Community

By far the biggest impression that this morning’s JavaOne keynotes had upon me was their emphasis on community and the social implications of community-enabling technology. Perhaps this is due to the fact that my previous JavaOne experience was a few years ago and also that my day-to-day focus is more upon Microsoft products and technologies than it is upon Java. Recalling my seated wait for the first keynote to commence (after a rather long wait in the registration line and as Magnetic Poets performed), it seems that this emphasis has been there all along. And I know this to be true having served on two different Java Specification Request (JSR) expert groups (52 and 127). It just didn’t hit me before like it did this morning. Conference MC, John Gage, kept saying things like “introduce yourself,” “don’t by shy,” “community,” “participate” and “meet.”

I doubt that later this year when Microsoft hosts its Professional Developers Conference (PDC) in LA that there will be such a community focus. Instead I expect that technology will lead each day.

This isn’t necessarily a good-bad observation, just a difference in mindset. You can certainly have a great community without focusing on the word, and you can have great technology without focusing on it, too. However, the success of both requires some serious attention and neither survives without the other. It’s simply interesting to see the balance struck by Sun and the balance struck, thus far, by Microsoft.

Seeing the Java Business Integration (JBI) 1.0 specification released and hearing about Sun’s new “trend line” regarding open sourcing aspects of Java technologies, etc. (e.g. Mustang, Glassfish) were also interesting, but the clear articulation around community sticks with me the most.

Aside: In my “know what you leverage” crusade, I picked up another colorful metaphor from a keynote demonstration (DTrace for Java): “A small misstep at a higher level of abstraction can lead to a ‘hurricane’ of extra work in lower layers.” How true!

-Craig
http://craigrandall.net/
@craigsmusings