December 21st, 2010

Status update on java.net projects

Over the past 6 years I’ve hosted a number of my open-source projects on Java.net. Over the last two-three years the site admins kept talking about moving the hosting forward, enhancing both the visual and the backend functionality of the site. I have no insight into the complexity of the existing infrastructure and the amount of resources available. It thus thus be foolish – and pointless – to speculate on the reasons for the glacial pace at which things are happening.

After a lot of promises, early November brought the rather hostile announcement (emphasis mine):

This is an opt-in migration – we have thousands of junk, test, and abandoned projects on the site and we intend to leave them behind.  Any project owner can request that we move their projects, and any community leader can request that we move specific projects in the community.  Any project that is not specifically requested by name via the opt-in form by November 30, 2010 will be purged when the CollabNet site goes dark.  We will be keeping tarballs of the CollabNet contents and will be able to distribute them after the site goes dark, however projects that request migration are our top priority.

Aptly named “Move it or loose it“, this is quite a threatening statement that makes not one, not two, but three direct references to the projects that will not opt-in to the migration. Even though i’ve put the development and maintenance of my projects on hold, i still want to have the sources, binaries, documentation and the source history available for interested developers. And so i promptly added all my projects to the opt-in form.

Fast forward three weeks after the deadline date. A couple of days ago a comment was left on my blog (thanks Eugene) – Substance look-and-feel is nowhere to be found. It’s no longer at substance.dev.java.net and certainly not on the new java.net/projects. Let’s look at my new profile page that lists some of the projects that i asked to migrate. Looks like java.net/projects/substance is the winner, except that it leads to an error page. Most of the project links on my profile page lead to errors, and some lead to the subset of the original content. Every page takes minutes to load, and i have no idea if the old forum postings and binaries will ever make it through. Top priority indeed.

So here’s the deal. Over the next few days i will upload all the sources, documentation and additional materials to my GitHub page. However, it will be up to you to build the binaries, run sample applications and browse the downloaded documentation. I simply don’t have time to untangle this horrible migration mess that was unilaterally forced on me and my users.

And yes, i know that Java.net was a free service, and that the same exact thing may happen to GitHub in five years. I’m not that naive.