For the Coming Year...
It's that time of year, when the air is crisp and cool, and lights fill the air with the glint of good cheer and renewal. It's when wishes are fulfilled; when revitalization is just around the corner. I'd like to take some time to share some of the things I'd like to see for the next year, and about the people for whom I'd like to see them.
For Sun: I'd love for them to come up with a unified business and marketing plan, and stick to it. They have a marvelous suite of products, filled with potential; however, poor marketing and occasional shoddy construction mangle it in the field for the low- to mid-range markets. With a decent business plan and more cohesive price structures, they could easily go head-to-head with their competition...including the other four-hundred pound gorillas, Microsoft and IBM. It would also free them from paying unnecessary attention to small fry.
For JBoss: Patience! JBoss Group is a bunch of techies; hard-core programmers who maintain their reputation by being crusty, demanding, and hard to deal with. A lot of people lambaste them for it, while not realizing that when it gets down to brass tacks, these are exactly the sort of personalities you want running the trains, as opposed to a lot of feel-good marketers who don't know what they're talking about.
For Apache: I hope your endless confusion about what the world needs in components becomes clear. Perhaps you could do some of the clarification yourselves. Some of the stuff hosted by Jakarta is really useful; a lot of it is worth the derision that occasionally gets thrown at it by the monkeys.
For Microsoft: My fondest wish for these guys is that someone - anyone - would drop by and teach them something - anything - about security besides how to expose data unwillingly again and again and again and again. I have to hand it to Microsoft: they're great at protecting most of their own data while providing the means to expose virtually everyone else's stuff. I'm glad I rarely use Windows, even though I think it has a very acceptable user interface. My next wish for Microsoft would be that they'd realize how much fun it can be to try to dominate through technical prowess, instead of through marketing gimmicks and stupid advertising campaigns. That stupid MSN butterfly costume has to be one of the scariest ad campaigns ever - because my fear is that they expected people to take it seriously. Compounding that fear is the thought that people might have fulfilled that expectation.
For specification writers everywhere: I would put forth hope that they realize that, while surely not being mortal themselves, those who use their specifications most likely are fallible humans, and that their specifications are written with implementors and users in mind. Sometimes I think this is the crucial flaw in the JCP - with the apparent attitude repaired, all other failures could be forgiven and rectified in time.
For JDJ: I hope we can continue to inform and focus the Java community, such that it is, for the betterment of all.
For application vendors not necessarily in the Java space: I would love to see clues about Java's speed, reliability, and ease of use descend upon them like manna from above. I've been using a "less-supported" platform recently, and I'd like nothing better than to see common applications that I'd rely on written in Java so I could use them. What would be the icing on this particular cake is if some as-yet-unnamed vendor provided assistance - for a small fee, of course - to help make this happen.
For you: I wish for you all peace, love, a Coke, and a smile.
For myself: I wish I didn't keep mixing my similes. I want the best possible world for my children, health and happiness for my family, a happy working environment, enough freedom to do as I please while harming no one else, and enough room to crank up the volume every now and then without annoying the neighbors too much.
Joseph Ottinger is a consultant with Fusion Alliance (www.fusionalliance.com) and is a frequent contributor to open source projects in a number of capacities. Joe is also the acting chairman of the JDJ Editorial Advisory Board.