Some Geronimo anti-FUD

by Tim O'Brien

Lot's of Geronimo FUD going around these days. I'm here to tell you that a J2EE application server under the Apache Software License will be a welcome addition. And, I'm not huge multinational corporation here, I'm an independent developer who just prefers a BSD-style license.

Sean Gallagher's blog talks about Geronimo's impeding impact on the Java community, and he specifically talks about how Geronimo will negatively impact Sun, ruin the market for proprietary app servers, and allow companies to corrupt J2EE. I'll paraphrase, "Geronimo is going to ruin everything because it isn't LGPL. Sun will lose control of J2EE because Geronimo is an end-run around the JCP".

First, I have to compliment Steve Gallagher on his mastery of the "barbarians at the gates" writing style. I've never seen J2EE application servers put in a more dramatic light. What scares me about a publication like eWeek is that it is essentially the opposite of what I like to see in a publication. Instead of in-depth analysis, you get the following digestable snippets of industry-talk. Or, as in this article, oddly uninformed scare tactics in a magazine geared towards technology management. In "The Geronimo Effect" Gallagher writes:

"Sun (and perhaps the Java community at large) faces an even bigger problem post-Geronimo. If Geronimo becomes the de facto reference implementation, theoretically companies could use the ASF to do an end run around the JCP with new features—donating significant pieces of code that could break compatibility with the JCP-blessed version. How will Sun, or anyone else for that matter, be able to preserve compatibility once the J2EE genie is out of the bottle?"

Exactly how would company X do an "end-run" around the JCP. He said this: "Theoretically" companies could "use" the ASF to do an "end run" around the JCP with new features. There are two things that Steve does not understand - the ASF and the JCP. Geronimo wouldn't be able to call itself a "J2EE" application server if it wasn't compliant. In fact, Apache and JBoss hold seats on the JCP Executive Committee; in other words, both organizations believe in the JCP.

Moving beyond the misunderstanding of the JCP, let's take a look at the "using the ASF" idea. First, the ASF is made up of hundreds of volunteers flung about the globe. There is little "using" going on. When a company does appear to be "using" the ASF, they are usually scolded and told to stop. One of the exit criteria from Apache Incubator is:

"The project is not highly dependent on any single contributor (there's at least 3 legally independent committers and there is no single company or entity that is vital to the success of the project)" - from this incubator policy

Clearly, someone is trying to poison the well for Geronimo. Maybe, we should just let it compete on merit before we start summoning the thunderclouds of doom.

Do you wake up in the middle of the night screaming at the thought of this impending "Geronimo Effect"? Or, do you think JBoss is using industry mags to scare people away from Geronimo?


2005-07-07 07:14:15
thank you !
In a brilliant piece by Tim O'Reilly, the paranoia regarding Google's GMail is discussed shortly and dismissed, point by point.
thank you!

Tim then goes on and focuses on the real issues regarding Google’s take on information and information management. O'Reilly...