Wednesday, May 24, 2006

GlassFish terminology update

When last we visited the GlassFish site in December, I complained that it was not clear what GlassFish actually was--a community, a project, a server? It seemed to be all of those things and yet...if you downloaded, installed, and started the server, the term "GlassFish" never appeared within it, leading you to wonder if you installed the right thing. Uh, didn't I just install "GlassFish"? Why doesn't it say "Glassfish" anywhere?

I also suggested that what the so-called GlassFish download actually downloads, namely the "Sun Java System Application Server Platform Edition 9.0", is ridiculously named. I suggested instead the "Sun Jas9".

Here five months later is progress, of sorts. GlassFish is still a project and a community. Now it's a technology too! But at least they no longer refer to it as a thing unto itself. The term is now correctly used only as an adjective. That is, they no longer talk about downloading or installing "GlassFish". Instead they say things like "this is the place to download general distribution releases related to Project GlassFish", and they refer to the above ridiculously-named thing as the "SJSAS PE 9.0", which doesn't exactly roll off the tongue but they have to keep their precious "Sun Java" coupled in there, even if it makes the acronym unpronounceable thus useless.

Still, their attempts at explaining themselves remain terrible. On the new GlassFish page is this at the bottom:

Sun Microsystems, the inventor and leading advocate of Java technology, is releasing a preview of the Java EE 5 SDK . the next generation of enterprise Java which includes(1) the Beta version of the Sun Java System Application Server PE 9.0 (SJSAS PE 9.0). The SDK is a defining release because the newest version of enterprise Java makes building robust, scalable enterprise applications easier than ever and is the perfect platform for implementing SOA and Web 2.0 applications. The Java EE 5 SDK is built on(2) the SJSAS PE 9 which is based on the bits developed by the open GlassFish community, led by Sun, who is developing an open source Java EE 5 application server(3).

  1. (1) The Java EE 5 SDK includes a beta version of the server (SJSAS PE 9.0)
  2. (2) The Java EE 5 SDK is built upon the SJSAS PE 9.0, which means it is built on a subset of itself. This is the software equivalent of being your own grandpa. Try to draw a picture of it.
  3. (3) Sun is developing an open source Java EE 5 application server. What, another one, in addition to the SJSAS PE 9.0? No, not a different one--the same one they just mentioned at the beginning of this same sentence!

The downloads page claims that the GlassFish project is an implementation of the Java EE 5 specs. But a project cannot be an implementation of anything. Elsewhere on the page they get it right: the GlassFish community provides milestone builds that implement the current version of the spec.


Eduard/o Pelegri-Llopart said...
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Eduard/o Pelegri-Llopart said...

arly we (still) need to do a pass to clean up and update these areas. Let me go through your bullets, in a different order: (3) Sun and others are developing a Java EE 5 compliant Applciation Server. The project / community where this happens is called GlassFish. That project includes all the code to build an Application Server. Some organizations, like Sun, use all of that code and create a distribution (in the case of Sun called SJS AS 9.x). Other groups use smaller pieces (like TMaxSoft, JBoss, Oracle, BEA and more). (1) The Java EE SDK includes Sun's distribution, SJS AS 9.0 (final by now).

Does this help any?