You just have to love Java. It might not be the most advanced language compared to ruby and other newcomers but you have to love the community around it. We were discussing a project where we needed to print barcodes. I did a google search on java barcode opensource and got a couple of hits. After investigating I found barcode4j. This library contains pretty much every barcode I need for the project. I’m pretty sure that if you do the same for many other languages, all your results will be payable versions (or maybe you won’t find a barcode generator at all.). Granted writting barcodes isn’t difficult, but if you have to do it yourself it will take up extra time, bugs,… (the normal stuff).
After all these years I’m still amazed about the size of the opensource code that’s available for Java.