I Like JXTA!

I have been working on the JXTA project for more than six years now. Almost eight years if you add in the time spent on the precursor project. Whether it's six years or eight years, I have worked on JXTA longer than any other single project in my career. Given the rapid pace of change in the computer software industry to work on "one thing" for eight years is very much an anomaly. My own short attention span and conditioned fear response to becoming pigeon-holed should also have inclined me to have long since moved on to the "next big thing". So, why am I still working on JXTA?

Quite simply, I like JXTA! JXTA has consistently been the most interesting and rewarding project I have ever worked on. The coolness of working on JXTA, for me, has several dimensions.

First, and foremost, is that JXTA is an open source project. This has enabled me to interact with developers and users with a far wider variety of perspectives (and cool projects) than I believe I would have encountered working on a traditional closed source project. I also believe that the JXTA project's use of a BSD style license has been important to helping foster the JXTA community. Having no impediments on use of the JXTA spec, technology or source has attracted many users that I don't believe would have found JXTA as attractive under another license.

Another cool aspect of working on JXTA has been the technology itself. Building high performance, robust, efficient software for real-world hetrogenous networks is not trivial. JXTA solves, or attempts to solve, some really difficult networking problems and provides developers an interface for building sophisticated collaboration applications. Working on the gnarly problems that JXTA solves has been incredibly interesting and rewarding.

Working on JXTA also been very much a learning experience. We've not been afraid to try new approaches and push the boundaries of technology. Not everything we've tried in the last six years as part of JXTA has been a perfect success, but we've hopefully learned as much or more from the efforts which have failed or fallen short as those which succeeded. Back to the community aspect, there are many false paths which we were able to avoid by using the JXTA community's collective experience. There have been just as many good ideas from the community which have made JXTA better as there have been bad ideas avoided.

My JXTA colleagues and Sun management have also made JXTA a great project to work on. I keep saying that Sun is the last technology company I expect to ever work for. (Well, if you hang around me long enough you'll hear me say that). Sun has a fantastic work culture and I really, really love being able to tele-commute almost 100% of the time. Not having to commute lets me concentrate on what I like best, hacking code! The last couple of years haven't been the easiest time to work at Sun. I have to give Sun management a lot of credit for recognizing the value and potential of JXTA and continuing to fund development.

I'm not sure if I will still be working on JXTA in another six or eight years. If I could be assured that the next eight years would be as much fun as the last eight years I would be disappointed if I couldn't continue to work on JXTA!

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