Xfire vs. Axis2, Hibernate vs. iBatis, Spring vs. Plexus, Ant vs. Maven….. as James Turner blogs in The Virtues of Monoculture, this abundance of choice is both our strong point and our achilles heel. He writes:
We celebrate the diversity of choices available to solve a problem and call it freedom. IT managers and CIOs look at it and call it chaos, confusion and uncertainty.
Part of the problem is that we look at a collection of projects like Sourceforge, ASF, Codehaus, Tigris, JBoss, Java.net, and about a million other open source communities, and there is no central directory to compare project adoption or rate these components. To the uninitiated middle manager, open source is “chaos, confusion and uncertainty”. If you are not familiar with the personalities and the communities, how do you sift through the noise without joining a million development mailing lists?
Ohloh.net: Bringing Order to this Free-for-all
I’ve been using this service for a few days, and IMO it is part of the solution to this problem. If we all agreed to start using it right now, and to vote for the software that is currently in our stack, we’re going to provide adoption numbers. If we encourage ongoing ohloh usage, we’ll be able to see emerging trends and shifts. I encourage you to sign up….
Not everyone has enough time to figure out the difference between Hibernate and iBatis. Not everyone has the time to sift through the marketing, hype, blogs that surround every corporate sponsored open source project in Javaland. Not everyone adopting open source wants to “participate”, or ever wants to be told to “look at the source” on a mailing list. Not every adopting open source is a “developer” capable of understanding the source code. So, we need some tool for people interested in comparing relative adoption and reading reviews. We need a tool that a working developer can use to distill the rocket science into real community data. I think that ohloh.net can provide this insight, but only if we start to use it.
Now, Stack These: