Without any buzz, IBM released yesterday Project Zero, an incubator project whose target is to provide a powerful development and execution platform for modern web applications while at the same time having the overall experience be radically simple.

Project Zero is an incubator project started within IBM that is focused on the agile development of the next generation of dynamic Web applications. Project Zero introduces a simple environment for creating, assembling and executing applications based on popular Web technologies. The Project Zero environment includes a scripting runtime for Groovy and PHP with application programming interfaces optimized for producing REST-style services, integration mash-ups and rich Web interfaces.

This project adopted the Community-Driven Commercial Development process, aimed to provide a more open development process encouraging greater participation from the user community, something that Jerry Cuomo, CTO for the WebSphere brand and Zero Co-founder and Project Champion, announced in the last IBM Impact 2007 conference.

Community-Driven means that we want feedback, insight, suggestions, criticism, and dialogue with you, the users of Project Zero. This interaction will yield a better solution that is more targeted at the problems you have and a technology that truly delivers on its objectives. Commercial means that this is not an open source project. We are still building commercial software here, as the licensing makes clear, but we are doing it in a more transparent fashion. This transparency provides a way for you to influence the project much earlier in its lifecycle. It also serves a role in our notions of radical simplicity. Every discussion, every technology decision, the full history of this technology will be accessible, searchable, preserved on this site. That means that finding answers to your questions will never be more than a search away. Development means that this community is about the technology and how it is developed and evolves. This is not a product community. It is not the place for the finished item, but rather the lab where it will grow.

So go to the project site, read the FAQ, download it (it’s easy using the Eclipse remote update manager) and try out the tutorials and examples for yourself. And don’t forget to share your opinions through the community forums!

(Via Andy)


Comment by martin on 2007-07-02 23:27:47 +0000

It seems quite interesting. However, I wonder why they are charging license fees when there is currently so many Open Source alternatives in the scripting world for rapid web application development and deployment.

Comment by Ferdy on 2007-07-03 01:31:38 +0000

Yes, sounds confusing. But they are not charging fees, they are just licensing it, that it’s a bit different.

IMHO, the interesting part of this project it’s not only the technological side, but the new development model. It seems like an IBM experiment trying to investigate the, using J. Cuomo words, “social side of the software development process” applied to commercial software, that is, instead of building commercial software in a traditional/closed style, with little customer involvement, they are opening this process to criticism, suggestion, opinions, … It’s like the open source development process, but applied to commercial software.

Anyway, we need to digest it and pay attention to the project zero blog, as I expect more clarifications from IBM in the next days …