've also been working on wikis and blogging more! Any suggestions for other ways of improving the JXTA community are always appreciated.

As for Tuesday's Kitchen, I don't believe it could have been better. Bernard provided a very short presentation to help set some context about JXTA, mostly what we are working on, and some suggestions about topics for discussion. From there it was a very wide ranging discussion.

We answered questions, discussed strategy, had a few mini-tutorials on topics of interest, walked through examples and case studies, took feedback and suggestions. The coolest part, and why I know the kitchen was a success, was that a big fraction of the talking, white-boarding and answering came from the people who are JXTA users, not from the JXTA developers. JXTA is a real community and is very capable at meeting it's own needs.

It was a great experience and I think extremely useful for all who attended. The one bit of feedback I think everyone agreed on is that we needed some time set aside for break-out sessions where the participants could work on specific issues or questions.

I gotta say, I'm really looking forward to the next JXTA Kitchen.

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