In the IOUG Fusion Task Force meeting this week, we were discussing what could be provided to build a better community around the Fusion Middleware world and it’s ever growing list of products and acquisitions. A lot of us are classic Oracle guys that have been doing Java, ADF, App Server, Portal, Discoverer, etc. since its first release. We’ve always known the standard Oracle Metalink, Forums, and ListServs for Oracle help when we need it. Now with so many acquisitions it’s getting incredibly hard to catch up and the communities for many of the new products don’t exist.
One of the big questions that came up was where have all the developers gone. For some reason the term “The Lost Developers” popped into my head, which of course popped the bad 80’s movie “The Lost Boys,” and in turn this bad graphic. (Trust me you don’t want to try and understand whats in my head)
But in all seriousness, where did everyone go. I know a lot of the people went to start their own independent consulting shops, some stayed with Oracle, but what about the rest of the world? What about all the customers and other implementation partners? I went through, looked at the acquisition list, and couldn’t find user groups or message boards for many of them. Maybe I’m looking in the wrong places or haven’t been taught the secret handshake yet, but here is the list I came up with:
AppForge: Palm and Windows Media Local User Groups, nothing centralized
Tangosol: LCUG (http://wiki.tangosol.com/display/LCUG/Home)
Siebel (Analytics): ITtoolbox Group (http://siebel.ittoolbox.com/groups/technical-functional/siebel-analytics-l)
Sleepycat: Nabble Forums (http://www.nabble.com/Berkeley-DB-f2899.html)
Stellent: Stellentforums.com and regional user groups
Context Media: Nothing
Octet String: Nothing
Thor Technologies: Nothing
Yes there are the Oracle boards, but many of them aren’t trolled by the experts of the acquired companies yet. So what happened? Where did everyone go? Right now I’m working on building a lot of pre-built virtual machines for my side project (thanks again for the people volunteering to help), but on the newer components I’m having to learn a ton as I go and it would be helpful to bounce ideas / questions off of people who have already been there and done that. I’m sure a lot of them are having the same problems now trying to deploy on to the Fusion Middleware stack.
So here it is, an open invite to come out of the corners and reveal yourselves. Where is everyone hiding? How can we build a better collaborative Oracle development world? I would love to hear people’s feedback. Maybe we need a myspace or facebook for Oracle people? I’m only half joking here, there sure are enough of us to keep it busy. What features would make it a kick ass collaboration environment? Forums? Wiki? Torrents? Instant Messaging? Desktop Sharing? Blogs Provider? Maybe just an Aggregator? Rent a VM development environments? Calendaring? Mapping? Presence? Ok, enough web 2.0 buzz words (crap, there was another one).
Call me, email me, IM me, post comments here, I just want to figure out how to make it easier on all of us.