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From Stefano Mazzocchi <stef...@apache.org>
Subject Re: Backward compatibility
Date Thu, 12 May 2005 00:30:43 GMT
Gerry Steele wrote:
> Hi
> I actually did seem a bit cynical there.
> I forgot to mention that if there is anything I can do to help let me know 
> or perhaps I'll keep an eye on the lists. I've experience with the JCK & 
> other tests so I could be useful in the QA area considering it's quite an 
> esoteric task. I do believe that variety and competition is good in software 
> for everyone. Though I do feel a bit sorry for sun.. they put up the money 
> to develop and create the Java world we have now and everyone seems to want 
> it for their own. 

ehm, before apache got interested in servlets, java was a technology to 
implement applets in web pages. It was because of the Servlet API that 
java started to be considered as a serious platform and Apache was 
instrumental for that in releasing the state-of-the-art servlet engines 
since 1997.

The java world is thankful to Sun and to Apache. Sun and Apache are 
thankful to one another and respect each other deeply.

Sun is afraid of open source because they claim it will be easy for big 
corporations to steer away from JVM compatibility. It's like parents 
that are afraid of seeing their kids go out of the house: understandable 
and irrational at the same time.

We want to show them there is no such a fear to have, just like having 
Tomcat the biggest player in the servlet engine market *helped* 
stabilizing the servlet technology, not the other way around.

So, they claimed that servlets were already a wasteland for strategy 
reasons, so we created Geronimo.

And now that we are ready to show how open source support for J2EE makes 
the compatibility promise stronger, not weaker, we felt ready to push to 
the next and final level: the VM.

The message is clear: open source and free software are allies, not 
enemies: they all drink at the same stream, polluting it with 
incompatibilities would be suicidal for a community-driven development.

Apache gives the proper legal, economical and social contracts that are 
needed for the java world to feel confident that evolution won't mean 

The *only* reason why Sun wants to keep spending all that money in 
writing a JVM is because they are afraid that if they let go, others 
will run the show.

We talked and talked and talked for *years* to try to convince Sun this 
was not the case, we got even very close at one point, but then the 
bubble exploded, people got burned and the deal went down the drain.

We are sick of talking.

It's time we do what we are best at: build communities that write 
software that becomes the *de facto* standard in their space.

And look around: we have a pretty good history of doing that.

> And they don't exactly ask for a lot from users..... just 
> remember that the nearest competitor costs a small fortune.

Oh, we know that. Look at gump: do you think we really want to rewrite 
all those million lines of code?

> Another sidenote is Project Peabody. All those bugs in Mustang that have 
> been bothering you are now open to anyone to submit fixes. 
> http://java.sun.com/developer/technicalArticles/J2SE/peabody/

That is a step forward, very true, but that is not open source and not 
an environment where the more I commit the more I can influence 
architectural decisions. If just feels like I'm working for you for 
free: you will get fixes, but no innovation.

> And you get a free t-shirt when you contribute!

Big deal, here you get enough visibility and respect to earn 20K$ more 
at your next job. ;-)


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