This blog is Milestone's (meaning - Michael Scepaniak's) attempt to give something back to the open-source software community. My evolution as a software developer started right about the same time the Web began to blossom, Java gained traction, and open-source software initiated its march toward ubiquity.
Without open-source software (specifically open-source software frameworks and components) such as the Spring Framework, Hibernate, Jakarta Commons, Tomcat, HtmlUnit, Freemarker, Linux, and others, I suspect that software development would be an immensely frustrating, passion-less chore. What open-source software brings to the table is creative, inspired, developer-focused solutions to real, trench-level problems and inefficiencies. It spurs openly-accessible, internet-wide discussion and peer-based support amongst a large community of geographically-isolated individuals.
I, like countless other software developers the world over, have benefited greatly from such software, both professionally and personally (not to mention monetarily). The effort required to build open-source software is significant, second only to the effort required to publish it, maintain it, test it, document it, and support it. The fact that the users of that open-source software (meaning, other software developers) tend to be a demanding, critical lot makes this effort even tougher.
I have massive amounts of respect for open-source software developers and everyone that contributes to fostering the ecosystem. With this blog, I hope to become a more meaningful participant of that ecosystem - more than simply a consumer.
I don't expect to earn any oohs or aahs with this effort. It'll simply be me sharing tips and tricks and know-how and workarounds that I have picked-up over my years doing software development. I don't expect it to be the sort of blog to which people feel compelled to subscribe. Rather, I hope it becomes something that software developers stumble across when desperately googling for a solution to whatever gotcha' they've found themselves caught in - a solution that I've already managed to figure out at some point in the past.
At the deepest, darkest point of maximum frustration, even a simple answer can seem like a miracle.