Best of Breed
Quick brainstorm idea I just had, I'm at work so I'll expand on it later.
One of the advantages Microsoft has is it's complete control over the technologies that it's developers use. The company gives you choice, but it's along the lines of VB or C#. Period. Choose. I was just looking at some of the many SOAP stuff (from an article that was sent to me via The Server Side) and thinking - wow, there's a lot of these.
As Java and OSS developers, we all sort of try to follow the flow of what everyone else is using and what is the best. There's lots of choices out there for tools and apps, but many times it's almost TOO many choices. We need to be focused, like Microsoft focuses it's developers, but not by fiat, but by democratic means.
So here's my thoughts on Yet Another Java Community Portal: This one would have two main features: 1) A front page that would be an aggregation of Java weblogs. and 2) There'd be a nomination and voting system for Java technologies. The tech that received the most votes would get the title "Best of Breed". This would not be an anonymous voting system: every vote is registered with a person and you could view which technologies they are supporting - AND, more importantly, a person could switch their vote later if the tech didn't keep up.
Imagine having a place where you could read respected developer's opinions about Java technology, and see these people's votes on the best tech grouped into sections: Web Services (Apache, IBM, Sun, Weblogic?), Persistence Frameworks (JDO, EJB, Castor, Hibernate, etc.) IDEs: (Borland, Eclipse, Netbeans, etc.), MVC Frameworks (Struts, Webwork, Tapestry, etc.)
The idea is to focus efforts and development and to provide insurance to those starting new projects that they are using something that'll be around a while.
Just a thought,
P.S. I started on this thought this morning when I walked into our kitchen/training room (don't ask) and saw all the desks prepped for a 4:00 p.m. class in VB.Net (AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! Remember, this company is 99.999% Microsoft. I'm surrounded). So I sat down and flipped through the training manual. It's totally the same font/format as when I was studying for my MCSD in 1996 (yes, I got certified in VB 4.0 and NT 3.51). Anyways, that's when I started thinking about both the lack of choice and the power of MS and it's developers.