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From toby cabot <>
Subject Re: ANN: Geronimo 1.0-M3 Release
Date Wed, 09 Feb 2005 17:04:01 GMT
Bruce, Geronimo Team,

"What we've got here, is a failure to communicate."

There's a difference between "progress" and "the appearance of
progess" and both are important.  There's a *lot* of progress
happening, and you guys are justifiably proud of that progress, but
the message that you're getting here is that it's harder than it
should be for "outsiders" to figure that out.

It's probably hard for people to really understand this if they're too
close to the project, but as a gedankenexperiment try pretending that
you're some random guy that's heard about Geronimo and wants to find
out more about it.  So you go to, maybe look at
the releases on the front page, maybe click on the "news" link, and
for 99.99% of the people that's it, they're gone.  I think you'll
agree that from that perspective the *appearance* of progress is way
out of line with the *actual* progress.  I think that will probably
push a lot of people away.  If nothing else, it's troll food.

So in the spirit of constructive criticism I'll offer a few
suggestions that I hope will make the *appearance* of progress more
closely reflect the *actual* progress:

1. The code in the svn repo is light years more functional than the
code on the front page of the website, and releases are disruptive and
time-consuming (and thus infrequent), so maybe someone can add a note
to the "Downloads" section of the home page, something like:

  Geronimo development is moving quickly, so we recommend that you get
  a copy of the source code and build it, rather than use any binary release
  that's more than a month old.  By building from source you'll get
  the latest functionality and you'll also be one step closer to being
  able to contribute to Geronimo.  Instructions for building Geronimo
  can be found on the Geronimo wiki at

2. From mailing list traffic I've seen it looks as if the source
releases are broken (at least the tarballs), and they're definitely
obsolete and unmaintained, so why not just get rid of them entirely?
People who are interested in the code would be *much* better served by
getting it from source control.

3. A couple of people mentioned that a lot of work is going on behind
the scenes that can't be publicised because of agreements with Sun,
etc etc.  So why not add a note to the News page indicating that?
Something like:

  The Geronimo Development Team is now working on J2EE certification.
  Because of our agreements with Sun we're not allowed say anything 
  specific about our status, but we're working hard and making 

4. There *is* a lot more news about Geronimo than is on the news page.
Didn't EJBQL just land the other day?  That's significant!  Maybe
moving news to the wiki would make it easier for folks to add items
that they think are important.  Hell, if nobody's got the time to add
items to the news page maybe the link on the home page should point to .  That page isn't all
that easy to read but at least it's got lots of recent changes to it.

I believe that a small amount of time spent bringing appearances in
line with reality would be well spent in terms of saving time by not
having discussions like this one.  It might even attract more people
to Geronimo, at least it won't turn them away.  If folks agree with
the gist of these ideas I can submit a patch to the web site.


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