Darryl K. Taft, in eWeek, has written "Spring is in the Air?
," asking if Interface21, the company behind the popular open source framework, is likely to be acquired. The answer? No, it isn't, despite constant rumors - Rod Johnson says the plan is to continue to grow the company organically.
Just two weeks ago, the word in the enterprise Java world was that Oracle, following on the heels of its acquisition of Tangosol, was closing in on Interface21 to get a hold of the popular Spring Framework, a lightweight alternative to J2EE (Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition)—now known simply as Java Platform, Enterprise Edition or JEE (Java EE).
But Rod Johnson, CEO of London-based Interface21 and founder of the Spring Framework, responded to that issue succinctly. "We're not negotiating with anyone," he said. "We plan to remain independent."
There are conclusions drawn between JBoss and Interface21, of course - with the purchase of JBoss by Red Hat, many see companies like Interface21 as some of the most valuable potential acquisitions around. (As the article suggests, chances are that companies have tried already!) However, the companies are different, with different underlying philosophies:
...in a blog post last week, Marc Fleury, founder of JBoss who sold the company to Red Hat and subsequently retired, highlighted some of the differences between his company and its culture and Interface21 and the [Spring users].
In his post, which pokes fun at Johnson and Choksi for saying they were fans of his, Fleury writes: "The English (and people from Anglo-Saxon cultures) tend to find the French 'rude' because our ethics and Cartesian bias value 'telling it like it is' and encourage argumentative conflict. The counterpoint is that the French tend to find the Brits to be insufferable hypocrites and phonies, probably because their 'ethics' usually involve pretending to be being nice to people and not wanting to offend them."
What can you say? Fleury's French, Johnson is British. I've dealt with both guys, though I have to admit I am more familiar with Fleury. It's sort of like the old Prince versus Michael Jackson rivalry (before Jacko got the wacko label). They played to similar audiences, had grudging respect for one another, but little love— though they'd sneak into each other's concerts to keep an eye on the competition.
They have different styles, but essentially they want the same things. JBoss has been in-your-face aggressive at times. Being a ground breaker means sometimes you have to get a little dirty.
Hrm, I thought Rod was from Australia, not Britain... but last, one other potentially interesting takeaway from the editorial: a name for Spring users!
I've actually been trying to find the right term for Spring devotees. JBoss committers are JBossians, and don't you forget it. But what's a Spring committer? I'm torn between Springer, Springster and Springhead.
Personally, I'm not sure that there's a name required: Spring is so pervasive that it's easy to see Spring non-users as being slightly outdated - and therefore non-users would deserve a name, rather than Spring users. (Think something like "dinosaurs," except lacking the strong negative connotation, perhaps.) What do you think?