FOSS Projects and communities

Posted: 28 January, 2011 in Activiti, jBPM

A lot has happened the last months in the field of opensource bpm(n2). Activiti getting a jumpstart in many areas, jBPM4 getting ‘killed’ but jBPM in general getting a relaunch with Droolsflow/jBPM5 and Bonita quietly getting better and better. It might not surprise you that I have a strong personal opinion about how things went, but no, this won’t be a rant, since I think nobody gains anything by that and I do not want people I like to feel bad (cause they shouldn’t) nor do I want to diminish any company. Yet, you have to make choices now and then.

Early last year, it became obvious to me something was happening within jBPM. SVN commits by Tom and Joram dropped to zero while at that moment it seemed that it was ‘full steam ahead’ for a BPMN2 release. As a long time, highly participating (still number 7) community member, (back to 2002, the pre-jBoss era), I got a message from them to meet them in Antwerp, where they enfolded the path of things going to come. Was I surprised? Yes and no. The details of the ‘no’ are beyond this or any post as mentioned in the intro, but the yes… It would mean Tom would leave jBPM as a brand, product but also as a project. That seemed impossible, but as they say, reality is always stranger than fiction.

But what would that mean for me? Honestly? It kind of felt like (and I’m not drawing on experience here) your parents are separating and you at least think you have to make a choice. I had this initial gut feeling which I expressed to them, but not long after that there were reasons to kind of keep a low profile and I decided to wait and watch how things would develop. Why? Because the communities are important to me. I know how they (should) work, the respect you get, the diversity, liveliness, viability and all these things.

So when the time was there to start doing things with BPM again, I had to make a ‘choice’.  Or did I? Maybe it was already made? My last post on PlanetjBPM made me the topic of a blog, where Scott Francis drew the right conclusion, without me mentioning it or even having participated in Activiti, It just felt right in more than one way, including a kind of coming home after a long trip.

Initial contributions already started, which will be the topic of further blog posts, just do not expect the forum junky anymore. Activiti simply makes me drool (as in number 2 😉,


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