09 novembro 2010

ApacheCon Brazil and why we need it?


I'm not sure if this mailing list is the right one to write about this, but I'm gonna take the risk. I suppose "Community" means anything related to it. And this is definitely about community.

Before anything, I'd like to share my history with ASF. (skip if you want... :D)

When I started to get involved with the Apache Software Foundation in a deeper level, I was still just a user, downloading Tomcat and using it. I guess most Java developers for the Web environment still do that.

5 years a go, I joined the Apache Wicket community and then my relationship with ASF has born. And for the last 5 years I've been speaking about it in Brazil, either in JUG meetings or at conferences around the country and sharing everything I wanted to share on my blog. I've even created a Google Groups for that, called Wicket pt_BR. With my contributions as an "evangelist" I gave birth to friendships with great people like Martijn Dashorst, Jeremy Thomerson, Eelco Hillenius and others from the Wicket community.

Then, in 2008 I heard about the Apache TAC and, thanks to ASF, I could meet them in person during ApacheCon @ New Orleans. It was better than anything I've ever experienced. Considering how close I was to great people, professionals and friends, and how easy I could start chatting about anything to them, I thought that was the best conference it could ever exist. I thought: "ApacheCon is the best. I got free beer!". That was cool. Every conference I go here in Brazil, I wish someone put some beers instead of Coke. Until now... only #fail

Then, right after I came back from New Orleans, I started to play with the SOA stack (CamelCXFServiceMix and ActiveMQ). I also became friend of great people like Bruce Snyder, Claus Ibsen, Hadrian Zbarcea and Debbie Moynihan.

Last year, 2009, when I heard about ApacheCon in San Francisco, I took the chance to apply again to the Apache TAC (no, I wasn't bargaining; it really is expensive to fly from Brazil to the USA, specially SF). I just applied for the tickets, and for accommodation I was safe with CouchSurfing friends I already knew. Also, I really wanted to help the organization. It was when I met Nick Burch, Ross Gardler and Noirin Shirley. Could not forget my latin friends Amelia Blevins and Carlos Sanchez. Other names like Jesse McConnell, David Blevins and Yeliz Eseryel are also in my good memories of ApacheCon 2009. Unfortunately this year, because of personal reasons (not because of TAC rules), I couldn't be present at ApacheCon.

With the help of Bruno Souza, I discussed with some people, including Sally Khudairi, the idea of bringing ApacheCon to South America.

What I saw on ApacheCon '08 and '09 was something amazing. Perfect for South America. Perfect for Brazil. The Apache Way is something that must be shared with everyone. 

A few months a go, I went to Brasilia (country's capital) to talk about the ASF in general, not on an specific project. It's amazing how people are unaware of what the ASF really is. And how people limit their knowledge to only what the big players show to them. Still, they all know Struts and Tomcat. It seems that South America is a big user of Apache projects rather than truly contributors.

Now this year, with JavaOne going to happen in Brazil, and the sessions that were scheduled, I believe it is now the time to drive ApacheCon south. There's no single talk about anything related to the Apache Software Foundation in this South American version of JavaOne. And I feel really sad about that. Sad that people that are behind the organization had the opportunity to accept papers (I myself proposed Wicket and Camel - papers I have been presenting since 2008 for rooms of 30~40 attenders).

And I'm sure everyone will use Maven, Ant or Tomcat to demonstrate something.

I don't know if this happened because of recent issues between Oracle and Apache, or just because of Java standards (like JSF, JavaFX, EJB) are more important than non-standard projects. It doesn't matter. I'm sure there was room. On my count, there are at least 3 subjects with more than 1 submission approved. Look at JavaOne track.

Now, if the ASF, the most voted JCP EC member (with 95% votes), has no space on JavaOne Brazil, the country who have been participating in the Open Source movement, giving birth to the OpenJDK thanks to Javali project, and Bruno Souza, than we should start considering other alternatives. Alternatives to standards, like Wicket or Camel.

We already have ApacheCon Europe and North America. I'm sure we can do ApacheCon South America.

Let's do this happen. Let's do it the Apache way.

Bruno Borges
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