Tuesday, May 15, 2007

What Future for Apache Jakarta?

Apache Jakarta is a project which has spawned many significant landmarks in open source Java; Ant, Tomcat, Jakarta Commons, Maven, and Struts amongst many others.

In years gone by it was a widely known and respected "brand" which working java developers trusted.
I trusted it, I got free stuff to help me with what I was doing but more important than that I knew that I could make Jakarta my first stop if I had a problem that needed solving.

However the world moved on and two things happened:

Firstly the ASF Board indicated three years or so ago that the Members weren't happy that Jakarta should be as large, powerful and autonomous as it was fast becoming, and so after much debate the agreed direction was clear, Jakarta sub-projects would be encouraged and supported in becoming top level projects of Apache, deflating Jakarta and restoring balance and oversight. Most of them have been promoted in the intervening years, and only a few die-hards remain, but this is changing and they are now preparing to leave as well.

Secondly the Java ecology has changed radically in the past few years. Not only through the normal maturing of ideas and the distillation of best practice, but also from the introduction of resources like java.net, the entry of other trusted (often commercial) players into the open source arena, and changes to the JCP which have resulted in JSR's actually completing their life cycle. All of these have significantly enhanced the pool of "trusted sources" that java developers can go to.

So as we now approach the end of the reorganisation of Jakarta we're faced with a big decision, should we consign the brand to the history blogs? Or does it continue to represent something valuable to Java developers?

Successful brands are hard to create and easy to destroy, if we act without thinking about it we might be making a big mistake. On the other hand I am too close to it now to know whether or not this brand still means something to people who are, like I was then, the geek on the street.

So Please let me know whether you think the Apache Jakarta brand is worth preserving, or not worth loosing too much sleep over.

Record your opinion: (If you can't see the drop down list below click here)
  • If you think the brand should be retained choose I agree.
  • If you think there is no longer a need for it in today's world choose I disagree.

Click here to view the votes so far.

Or you can comment here, say something on general@jakarta, or blog about it and link your posts to this one.


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I know nothing, I'm not a fortune teller, and you'd be insane to think that I am. This disclaimer was cribbed from an email footer I once received. It is so ridiculous I had to have it for myself.

Statements in this blog that are not purely historical are forward-looking statements including, without limitation, statements regarding my expectations, objectives, anticipations, plans, hopes, beliefs, intentions or strategies regarding the future. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward looking statements include risks and uncertainties such as any unforeseen event or any unforeseen system failures, and other risks. It is important to note that actual outcomes could differ materially from those in such forward-looking statements.

Danny Angus Copyright © 2006-2013 (OMG that's seven years of this nonsense)