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Java Development Infrastructure at CERN

  Miguel Marquina, Raul Ramos-Pollan IT/User Support
  and Ignacio Reguero IT/DIS

IT Division undertook last May a survey aimed at the Java Developer community at CERN. The objective was to extract the main user requirements concerning both current usage and desired centralization of resources in this important aspect of software development.

Thanks to the feedback of some 80 Java Developers, a clear preference was shown for investing efforts in providing centralized Java Development facilities.

Access to the complete results of the Java Developer Survey can be found at:

The most important requirement that has emerged from this survey is the strong request for availability of different versions of the Java Development Kit (JDK) through software repositories maintained on NICE and Central UNIX Services.

We started back in July to put in place the necessary mechanisms to offer this minimum infrastructure. Note that we are only speaking of JDK support for the moment as it is the common ground for any Java Development activity. Any extension of the infrastructure beyond this naturally requires further consultation with the Developer community leading to a consensus view on the direction to be taken.

The release of JDK on both UNIX and PC platforms was finally made at the end of August and beginning of September (see the article "JDK is now Centrally Available" in this CNL issue).


Developer Forums as a means to address future requirements

The JDK release was immediately followed by a Forum on September 7th, 1998. This forum, the first of a series proposed by IT Division and aimed to discuss with the Java Developer community at CERN the offering of centralized Java Development facilities, was attended by 40 people. Given the level of response to our survey it could be considered a fair representation of those willing to support the organization of such infrastructure.

Several points were addressed, the main one being the definition of common communication paths and channels. For the time being these are:

Other issues addressed at the Forum were the availability of a repository of general interest class libraries, an infrastructure for the availability and distributed responsibility of Java developments made at CERN and the establishment of a support line. These issues are being discussed among the developer community via the above channels.

With respect to the Java support line, we would like to start first by sensing the real requirements and user expectations, share our experiences (also by helping each other) and frame what we can flag under the name "Java.Support". Only after this initiative has taken some momentum we will be able to understand:

Ideally other willing contributors may wish to become part of this collective effort to provide to "ourselves" an adequate Java development environment.

In any case we are glad to invest our effort in bringing you this infrastructure. We see it as a useful spin-off of your own efforts to keep up to date with the development environment. This is part of the commitment of IT Division to make your computing working environment as efficient as possible.

next up previous
Next: JDK is now Centrally Available Up: cnl232.html Previous: Current Status of XML Technologies