By eweek  |  Posted 2006-12-01 Print this article Print

So is what were seeing a new and improved, or kinder and gentler JBoss? Im talking about things like you guys opening up your governance model, and so on. I wouldnt characterize it as a kinder, gentler JBoss. Were definitely as aggressive and competitive as usual. What people perceive as aggressiveness and silo mentality is a lot of passion for the work we do.
We have suffered from that image in the past. And some of our competitors have played up the fact that the JBoss guys are behaving like a sect. When, in fact, if you look at the composition of our community, we have an order of magnitude more committers than our direct open-source competitors.
But the perception is still there. Bull even said something about that perception. And wed been thinking about opening up the governance. So when Bull provided us with a great study case, we decided to put the pedal to the metal. But make no mistake this is not going to be a free-for-all. We care a lot about the quality of what gets committed. We invest very heavily in all our projects. Were serious about this so we expect the same level of seriousness from our collaborators. There is going to be a hybrid model where there is an opening up of the governance. In terms of code contributions its always been there. But now its been made explicit instead of implicit and open to attacks of "closedness." JBoss has always been an open community, but weve hired most of our primary committers. Well, you seem more willing to compromise and evolve your stance on things. Like SCA [Service Component Architecture]—initially you were against it, but it seems like youve changed your mind. Well, yeah, the specific SCA stance today is there is no reason for us to be for or against it. If it plays out in the market, well support it. And I think Mark Little [a JBoss core developer] said it very well that the ESB implementations usually outlive standards. So what youre seeing from us is mostly due to Mark Littles influence. Mark has been around in the standards arena and has seen all these standards come and go. So its not about the standards, its about our implementation in support of all these standards. And its not our place to be waging a standards war. Its our place to implement and let the market decide and well follow the market. So where Ill agree with you is that its less of a dogmatic position in terms of perceived competition and more focus on what we do well, which is implementations. Another thing is JBoss four years ago was very much Marc Fleury and the competitive stance against Sun and things like that. Today I dont do anything. In fact, I actively stay out in terms of not getting in the way of my guys. So its both a sign of maturity and of a more diverse organization. Im representing more than leading the technical direction these days. And thats a very good thing. You said you approached David Heinemeier Hansson, the creator of Ruby on Rails, to work at JBoss. What other types of developers are you interested in hiring? Yeah, we did approach him. There is a lot of talent around the Web framework. One of the problems is its a very fragmented community at a personal level. You have one guy and his framework. Though, this is not the case with Ruby on Rails. But theres a lot of innovation thats going on that would benefit from unification under a bigger distribution umbrella and bigger R&D umbrella. And I think JBoss/Red Hat is in a position to offer that. So were always talking about new guys. One of the things I like to do is talk to the core developers and say, "Where are you in terms of recruitment?" And were talking to scripting guys. I think scripting is the next frontier as [Ruby on Rails] has showed. We have a unique opportunity of bringing under one big branded umbrella a diverse group of folks that today are doing excellent work, be it the scripting crowd, REST, Web framework, or the Faces, or the guys integrating with Seam. All of the work were doing is going to take more people and were always on the lookout for the right talent and the right fit. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis in programming environments and developer tools.


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