Most Valuable Personalities in Java

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The Middleware Company is compiling a list of the year’s top 50 who’s who in the Enterprise Java world. Well since I’m into making lists these days, I’m coming with my own uncensored, opinionated and brutally frank version. I’m pretty sure that TMC’s list would be more accomodating and less offensive that this one. However, for those who can handle the truth, read on!

Here’s the list of most valuable personalities that have made significant and useful contributions to the Java community:

  • Erich Gamma – JUnit and Eclipse. Need I say more?
  • Gavin King – Hibernate. Finally somebody with the guts to say that there’s something wrong with locking at the middle tier. Of course, Anthony Berglas, said it first in SimpleOrm, but unfortunately nobody knows his stuff.
  • Rickard Oberg – JBoss’ JMX microkernel, XDoclet, Dynamic AOP. If it weren’t for him JBoss would be just another Enhydra. XDoclet for exploiting Java Doclets to simplify programming. For promoting dynamic AOP and never releasing his stuff, thus opening the door for competitors like AspectWerkz.
  • Jim Hugunin – Jython and AspectJ. For proving to Gregor Kizcales that AspectJ can be written using Java. For building the most popular scripting language for Java.
  • James Strachan and Bob McWirther – Jaxen. For showing that the only technology of real worth in XML is XPath.
  • Graham Glass – ObjectSpace and Glue. For showing why one needs to take extra effort in developing APIs.
  • Ceki Gxc3xbclcxc3xbc – Log4j. For showing that the de-facto standard can be better than the de-jure standard.
  • Doug Lea – util.concurrent. For building a library that he alone understands. For discouraging the masses from trying to figure this out on their own.
  • Karsten Lentzsch – JGoodies. For demonstrating why Swing GUIs are ugly and how to build elegant ones.
  • Matt Welsh – NBIO and SEDA. For showing that to scale Java you don’t really need threads
  • Doug Cutting – Lucene. For developing the de-facto full-text search engine for Java without it we would all have to settle for regex-based searching (just ask the PERL folks!).
  • Eugene Belyaev – IntelliJ IDEA. For showing its possible to build a kick-ass IDE using just Swing.
  • James Clark – Jing for RelaxNG. For demanding that XML Schemas (and any other XML spec.) should be fundamentally sound, implementable and then proving it.
  • James Duncan Davidson – Ant and Tomcat. For solving the “make with java” inefficiency and portability problems.
  • Bill Joy and Mike Clary – JXTA. For realizing that the best way of building innovative experimental technology in a collaborative manner is to “open source” it from the beginning.
  • Gilad Bracha – Computational Theologist at Sun. For ensuring that Java remain the language for the masses and opening the door for innovation elsewhere (i.e. groovy).
  • Philippe Charles – An LR(k) Error Diagnosis and Recovery Method. For the countless seconds saved (in Eclipse) not having to do a full recompilation.
  • Misha Dmitriev – Hotswap capability in JDK 1.4 and JFluid. For making debugging in Java a more pleasant experience.
  • Markus Dahm – BCEL. For his invaluable contribution towards more dynamic Java based applications. Xalan, AspectJ, JBoss and many more all depend on his contributions.

Now for the list of people who should live in infamy for introducing dubious technology:

  • Craig McClanahan – Struts. Introducing a half baked idea and morphing it into a de-facto standard.
  • Bill Burke – JBoss AOP. For misrepresenting AOP.
  • Marc Fleury – JBoss. For a multitude of offenses ranging from “not finding an open source Java CMS” to declaring “Why I love EJB”.
  • Craig Russell – JDO. For tirelessly promoting an OODMS standard in a world of RDMS implementations. We now live amongst a community that fervently believes that transparent persistence is a good thing.
  • Deepak Alur, Dan Malks and John Crupi – Core J2EE Patterns. For trying so hard to hide the warts of EJB.
  • Matthew J. Duftler, Sanjiva Weerawarana, and Francisco Curbera – SOAP4J. For implementing Microsoft’s SOAP in Java and ushering in the need to support Web Services in Java. The world is now fowever stuck with an inteoperability standard that doesn’t work!
  • Jason Hunter and Brett McLaughlin – JDOM. For the distinct honor of developing the most well known Java library that has never made it out of beta.

The educators, without them we’ll be continually in the dark.

  • Martin Fowler – For Analysis Patterns, “Refactoring” should go to Bill Opdyke, he simple put it in book form. Also gets a -1 for me for promoting evil technology in his latest book.
  • Jack Shirazi – Java Performance. For the book and website that has saved so many from getting fired.
  • Ward Cunningham and Kent Beck – Extreme Programming. For coining the phrase “You Are NOT Gonna Need It” (i.e. YAGNI). Effectively killing “feature creep” at its source.
  • Gregor Kiczales – AspectJ. For developing the concepts behind Aspect Oriented Programming which we are all still struggling to comprehend.
  • Sing Li – JINI and JXTA books. For effectively explaining technology that nobody can quite understand.
  • Robin Sharp and Dino Fancellu – For publishing “101 EJB Damnations” when everyone else were acting like lemmings following the industry Pied Pipers over the cliff.
  • Rod Johnson – Spring Framework. Finally, a promising solution to the lunacy of EJB.

Finally, a special acknowledgment for those who’ve made a big impact advocating Java:

  • Bill Venners – Artima. For endlessly promoting JINI when almost nobody cared.
  • Erik Thauvin – For showing how to generate web traffic by simply bookmarking blogs.
  • Cameron Purdy – For elloquently bashing .NET advocates. Also for providing a kick-ass presentation about distributed cacheing that I unfortunately never witnessed.
  • Rick Ross – Javalobby. For saving cashed strapped java centric ventures like freeroller and mycgiserver.
  • Floyd Marinescu and Dion Almaer – TheServerSide.com. For introducing streaming video interviews as a supplement to their collective blog.
  • Mike Cannon-Brookes – Javablogs. For beating out Russell Beattie in deploying an online blog aggregator for the Java community.
  • Anthony Eden – Freeroller. For introducing so many Java developers to blogging by generously providing a free service.
  • Gerald Bauer – For endless efforts to promote WebStart when nobody else gave a damn.

Like all my previous lists I’m seeking contributions, please feel free to let me know who I missed!


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