Friday, April 11, 2008

Let's hear it for the "51 Unsung Heroes of Woodstox"

One thing that has amazed me throughout the development cycle of Woodstox has been amount of invaluable, free and extensive (and sporadic, unexpected and chaotic as well) support from the user community. Most communication has been very helpful, especially when a user has both reported a problem and pointed out a reasonable solution for it. And quite often even contributed a unit test to verify the fix. That's kind of support you just can't buy.

Extensiveness of support is evident from the simple fact that there has been no fewer than 51 individual contributors to Woodstox. And while some have provided more than their share of useful feedback, each and every one of them has been integral part of success of Woodstox. Implementation quality would be nowhere as good as it is now without these individuals, and scope of functionality would likewise be less, and not directed as well to reflect actual user needs. And their help should be appreciated by the huge group of developers who use Woodstox even without realizing they do this: given that Woodstox is the de facto standard Stax implementation within J2EE world (being the default that ships with JBoss, Geronimo, possibly with Glassfish; being recommended by CXF, Axis 2 etc. etc.). I guess it could be called a virtuous cycle, "take a penny, leave a penny". Whatever it is, it works and does wonders.

Anyway, the full CREDIT file is the simplest way to browse Woodstox List of Fame. Let's just hope that next 4 years will bring as much as good help as first 4 years of the project!

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