I had the chance to do a question-and-answer session with Mark de Visser, new CEO of Sonatype. Sonatype was founded in 2007 and bills itself as "The Maven Company." Maven is build and release software for Java. Sonatype boasts all the main Maven developers including the project's founder, Jason van Zyl.
De Visser, for his part, is well-known in open-source business circles as former chief marketing officer at PHP tools maker Zend Technologies and former VP of Marketing at both Red Hat and Agitar. I noted a few months back when De Visser first moved to Sonatype, and I've been wanting to get an update on what's happening in open-source business and why he picked Sonatype.
I think very highly of De Visser. If he chooses Sonatype, there's a good reason behind it. I wanted to hear more.
Asay: Sun's market cap has dropped precipitously, and it's currently around $3 billion. Is this having an effect on Java?
De Visser: Java is a core development language for the enterprise and its portability, flexibility, and scalability continue to be strong points. It's out in the wild. Sun may have problems, both self-inflicted and otherwise, but they're not the only ones having a tough time. Each day brings news of more layoffs in high-tech companies.
Java, the language, however, is growing very quickly based on its strengths. Improving and extending Java will continue to be important.
Asay: So, why now? Why would you choose to start a new company at this point in time? Are you a glutton for punishment?
De Visser: Well, first of all, you give me a little more credit than I deserve for having control over when and how. But I will tell you, now is a great time to be building an open-source company. Software continues to have to be built and companies will be even more motivated to look for efficiency and cost savings during this downturn.
Maven delivers that and Sonatype helps companies adopt Maven with products and expertise. There is no better place in the world to come for support and training for Maven.
It also helps that the product is popular. Incredibly so. The Maven Central Repository has over 70,000 Java artifacts in it, including widely used open-source projects like Apache Commons, JUnit, Lucene, Hibernate, and Spring. The Maven database was linked to 200 million times in November alone. 200 million times!… Read more