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Java.net won't replace SourceForge

Interview with Sun man calms troubled waters
Thu Jun 12 2003, 09:26
I'VE RECENTLY had the opportunity to question Dick Gabriel, Danese Cooper and Simon Phipps of Sun about Java.net. I began with a considerable amount of harsh criticism, but their responses, answers and clarifications have calmed me considerably.

If you're involved with Java or open source and don't know what Java.net is, you will. The idea behind it is fairly straightforward at first blush. They want to create a place where Java open source developers can come to collaborate in a manner similar to SourceForge's Java Foundry community.

When I first learned this I immediately assumed the worst: Sun is trying to elbow SourceForge out of the picture and place Java in the forefront of the open source movement (somehow invalidating PHP and C based projects), which would create factions in open source and divide the community. These are the assertions and concerns I placed on the table when I talked to Danese and Simon.

I was very pleased to learn that this was not the case. In fact, Danese went on the record in saying that Sun had approached SourceForge and offered them the site. For reasons we've yet to learn, SourceForge declined. Java.net is not in any way intended to draw projects off of SourceForge, but rather intends to link them together, provide meta-project resources for entire communities and syndicate content between community affiliated sites in a simple fashion (using RSS). They'll also offer wikis, blogs and other meta-project resources.

"It's purely an aggregation community-related site and community-building tool, it's like Java town square--similar to the Java Foundry at SourceForge, but we think it does more to ease collaboration and brainstorming", Phipps went on to explain.

I was concerned about the programming language-bias of the site at first, but I'm beginning to realize there aren't any other sites that offer high level collaboration on this scale. Besides, good ideas are a dime a dozen--I'm sure the PHP folks can and will respond with their own community-building site. We'll be glad to have some neighbors when that time comes. µ

 

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