My interview with Ward Cunningham just went live

One of the beautiful things about being the Editor-in-Chief at TheServerSide.NET was that I got the opportunity to sit down and interview all these interesting and fascinating folks, and one my favorite interviews was the one I did with Ward Cunningham, which just went live on TheServerSide.NET. Ward’s a very approachable and down-to-earth guy, a quality I highly respect in somebody who is so respected within the industry.

(And yes, by the way, Ward DOES work at Microsoft now. His reasons for doing so are… well, just pretty typical of his personality:

    Me: We know a little bit of who you are, you are Ward Cunningham but what do you do at Microsoft? What are you part of, which group and what is your job here?

    Ward:At Microsoft I am an architect in the Patterns and Practices Group. I had consulted to Microsoft on a patterns project and I was impressed that they were investing money in organizing and harvesting patterns. They said "Why don’t you come and join us" and I said "Well that will be different." It was just at the right time to try something different.

Gotta love a guy who ups and takes on a full-time role with The Borg just to do something "different". 🙂 )

Meantime, there were a bunch of other interviews I did that are available for your viewing pleasure on the site, as well:

    Rocky Lhotka (whom I just hung out with last night in Sacramento as he came to speak at the Sacramento .NET User’s Group on his CSLA.NET framework–more on that in a future post, there’s some interesting concepts there)
    Bryan Keller, the PM for J# and JLCA, whom I interviewed about a week after the April 2nd Microsoft-Sun agreement went live and we were both still kind of in shock over it….
    Bryan Harry, who’s involved with Team Studio now but is most famous (infamous?) for having been the principal involved in creating Visual Source Safe (which, despite the bad rep it’s been given, was a pretty cool product back in its day)
    Keith Ballinger, Lord of All Things WSE up until a few weeks ago, but still has one of the better Web services books on the market…
    Billy Hollis, another extremely down-to-earth guy and a great person to hang out with, as I do at the patterns&practices Summits…
    Keith Short, whose book "Software Factories" I’m thoroughly enjoying right now….
    Doug Purdy and this Other Guy Who Just Happened To Show Up When He Heard That I Was Going To Interview Doug….
    Jim Miller, one of the CLR Architects and quite possibly one of the brightest (and humblest) guys I’ve ever met…
    Harry Pierson, who runs the Architecture DevCenter on MSDN and is a blast to hang out with around small race cars at TechEd….
    Lori Lamkin and Chris Lucas were two fun interviews for me to do, because they were about Team System prior to its announcement; Prashant, the PM in charge of Team System, gave me the OK to interview them ahead of time and release the interviews on the day (literally on the minute) that he announced it at TechEd. I loved that. 🙂

There’s a few more coming that I won’t tell you about (oooh, the suspense), but they were with people of similar stature and interest to those in the .NET (and maybe a few even to the Java) community. Don’t want to keep checking the site? There’s this little "XML" icon on every TSS.NET (and page that links to an RSS feed, and since you’re here, you probably already know that that means…. 😉

In the meantime, for those who hadn’t heard, TSS.NET and are now property of TechTarget, and The Middleware Company has been effectively dissolved as a result. Looks to be another interesting new chapter in the life story of TheServerSide…. Good luck to Floyd and the others in their new home….

So much for my 30 seconds of legal fame…

Well, the case of Sun Microsystems v. the Poor Innocent Website Hoster Known As Ted Neward has entered its next phase, and the net result is, I’m going to make a small change to my domain name registration, and they’re going to call off the legal dogs. C’est tout, as the French say.

The crucial breakthrough came when Mark Herring, Director Community Strategy at Sun, got wind of what was going on, and decided to send me an email asking basically if I was open to talking with him to discuss the whole thing and figure a nice easy way out of it. We talked (about fifteen minutes ago, in fact), and the net result of the whole thing is that:

    They were a little horrified to see how far the legal guy (who, it must again be noted, does not work for Sun) had sort of run with the whole thing. They have "made sure that doesn’t happen again", and were very apologetic about that aspect of the thing. (Note that, however, I’ve never disagreed with some of the original things he brought up in his initial letter–namely the lack of appropriate trademark and/or copyright respect on the site, and those are changes I still need to make.)
    The domain name for is currently set to be "" (as was mentioned in the earlier back-and-forth between myself and the lawyer in the first place); they’ve asked me to change that to be me, personally, as in its current incarnation it looks like it’s a business entity owning the site. This is reasonable, and I’ve agreed. Shouldn’t be a major doing, except just the time required to do it.
    They earned a LOT of respect from me for Sun’s Director Community Strategy and the head legal resource there–they called, we chatted, it was a very friendly conversation, and we’re all happy. Folks, Sun-the-company is NOT a Bad Guy here–they were genuinely shocked at what was going on, and they basically took steps to fix it and create a win-win situation for everybody, at least in this instance. They were polite, there was never any sort of attempt at browbeating or "We’re a big company with $2billion in the bank, you’d better go along or we’re going to sue you into insensibility" or anything along those lines. They even offered to throw in a free T-shirt by way of compensation, which is probably generous, given the total amount of time I had invested in the situation (a couple of emails and a phone call).
    No, I’m not going to give up J2EE in favor of Python or Ruby, though I still harbor no small amount of interest in getting into those platforms anyway; Dave Thomas’ praise of Ruby definitely has my interest piqued, and Python’s just close enough to Java/C# and yet still dynamic like Ruby to merit investigation. (Truth be told: I’ve downloaded Python bits several times over the years, and flipped through the O’Reilly Python book in the bookstore, but just never sat down to learn the thing. *sigh* Too many languages, not enough time.) remains alive and well, modulo the aforementioned changes; of course, now there’s the issue of me actually doing something with the site….

So, for now, it’s more business as usual at In the meantime, though, I’m working on a few JDK 1.5 papers to post (probably both here and there), and hopefully will have them up before the end of the year.

Barring, of course, a legal inquiry from Neward Enterprises Inc over copyright infringement. 😉