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Posted by editor on July 28, 2005 at 5:49 AM PDT

How to make your project succeed

Just because you can easily kick off an open source project, should you? java.net makes it easy to get your project started, providing you with tools like mailing lists, forums, cvs, a web page, etc. But more important than all of that are you, your code, and (later) your community.

The open-source landscape is littered with projects that were launched and subsequently abandoned. What happened? Did a hoped-for community not form? Did the project not address an important enough problem? Did the project founder just lose interest and move on?

It's critical to get your project off to a good start. The tools can help, but they can only do so much. The rest is up to you.

In our Feature Article,
Creating and Managing an Open Source Project, Part 1, Michael Nascimento Santos takes these kinds of concerns to heart : "there are many hard decisions to be made, and some of them cannot be undone easily. Besides that, many of these projects fail miserably because of misconceptions people have. The aim of this series of articles is to explain when you should create your own open source project; how to do it, and how to organize it so it succeeds."


In today's Weblogs,
James Gosling offers a "
Transcendental Meditation":
"I got into a conversation with some folks who've been moving a large sophisticated image processing application to Java. They've been getting great performance numbers, much to the surprise of the C crowd in their shop. With one exception..."

Programmer Friendly Pages are on Jacob Hookom's mind:
"Everyone wants to be a little more designer friendly with web page development, but whoever said that maintaining HTML markup was easy? What will help programmers take back their web pages without offending your designers?"

In Rant: I found Subversion immature, Kohsuke Kawaguchi writes:
"I just had a frustrating hour or so with Subversion. No, it's not that I have problems with its functionality (well, I actually do, but today isn't time to talk about that.) It's the lack of craftsmanship that bothers me."


In Also in
Java Today
,
Artima blogger Eric Armstrong says Messaging is the Right Way to Build a Distributed System: "A message-based design is fundamentally the right way to think about building a distributed system, as opposed to code sharing, remote procedure calls, and the like. This article explains why." He stresses messaging's superiority to RPC-like systems in five important traits: transparency, testability, immunity and evolution, interoperability and evolution, and stateless scalability.

A recent News.com article says, "when it was first introduced, Sun Microsystems' Java software for cellular phones was supposed to let developers write a single program that could run on any handset. A half decade later, Sun's Java for cell phones, called the mobile information device profile, or MIDP, is used in half the world's 1.4 billion phones for downloading other bits of software. But writing a program that can run on any handset still isn't possible." The article "Write Once, Run Anywhere" Not Working for Phones says the cause of the problem lies with phone makers and service providers not willing to wait to hammer out a standard, and adding their own mutually-incompatible extensions instead.


In Projects and
Communities
,

if you're not involved with a Java User Group, then check out John Reynolds' blog entry Austin (as in Texas) Java Users Group meeting for a taste of what you're missing. He discusses presentations on Matisse, EJB 3.0, annotations, generics, JavaOne impressions, and more.

The Java Tools Community has just published their 46th Tools Community Newsletter. The newsletter contains a tip on a German version of the Eclipse tutorial, highlights on various projects, and an announcement that the Pencil project has graduated from the community incubator.


fabiane asks What are your secret tools
in today's Forums:
"During JavaOne, the JavaTools Community in collaboration with the JUGs Community presented a BOF entitled " The Developer Tool Box: Jewels to Make Development More Productive, Easier, and Fun!". The idea was to present not very known Java development tools that we find useful and make our lives easier. Now the slides of the presentation are available for you to check what are the hidden gems we found in the develpment tools world. After our presentation, we discussed with the audience what are _their_ secret weapons in terms of development tools. This discussion resulted in a very interesting list of tools and we would like to continue this discussion on-line."

kellyohair works out some details
Re: Improved Stack Trace:
"There has been talk of an expanded LineNumberTable attribute in the debugger team, and as I understand it, the javac compiler is fully capable of adding this additional information. Once you have a full bytecode offset -> (line,column) mapping, things start to become possible in terms of identifying specific positions in lines. But as you can imagine, this isn't a small feat. It would need to be done in a way that doesn't bloat the classfiles too much, and a detailed specification of the attribute would need to be written up. Then the proper JVM TI and JDI changes need to be added to support such a thing."


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How to make your project succeed