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From Calum Shaw-Mackay <calum.shawmac...@gmail.com>
Subject Re: Environment Spec? [was; drop JDK 5 compatibility]
Date Mon, 14 Feb 2011 11:21:33 GMT

On 14 Feb 2011, at 10:45, Dan Creswell wrote:

> On 14 February 2011 10:02, Calum Shaw-Mackay <calum.shawmackay@gmail.com>wrote:
> 
>> 
>> On 14 Feb 2011, at 05:29, MICHAEL MCGRADY wrote:
>> 
>>> I think that the original vision needs to be revisited and River needs to
>> see if that vision has been realized or not.  There might be no point in
>> going further.  Further and further and further is not the point.  The point
>> today is what is the point?
>> 
>> I agree for the most part with this, but given that the Jini 2.1 starter
>> kit was released over 5 years ago, and we're now looking to 2.1.2, I believe
>> that without a clear roadmap, or indeed some ideas that can be explored,
>> Jini will be going no further anyway. So I think my version is more like
>> 'The point today is what has been stalling us?', and I understand the
>> upheaval and the like with the move from Sun to Apache stewardship, but this
>> alone cannot account for nearly five years of near stagnation.
>> 
> 
> Can't account for stagnation? Oh, I think it can. No evangelists, no one
> putting into systems (perhaps because they don't know how to), no bug
> fixing, no removal of rough edges, no focus on packaging, no experienced
> developers for the core and thus a need for training etc etc.

Well I can;t really argue with that, except to say that the things you mention are offshoots
of a perceived stagnation that turned into actual stagnation

> 
> 
>> The development arena of 5 years ago is different from the one of today,
>> irrespective of the original vision, there has to be a view of how we make
>> Jini and River relevant today, to drive adoption and new blood, and we
>> cannot do this unless at least some part of the community is willing to look
>> outside, see where the trends and issues are, and begin to discuss where
>> River can augment or help with those trends and issues, and then at some
>> point actually do it.
>> 
>> 
> Observation: Many of the trends and issues today are related to how software
> is built today. The way software is built today is no different from the way
> it was being built upwards of a decade and a half ago. The only thing that
> changed was the tools and they all do the same things as has been done
> before just in a different way.

And the traction that these tools have, will have an affect on whether River/Jini can have
any potential within those toolsets, People don't build enterprise applications they build
enterprise applications with spring, or perhaps an even worse viewpoint is that the build
spring applications for the enterprise.

> 
> Adoption: Why do you want to drive it? To what end? What's the big picture?
> We can all play around in the weeds or invent new, long, detailed roadmaps
> but so what? What's the big picture piece that shapes everything?

This is the big question that no-one seems either a) willing/able to answer, or b) to say,
these pieces have large adoption, can Jini dovetail nicely with that, and how is that leveraged.

> 
> Relevant: Relevant to whom? That target audience dictates the rules by which
> you make yourself relevant.

That, like many other things, has to be decided.

> 
> If you want to change the world, you make yourself relevant by doing
> something different and convincing people. If all you want is adoption, well
> you make Jini/River look like everything else but then you look like any
> other old app server or framework.

I think you're right, but you really need both - there's no point being able to change the
world if there is no one there to see it or notice it. 

> 
> Personally, I see little point in debating the past or talking about
> stagnation. I'd prefer to talk about what we'd qualify as success, then we
> can figure out what we'll do about it and indeed who's interested in being
> around to do it.

I think one of the key things we need to do is to kickstart the specs process (so we at least
have something to aim for, from the Jini end), look at what current development trends are,
and although I'm not saying we should dilute the technology by pandering to the masses, we
should see where we can add value, perhaps that may well begin within Apache, but I wouldn't
be positioned to start that I'm afraid.

--Calum
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