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Foojay: A Place for Friends of OpenJDK

Foojay.io, the community site for developers who use, target, and run their applications on top of Java and OpenJDK, today announced the companies who will make up its advisory board. The roster includes Azul, Datadog, DataStax, JFrog, Payara, and Snyk. This board will guide the direction, content and oversight of the site, with a focus on growing the community and meeting its mission to provide free information for everyday Java developers.

In case you missed it (which I must confess, I did), Foojay is a nascent-but-evolving-at-warp-speed Java information consolidation site for everyone from hard-core, in-the-trenches Java jocks to the Java curious. And it is a thing of beauty. It organizes information from multiple sources into logical categories and delivers the warts-and-all info you won't see on the vendors' sites.

The site has articles, definitions (via the adorably named "Foojaypedia"), an events calendar, a Java Version Almanac that goes back to the Java 1 released in 1996, and up to Java 16. It lists OpenJDK vendors and distributions. There's a "What's New in OpenJDK/OpenJDK Update Release Details" section, and a section called "OpenJDK Command Line Arguments," with info on all the JVM command line arguments from Java 6 onwards. And the "Foojay Today" section publishes blog posts.

Running the project is the inimitable (and unpronounceable) Geertjan Wielenga, senior director of Open Source Projects at Azul and author of the must-read book Developer, Advocate! He talked with me about the project, which was started in April of last year, and has grown rapidly beyond early expectations. He said he thinks of it as a Java dashboard curating all the latest information for developers using Java daily,

"Back when I worked at Sun Microsystems," Wielenga told me, "you could go to Java.net and find blogs, opinion polls, and information about Java on a common community platform. And it was easy, because there was only one JDK and there were new releases only every year or so. And there was only one vendor. Since then, you could say Java has diversified, or you could say it has fragmented, but either way, we now need a layer on top of all these different OpenJDK vendors, distributions, releases, and various disparate Java communities, so that somebody starting from scratch has a place to go, and so does someone wanting a launching pad for being productive in a safe place."

The ultimate goal is to create a community like Java.net, Wielenga said.

"Foojay is an example of the strength and longevity of the Java community that is greater than any single company," said Stephen Chin, VP of Developer Relations at JFrog, in a statement. "It is composed of active, passionate, and caring individuals who want to share their expertise and help mentor the next generation of developers. We're excited to be part of the conversation and help the community leverage modern CI/CD and cloud-native technologies for our beloved Java."

Posted by John K. Waters on February 4, 2021