GlassFish Community at 20 Months
By pelegri on Nov 12, 2006
We formally launched GlassFish at JavaOne 2005. Less than a year after that, at JavaOne 2006, we celebrated our first release, delivering the Java EE 5 Reference Implementation, and we are now midway through our second release.
Today's announcements of OpenSourcing all of Java under GPLv2 (see GlassFish and CDDL) are a good reason to look back at the last 20 months; here is a quick recap:
Artifacts: The GlassFish community has two main deliverables used directly by our customers: the GlassFish AppServer, the Java EE 5 Reference Implementation (distributed as SJS AS by Sun) and TopLink Essentials, the Java Persistence API implementation. The community also populates a Maven Repository and creates a number of reusable modules (Grizzly, JAXB, Shoal, many more).
Releases: We currently have 3 release trains, simply called "v1", "v2" and "v3". GlassFish v1 went final earlier this year, at JavaOne 2006; this release was production quality but some features were left out to focus on implementing the full Java EE 5 standard by that date. GlassFish v2 is adding the missing features - and more - and also represents a big move towards community participation and transparency. GlassFish v3 is just starting and is centered around modularization.
Enterprise Quality: GlassFish v2 is looking like a really strong release. It's hard to be fair to all the features but it includes: Clustering Management, In-Menory Replication, Dynamic Clustering, new WS Stack including MS interoperability, many User Improvements and performance in many areas, including the ORB.
Community: During GF v1 the large majority of the contributions were from Sun or Oracle but things are starting to change during GF v2. The level of participation is still uneven: some areas like JAXB, JSF, TopLink Essentials have strong participation, others less. We often hear of the value of TheAquarium towards supporting this community.
Adoption: GlassFish v1 is a solid release and we hear of many adoption stories, but we expect a very big adoption pickup with GF v2. We informally track a number of Adoption Metrics; the picture accompaning this blog is from Google Trends. You can clearly see when we launched GlassFish, when TheAquarium started, and the buzz around our latest F/OSS announcement. We recently announced that GlassFish will be bundled in Ubuntu distros.
Transparency: We have made great strides towards real transparency in GF v2. All our sources are now living in the public repositories at Java.Net; almost all our developer discussions are happening in public (most exceptions are related to partner-confidential information). Our new external wiki is our day-to-day repository, with roadmaps, onepagers, etc.
License and Governance: We have been using CDDL since the launch of GlassFish; we will continue to do that, but we are also Adding GPLv2, which should help with more linux distributions. We have written down the GlassFish Principles. We have had a relatively informal Governance Policy, we are in the process of creating a strawman for a more formal one, possibly with the help of a Community Adivsory Board.
Our Future: The last 20 months have been a lot of work but also incredibly rewarding. Many challenges still lie ahead to create a totally participatory community that delivers high quality production code in consistent schedules that can be used in products and, at the same time, fosters the creativity, modularization, recombination properties present in most open source projects... but, with your help, we will continue to move in that direction.