There's been some discussion on the Watson Users' email discussion group about the future of Watson and where Sun is going. I am sad to say that it looks like Sun doesn't seem to be focussing on getting the port of Watson released any time soon.
Of course, this wasn't the plan. The intention when Sun acquired the Watson technology was to have a port released by this time. But as all of us are familiar with how public companies behave when pressure is put upon them by Wall Street for profitability; it seems that the release of the Watson port is not on Sun's critical path right now.
I'm saddened by this for many reasons. First of all, I hate to see the end of Watson's support period come in a very short while. The agreement with Karelia specified that all support of Watson cease. Most other kinds of applications would continue to work indefinitely even after being end-of-lifed, but due to the ever-changing nature of the Web, some of Watson's functionality will begin to deteriorate in the near future, and I won't be able to help due to the nature of our agreement.
Here's another reason I'm disappointed that the Watson port isn't released yet. I worked with Sun on the Java port, and I was very pleased with how it was turning out. Yes, it was written in Java, but it really shined on the Mac. Philip Weaver, who worked on the UI, did a phenomenal job making it work well on the Mac.
Mostly, though, I'm disappointed because this means that the Watson community of users (myself included) will no longer be able to fully make use of this program which I spent so much time perfecting. The people that stuck with Watson and encouraged me to keep working on it after the whole "Sherlock" debacle will always have my gratitude.
If you're upset with me and Karelia software that this whole thing happened, I understand. Selling Watson was a business decision, and sometimes things don't work out the way that we planned. I have always had my virtual email door open to your comments. And Sun has an email address set up for comments about their "Project Alameda" port of Watson which is firstname.lastname@example.org. I don't know what kind of response one would get from contacting them, but it might help them to know that there are Watson users out there who really want to see Sun's version released.
But, in this world and especially this industry, change is the only sure thing. So, I'm working on a new project. I'll be talking a little bit about this in a post to follow in a day or two.