Actors keep track of how far removed they are from Kevin Bacon (Six degrees of Kevin Bacon), and mathematicians keep track of their Erdos Number which represents their distance from mathematician Paul Erdos.

It seems only natural that Java programmers should keep track of their JagNumber. A programmer's JagNumber represents their distance from the father of Java - James A. Gosling. James' JagNumber is zero. He is the only person with a JagNumber of zero. Anyone who has collaborated with James on a Java project has a JagNumber of 1. People who have written code with someone with a JagNumber 1 have a JagNumber 2, and so on.

Last month I spent a few hours over a weekend and added FreeTTS support to The Juicy News Network (JNN) an RSS client written in Java by none another than James Gosling. This two day collaboration gives me a JagNumber of one! woohoo! That's as low as I can go.

If you are looking to lower your own JagNumber take a look at the FreeTTS project or the Sphinx-4 project. If have some code to contribute to these open source speech engines you can lower your JagNumber to two. Imagine the bragging rights at the local pub.


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