Blogging From The Jazoon: Keynotes Tuesday

24. June, 2008

So this is day one of the Jazzon with the keynotes and talks. I’ll go through things as they happened.

Scalable Languages

Martin Odersky, father of Scala, gave an introduction to scalable languages or rather to Scala. Well, Scala looks really promising with its traits and other features. But my original objection still remainds: The syntax is just ugly. Proves my point that there are only five people on this planet who can design a language and of them, I only know Guido van Rossum.

Adoption-Led Market

Simon Phipps followed wth a talk about the “Adoption-Led Market“. It’s astonishing how many OSS projects Sun supports or started and how little is known about that. Marketing again. *sigh* His talk wasn’t all about Sun but how people start to despise vendors or rather their promise that their product is going to deliver to the promise … after you’ve paid for it. Of course in an OSS world, where you can just download something and try it out, it becomes increasingly hard for them to “justify their 1000% profit margin.”

This is a very good point. With OSS software, you pay for what you need (and not what the vendor things is best for himbbbyou). If you need a feature, support or whatnot, well, you can always pay someone to give it to you. But then, you pay when you need it. That makes is a justifiable cost, not an arbitrary one. Also, support gets you what you need when you need it. Just imagine to ask MicroSoft for a specific feature in Windows which you need. How much would that cost? What are you’re chances to actually get it? Forget it! But with OSS, for the first time in software history, you can get what you need for a reasonable price and you might even make someone on the other side of the planet very happy.

Of course, “the greatest threat to freedom is a happy slave” but the talk gave a lot of arguments how to sell OSS to your company, even if that company happens to be the government.

He also gave a good reason which OSS license to chose for your next OSS project:

A license is the constitution of a community

Eben Moglen

Nice guy, good talk. If you can, vote for his photo at his website.


The third keynote was by Rod Johnson: “Where will tomorrows innovation in Java Enterprise come from?” After explaining where innovation comes from, he shows how standards kill innovation and how committees can’t drive innocation due to political games by the companies who dispatch the people that form these committees plus general group stupidity.

After the more or less failure of the JCP in recent years, attributed mostly to ignoring feedback from the community and drowning ideas in ceremony, he hopes that JSR 316 (that’s Java Enterprise version 6) will help to fix Java EE. If it does, then that might mean that a good sign that the JCP has become a helper for the Java cause instead of another reason to abandon it.

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