What am I doing at Sun?

It’s been a few weeks since I started my new job at Sun (actually, it’s almost exactly two months already), and maybe this is a good time to wrap up what happened and what am I going to do.

The first 3 weeks I spent in the US, one in San Francisco, attending JavaOne 2009 as a speaker (Caciocavallo, yay!), which was very nice (seafood at Fishermen’s Warf, yay!) and exciting. After that I spent two weeks in Burlington close to Boston, where I met my team and started to get my hands dirty. Actually, I spent most of my time setting up my working environment, ramping up with all the new stuff that I am going to do, etc. I even managed to push my first little fix into JDK6.

Then back home, I needed to do some additional work environment tweaking, setting up VPN, VirtualBox and Ubuntu (yeah, I was ‘working’ – wasting time – on Windows a couple of weeks…). Slowly I was working my way through lots of new code, new people, new work environment. Now what am I actually working on? At the beginning, I could not really tell, it was all quite diffuse, but at this point, a couple of different (!) tasks are shaping up:

  • I am going to implement a new servlet/webapp that will handle auto update for JRE (and likely other Sun software). This is much more fun than I suspected. Java EE has come a long way since I last tried that ~6 years ago. And Netbeans makes it even easier. And it’s a challenging task too, to make it so that it doesn’t melt the servers with the massive load that it will need to handle.
  • There will be some new API for JNLP/WebStart that I am going to design and implement. This is driven in part by Java app store, but will be useful for improved enterprise deployment in general.
  • I will continue to work on 2D stuff a bit. Most importantly, I would like to improve community bootstrapping/involvement, as this was a bit stale the last couple of weeks. As a start, I took over the OpenJDK 2D bugzilla yesterday (yeah, like a pirate, and with a  bottle of Rum 😉 ) and updated a couple of bugs. There are a number of bug entries in the 2D bugzilla, with patches from RedHat and Google that haven’t made their way into OpenJDK yet, which is a shame. Then there is the FontManager overhaul, which is already going on for over a year (it’s almost finished now, really!). And another longer term project is coming up on the horizon, which is a floating point rewrite of the fixed point based pisces renderer (volunteers??). Lots of stuff to do. The problem here is, that this is not actually part of my work assignments and my boss won’t be happy when I spend too much time on that, but I want to dedicate at least some of my spare time (ehe…) on it.
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4 Responses to What am I doing at Sun?

  1. Interesting. It’s just a shame you’re not getting paid for the FOSS work in point 3, but are getting paid for developing the proprietary software in 1 & 2!

  2. Mario Torre says:

    @Andrew: But you know, this always happened in one way or another, even at aicas we really do whatever is needed to support the proprietary VM. It happens that we (as in Roman and Me) are the noisy Free Software hippies that try to make everything open and in the open.

    At Sun (and at aicas surely), this is obviously supported, but it’s not the default behaviour. This is quite different than how a company like Red Hat works, where everything is open per definition. Of course, wherever this makes our bosses happy or not it’s a different thing; in my case, luckily enough, my boss is happy most of the time 🙂 but knowing Roman’s boss I can tell you that he’s surely happy as well.

  3. Are they seriously putting you to such work, when you OBVIOUSLY is a pure magician with Java 2D? I am baffled – truly. They manage to pick up such talent as you obviously represent – and then put you to do stuff you haven’d done in 6 years?! .. and doesn’t seem all to pleased about doing either?

    And, AMAZINGLY, you will not get paid to continue doing what you have been doing for the last couple of years! The Cacio-stuff, and the clean-upping that you seem to have done in AWT, Java2D, fonts etc – is VERY much needed for Java to prosper forward. And they won’t pay you for this?

    No wonder Sun is going to hell. What a fucking shame.

  4. roman says:

    Endre: it’s really not that bad, I rather like change every now and then, webstart and servlets are actually more fun than it sounds. And I still get my share of 2D hacking (I just take it.. 😉 ).

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