Nicolas Frankel is an IT consultant with 10 years experience in Java / JEE environments. He likes his job so much he writes technical articles on his blog and reviews technical books in his spare time. He also tries to find other geeks like him in universities, as a part-time lecturer. Nicolas is a DZone MVB and is not an employee of DZone and has posted 231 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

Give back to the community (please?)

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Last week, I was ticked off by the behavior of a colleague: he complained the duplicated code panel in Sonar was not explicite enough. When I remarked he could give feedback to the Sonar team, he replied he had other things to do!

As for me, I use OpenSource projects since a while back: Struts was my first, but now there are the whole Apache frameworks (Log4J, CXF and Commons just to name a few), Spring, Hibernate, Vaadin of course but also tools like Maven, Hudson/Jenkins, Sonar and the list goes on! All these projects are not only open sourced, they are free – as a beer! Even better, all of them have detailled documentation and a user base that equivalent commercial products sometimes lack.

Of course, companies publishing these frameworks aren’t there for the glory, they have to earn money. And yet, I can use them “as-is” and have the framework behave just like for a regular enteprise paying user. I don’t think there are many industries in the world where the production bricks are available at no cost as is the case in the software industries.

However, using these frameworks/tools without paying is a one-way deal. Yet, we can provide editors with a much valued thing: feedback. Commercial editors use time and money to conduct surveys that will direct their development effort. But just as we are provided with free products, we can provide OpenSource software editors with a costly resource, our own opinion.

That’s why it’s very important to take only 10 minutes to fill an issue or an enhancement request. Besides, it will benefit all of us in the next product version. So please provide your favorite editor with feedback!

Note: since the initial complaint was not fully unjustified, I’ve filled a Jira describing the request


Published at DZone with permission of Nicolas Frankel, author and DZone MVB.

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)


Sivaprasadreddy... replied on Tue, 2011/07/12 - 12:49am

Hi Nicolas,

I strongly agree with you on this.

Dear Developers,

Just imagine how much burden these open source frameworks are reducing from us.

If we don't have Struts how much painful it is to write the logic again n again to parse request and populate form beans, validations etc. How painful it is to write the same boilerplate jdbc code if we dont have Hibernate.

And all this is we are getting for free. So we should give feedback and contribute back to the community.




Mladen Girazovski replied on Tue, 2011/07/12 - 3:44am

I agree with the author, filing an issue is the least you should do when encountering a bug in OSS.

@sivaprasad >> If we don't have Struts how much painful it is to write the logic again n again to parse request and populate form beans, validations

I think you meant "if we didn't had struts 8-9 years ago...", or is there still people seriously considering struts for greenfield projects? I find this very hard to believe...

Sivaprasadreddy... replied on Tue, 2011/07/12 - 6:49am in response to: Mladen Girazovski


Unfortunately in India still we are working on projects(maintenance/enhancements mode) developed using Struts 1.x. :-(.  Recently things are getting better.. getting projects using Spring, RIA frameworks.

Grails, Scala etc are hot technologies using by many people in USA... But hardly you can find the companies using Grails, Scala in India(Atleast i haven't met anyone working on Grails, Scala).



Mladen Girazovski replied on Tue, 2011/07/12 - 7:36am

Oh well, i guess choices have already been made when it comes to "brownfield"/Legacy applications, so that might be an good excuse to use struts.

Raw ThinkTank replied on Tue, 2011/07/12 - 9:55am


Reza Rahman replied on Tue, 2011/07/12 - 10:32am in response to: Sivaprasadreddy Katamreddy

OSS is definitely an important way to contribute to the community, but it is far from the only way. In the Java world, it is very possible/valuable to contribute to standards bodies like the JCP as independents.

Should anyone be interested in doing so, this post is a good starting point: Just as in an OSS project, your contribution could be as simple as entering a JIRA issue or observing an alias.

Anonymous Coward replied on Tue, 2011/07/12 - 11:06am

Agree, but OSS projects also need to be willing to engage with the community to get this. I’ve fixed a few bugs in JForum, for example, and sent details of the fixes to them, but didn’t get so much as an acknowledgment.

Andy Jefferson replied on Tue, 2011/07/12 - 2:27pm in response to: Anonymous Coward

That's because you're anonymous, and consequently they couldn't track you down to give the credits :-P

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