The Art of the Nothingburger

I have been very busy with my other main interest, my attempt to resuscitate the venerable JavaCC project, so progress on resuscitating FreeMarker is rather stalled right now. A while back, I wrote a history of the JavaCC project, and in so doing, I realized that there was a concept that I certainly understood (by now, I do anyway) but did not have a word for it! The word I finally chose was nothingburger. I use the term nothingburger project to refer to a certain kind of open source project. Such a project is basically dead from the point of view of ongoing development. However, it is not the same as abandonware because a project simply being abandoned, you know, like any orphan project sitting on Sourceforge, no attempt is being made to deceive anybody that the project is active when it is not.

Of course, the nothingburger topic is not specific to FreeMarker and I shall admit openly that I am posting this note here because this website has been so inactive and it should have some new content. That said, when I finally get round to writing a history of the FreeMarker project (similar to the one I wrote for JavaCC) it will be a key concept that I will allude to. 

Actually, my essay on nothingburger-ism unfinished, still a work in progress. When I first started writing it, I thought it would not be very long, but then I realized that it was a much bigger topic than I first thought. So I have written three installments so far and I realize there will likely be the need for at least a couple more.

The first two installments that are already written can be found here and here. Feel free to provide any feedback on the Discourse forum. There is some weird issue where, on an initial visit to the Discourse forum, you see a blank page and finally it works after you hit reload one or more times. This is only on a first visit because after that, your browser seems to have the necessary stuff cached, and then the page is actually quite responsive.)

Start the discussion at