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James Gosling Encourages New Level of Inventiveness Among Java Developers

The inventor of Java anticipates JavaOne 2004

[The following is an extract from James Gosling's blog at java.net, dated November 20, 2003]

Gosling: "There's only one rule: Don't Freak Out the Fire Marshal"

"Yes, it's on. We haven't quite figured out the rules of the contest or the process by which it is run. But interested folks should start thinking about weird and interesting ways to get T-shirts delivered to an audience. In the past I've just used my arm, used various slingshots, a compressed air cannon, and built a medieval siege weapon (a trebuchet). But I know that there are many people who could come up with much more creative solutions.

There's really only one rule: Don't Freak Out the Fire Marshal

This is a pretty broad rule. There are many corollaries that should be pretty obvious. Things like "No maiming the audience". Also, by the nature of the contest, T-shirts have to be delivered somehow to the audience within the confines of the conference hall.

The current proposal for how to run the contest is to do it in two phases: first: entrants submit proposals that get judged by a panel. second: the top three actually build/perform/whatever their proposal in front of the JavaOne crowd and the winner gets chosen then. This would allow people from all over the world to enter. It's not clear what the prize would be, but I'm trying to arrange for there to be a financial component: the three finalists would receive the money for the third prize award a couple of months before JavaOne (it's clear at that point that each of them will win at least that much). Then at JavaOne the first and second prize winners get their awards. That way, there's some cash to help entrants defray the cost of constructing their entries. But it's not clear that this is possible: it turns out that when there are cash awards involved, there are special legal requirements on contests. We're still trying to figure it out.

So get creative! Explore your inner geek! Or your inner artist! Left brain! Right brain! All kinds of stuff could be cool.... Rail Guns? (they'll need one hell of a safety plan) Taiko Drums? Blimps? Dancing troups? The possibilities are endless. Get Cool."

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