by Daniel H. Steinberg
Related link: http://today.java.net
This morning we launched Java.net. The website is a collaboration among O'Reilly, Sun Microsystems, and CollabNet. As described in the vision article, a goal is to provide a place where developers can gather to "work on things, find things, ask questions, and participate." The site will feature articles and soon less traditional content, blogs, a wiki, and projects being worked on by various communities. We'll have to settle in a bit and find our place in the Java community. Come visit Java Today on Java.net and help us find our spot.
The nature of publishing is such that you can't really experiment in private. Have an idea for a "Hacks" book series? You have to just put it out there with the O'Reilly name on it and see how it does. A couple of years ago, moving into the Macintosh space was risky. O'Reilly introduced books, launched the MacDevcenter website, and added a conference for Mac Developers to their offerings.
I'm sure that there are people who see the Missing Manuals or the Head First books and say "that's not O'Reilly." Some people will look at Java.net with the same reservations. What is O'Reilly doing for a Sun owned and Sun branded website? We're managing the content for the site. We hope to have articles written by a diverse set of developers on any topic of interest to Java developers. Like the sites in the O'Reilly network, blogs are featured on the front page. Now that Java.net has debuted and we're allowed to talk about the site more widely we will try to recruit a more diverse group of bloggers -- but we think we are starting with a great group.
O'Reilly was also brought in because of their long experience with quality web publishing. I've written for various O'Reilly websites for a couple of years and have enjoyed working with these people but I never appreciated all that they do. In these last two months of preparing for the launch they have done so much work and most of it won't be noticed. It's like the lighting in a stage play. If you notice the lighting, something was probably wrong with it. Bruce Stewart and Derrick Story have provided much help and guidance. Sarah Breen and Terrie Miller have been great producers who have helped transform the specifications to the site you'll see. They certainly have people that support them in the same ways that they support me. Once the site launches, Sarah will be producing it day to day. Terrie helped make the mountain of last minute requirements go away. Kimmy the wonderwife has heard Nancy Abila and Dale Dougherty's names often enough and my daughters recognize Nancy and Dale's icons on iChat and try not to interrupt me when they see that I'm in an online meeting. I listen very carefully when either Nancy or Dale has something to say about the site.
I hope you enjoy our new venture. If you think it's "not really O'Reilly" drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org . If there's something you'd like us to cover or consider adding, email me. We're viewing this as a beta release of a site that we will be tuning for the foreseeable future.