“Open” can mean a lot of different things, including in the context of GlassFish. In this entry, I’d like to discuss being open to participation.
The GlassFish community welcomes all sorts of participation. It probably starts with people asking questions and sharing their experience on the mailing lists or forum. The level of activity and response time there varies quite a bit. The engineering team is now crazy busy with the releases of 3.0.1 and 3.1 and as such this is a slower month than usual (with previous ones showing on the contrary record trafic). The other participation activity we’d like to encourage is filling bugs. It’s often much better than trying to fix problems via email (permalink, artifacts, status, priority, etc…) and the bar isn’t really high, in particular we don’t require you to read GlassFish source code or suggest fixes (of course we like patches too!). Reproducible steps are on the other hand pretty much required.
Of course we also like it when people engage with the community to write books that leverage GlassFish one way or another (like this one, that one, and that other one to mention a few) or simply when users write blog entries about their GlassFish experience, good and bad (I personally like “bad but constructive” more than good…). In fact we like it when people take the time to share Java EE feedback as well, as we believe that more platform adoption results in more GlassFish adoption.
Finally there’s the “ultimate” participation stage which is contributing to the development effort and we’ve actually seen an increase recently in the number of people offering help. In particular, this is what a small team of engineers from French company Serli have started doing for the past few months on the application version feature slatted for the 3.1 version. GlassFish is a massive codebase and it can be a challenge to integrate “external” contributors to a core component but this worked out so far very well. I think both parties are excited about this collaboration and you’ll hear more about them (and what they get out of this work) in a podcast soon as well as during the next community event for the Milestone 1 release. In the meantime, thanks guys & keep it going! :)