Posted by danese
on June 17, 2003 at 6:09 AM PDT
Post JavaOne catchup on topics I meant to blog last week
This is a long blog (apologies, etc.)
It turns out to be very difficult to blog at JavaOne. For me the main barrier is the lack of easy wireless acess in the General Session room, which I would like to see fixed for next year (I'm probably not alone). Wonder if its even possible to provide public wireless on a sufficient scale for the 15,000 or so people who watch the keynotes live? Well, the public wireless in Manhattan would suggest yes. So most of the bloggers you read during JavaOne had to search out a reliable connections to upload their blogs post keynote which turned out to be problematic on the expo floor (there were so many wireless nets that none of them worked very well).
Okay, here's some interesting stuff I found at JavaOne:
As mentioned in the blog about the Fireside Chat, I was impressed by Lance B. Young who stood up and said that he though it was time for JavaOne Alumnis to stop asking questions and start providing answers. Lance and his mates have pushed a business framework for SWING at http://sourceforge.net/projects/juipiter/ , and the important thing is that they released it in open source (Apache Software License). He had good things to say about the importance of seeding code into the community and making re-usable tools available. I'm hoping Lance will be joining java.net to contribute to the
Next thing, my notes on Tim O'Reilly's walk-on during the Rich Green keynote at JavaOne. Tim has said some of these things before, but they may be new to the JavaOne audience:
Tim said that Perl wasn't really covered by the industry at the beginning, but one day he realized that scripting really IS programming. Open Source didn't have corporate patrons in those days, so he started the Perl Conference (which has grown to become OSCon ). Tim thinks scripting is important because a) Lowers the barrier to being a developer, people can enter the fray. The scripting language is a better way to talk to your computer. If programming is a ultimately just a language to talk to your computer. Perl, Python, php are examples as well as Java b) Paradigm shift: Google, Amazon, eBay are the killer apps for the Internet era. They are radically different than previous appilcations.
Tim told the story of the Mechanical Turk , a purported mechanical chess player which was hoax, but which reputedly inspired Charles Babbage to think about the future of computing in 1820. Tim said that if you go back to Amazon and Google and take the programmer out of the application, it stops working. There are programmers "hidden inside" and if you take away the programmers who are adding the metatags, you are left with no application. Perl, Python, php are the tools those programmers use. Jython an example of unofficial "merger" of Python and Java, but Project Rave (which had just been demo'd previous to Tim's JavaOne walk-on) is a sanctioned effort to bring these two worlds together. Borland, Macromedia, Oracle & Zen are all working on the scripting JSR with Sun. Sun is reaching outside of itself to build the community.
My last note from JavaOne is about the much anticipated panel that was originally titled "Is JCP better than Open Source?":
The backstory on the name of this session, later listed as "An Independent Look at the Java Community Process" is a perfect example of the how people left to their own devices will often assume the worst. Almost immediately after the session titles were released two months ago, I started to get email from various Open Source folks who were concerned. It seems that there were several blogs appearing that angrily assumed Sun was openly announcing its intentions towards Open Source with this session title. So I sent an email off to Rob Gingell , since he was listed as a panel participant, and asked him what was up with the title. Rob is the Sun executive directly responsible for JCP, but he's *also* the Sun executive most responsible for negotiating the new JCP 2.5 terms that allow Open Source re-implementation. He said that the title had been selected by the panel moderator, a journalist named Frank Sommers , and he'd received my email query that he (Rob) hadn't even been aware of the name of the panel. He sent mail to Frank who replied that he had named the session provocatively to get people interested in it, but he hadn't intended to cause a flamewar against Sun. The name was changed as described above to reflect the original session subtitle. The actual content of the session was not particularly controversial. Some people did seem to have misunderstood the intent of the new java.net site. The question, "Does java.net replace the JCP"? came up and Jason Hunter got to say again that his decision to pull JDOM from the JCP was more an expression of personal exhaustion than a political statement against the JCP. All this causes me to reflect again on how easy it is to jump to conclusions, and how it always pays to ask before you assume.