The Mobile and Embedded Ecosystem
The main reason that I am at JavaOne this year is that I produce the weekly Java Mobile and Embedded Podcast hosted by Roger Brinkley and Terrence Barr. My voice doesn't appear in the show so many people don't know that I'm involved, but I have really enjoyed working with this project over the past year and getting to know the members of the mobile and embedded community and the many cool projects you can find there.
One of the fun things about the mobile and embedded community is that they get things done -- a lot of things done. This is a community that builds on each other's work. This is a community that makes announcements when a project is ready or well along the way and not when a couple of developers have a "what if" discussion over beers.
And yes -- they've always had the cool toys. You may mainly associate this community with Java running in cell phones but there's so much more going on.
At Community One yesterday, Roger presented a session on "Extending, Expanding, and Porting Mobile and Embedded Community Projects." Roger wore a classic golf outfit that included knickers and a matching cap along with patterned socks and a matching sweater. He fastened a Sun SPOT to the end of a hickory golf club and the SPOT helped him analyze his swing.
It's all about the toys.
And yet it's not. The Sun SPOT is one of the core projects for Mobile and Embedded but there are tons of projects being built on top of the phone ME project. The CQME project is all about tools for testing ME projects. It lives in java.net's tools community but, if Java allowed multiple inheritence, would also extend the Mobile and Embedded community.
Brinkley explained that one of the advantages of the Trackbots or Sun SPOTs is that if you take a software person and let them touch the hardware that can do cool things because of their software -- it inspires and energizes them.
For me the takeaway is that this is a community that is actually a community. They are building on each other's work. They are sharing ideas. They have built a culture of creating and shipping very cool projects.