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From Dmitry Serebrennikov <dmitr...@earthlink.net>
Subject Re: Apache Booth At JavaOne
Date Sat, 11 Jun 2005 17:22:34 GMT

Here's an idea that occurred to me yesterday after reading Geir's post 
about booth at Java ONE. I think this is a good opportunity, but needs 
more thoughts.

You know how James Gosling keeps saying that Sun's customers tell them 
they would run for the hills if Java was opensourced, etc., etc.? Well, 
JavaOne is a gathering of just these types of customers, and they will 
be walking around the pavilion, possibly stopping by the Apache booth. 
What an opportunity to validate (and hopefully disprove) that assertion! 
If we could just come up with a way to poll people as they stop by the 
booth, we might have an excellent argument to counteract Gonsling's 
FUD/misunderstanding (whichever it is).

Not only that, but at the same time we could actually educate people on 
(a) what OSS is *really* all about, (b) what Apache and Harmony's 
intentions are for Java (no incompatibility, just improvement), (c) 
about work that has already been done by other OSS projects in the Java 
VM field (gcj, classpath, etc).

Without the booth, there will be a few people that come the OSS-related 
sessions, fewer still will be at the Harmony session. But the booth 
changes things. If we conduct this kind of poll at the booth, and 
generate buzz about the booth at the sessions, we could reach vastly 
more people! Of course the booth is meant to be shared between all 
Java-related Apache projects, but isn't Harmony kind of an overriding 
umbrella that relates to and benefits all of these projects? Logically, 
it makes sense to have Harmony represented at the booth at all times, 
even if politically this may require negotiation. But maybe having a 
poll station and a stand with questions (see below), even as the rest of 
the booth is devoted to other topics, wouldn't be that difficult?

Isn't this an exciting opportunity? What I envision is something like 
this. Like I said, this requires more thought on exactly how to do this.
We present people with a series of questions, maybe 3 or 4, designed to 
spark their interest and explain benefits of a fully-compatible OSS Java 
implementation to them. At the end, we ask - Would you support an open 
source Java implementation that delivered the above? Yes / No. This 
could be printed on a largish poster so that people see it over the 
heads of others and also printed on postcard-sized sheets of paper. 
Under the poster and next to these postcards we put two fishbowls with 
big "Yes" and "No" scotch-taped to them. They grab the postcard, mark 
off their answer, fill in a comment if they want, and drop it in the 
right bowl. It might be good to ask for their name and org, but I'm not 
sure. Having that would help with legitimacy, but it's too much work to 
fill out and will cause lots of work for us to sort though anyway.

I don't suppose we are going to have one of those card readers there, 
will we? I think they cost extra.

Now, the postcards have an additional benefit. It's a matter of funds to 
print more of them, but the more we have, the more we can use them. We 
can distribute them at the entrance, cafeteria, etc. We can distribute 
them at sessions. The cards would also have the booth number on them to 
draw people in. They could even be as small as business cards, but they 
will be hard to see then. This would also just draw people to the Apache 
booth in general, so other projects might even be interested in 
supporting this idea as well.

So, what about the questions? Here are some ideas.
At the top, in large font, a big draw-in header. Something like: Is Open 
Source Java a Good Thing?
Then something like this:
<bold>Have you ever found a bug in Java that broke your application?
           You could have just fixed it, but had to work around it 
OSS Java will not only let you fix it and distribute your code with your 
application, but you would benefit from other people making such fixes, 
while you can just focus on your work and stop wasting time on workarounds!

<bold>Do you work with a platform that Sun's Java does not support?
           Have you ever wished that someone would just write a good JVM 
for it?</bold>
OSS Java with a vibrant community will provide an incentive to do just 
this. Because codebase is shared and understood by many people, the cost 
of adding a new platform becomes smaller over time, while the benefits 
become larger!


It needs a third one, but I can't think of one right now. I think we 
absolutely need to emphasize rigorous compatibility. But I can't think 
of how to put that in this format at the moment. Thoughts? Comments? 
What other benefits do we want to highlight?


Geir Magnusson Jr. wrote:

> All,
> The ASF will have a booth at JavaOne this year.  We will be staffing  
> the booth with projects, each project there for 2 hours or so to tell  
> people about the project and the ASF in general.
> If anyone would like to volunteer to help out, add your name here :
> http://wiki.apache.org/jakarta/ApacheAtJavaOne2005
> geir

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