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Come Out And Play

Posted by editor on September 19, 2005 at 8:03 AM PDT

Making your mark on Mustang

It can be done. Outsider contributions will be in the next version of Java, and there's still time to join in.

If you don't believe it, check out the forum message JDK collaboration bug fixes, cited in today's Projects & Communities section. In it, timbell lists 39 bug fixes that have been submitted by outside contributors. Nine of them have already been integrated into Mustang, two of them in the recent b51 build. And some of the submissions under consideration address important stuff, like access to the created-on and last-modified dates of files, conversion of Readers into InputStreams, garbage collection of Dialogs and Frames, and a number of performance fixes.

Mustang's still a long way from final, so there's plenty of time to jump in yourself. Check out the Mustang Snapshot Releases project to get the latest sources and binaries, and the How to Collaborate document to learn how to bet your own fixes in.

Of course, what bugs should you get in on? kenrodd raises this as an interesting question in the forums, in Hunting wabbits... erm, bugs:

Let us say I am keen to 'level up' to being allowed to work on 'riskier fixes and feature enhancements' and so am looking for some 'smallish bug fixes' to start out on. It would be nice if the bug database allowed me to search for 'really old bugs that nobody has ever touched' or 'bugs lodged but not in progress', or even if Sun put together a list of 'smallish fixes that we're not going to get to that would be good for community fixes'. At the moment I can pull up 'Top 25 Bugs' or 'Top 25 RFEs' but they are unlikely to be smallish.

Anyone have some suggestions for Tim? The anecdotal use-case for open source contributions is that people fix the bugs important to them, but what if the act of contribution is more important than the specific fix? Surely there are some little hassles that would be amenable for small, unintrusive fixes. What are they?

By the way, Tim, two points for using the term "level up". Now I'm going to have to explain that to Daniel when he reads this blog.

Also In today's Forums,
hammer wonders about
The Power of Networking:
"I've been a developer for about 6 years (3 companies) now, and always knew somebody at companies I worked for before I was hired. One of the advantages of working as consultant is being able to meet many people (developers, project managers, etc) from different companies. Because I kept good relations with some of these people, the times I've needed/wanted to change jobs were easy because I applied at companies where I knew someone. I did this because I already knew a little bit about the environment, and I was able to get a recommendation. I've also helped 2 or 3 developers get jobs during my career. Because of all this, I don't worry much about being unemployed. Any thoughts from developers with more experience? less experience?"

Also in Projects and
congratulations to the NYJavaSIG on its 10th Anniversary! The 3,500-member group is holding a 10th Anniversary Party on Thursday, September 29, with special guests Jim Waldo and Guy Steele. Food, refreshments, and prizes will be available. Attendees must register in advance at the above link.

Kohsuke Kawaguchi unveils a
Maven plugin
in today's Weblogs:
I have a lot of projects on, so I needed a way to simplify the project management. That's why I came up with the maven plugin. The idea is simple. Maven provides an excellent framework for managing a large number of small projects. So I wrote a plugin to perform specific tasks.