Dave Johnson on open web technologies, social software and Java
Celebrating with Movie and TV mind teasers
1. What was in the briefcase in Pulp Fiction?
2. What was in the package left in the care of Barton Fink?
3. What state in Springfield in on The Simpsons?
...and more from bro man Dan.
As usual ApacheCon was a blast. I showed-up on Tuesday, made myself at home in the hackathon room and started reconnecting with old friends and meeting new ones. I arrived at the members reception a little late and missed the beer, but was not too late to meet Lars Trieloff of Mindquarry, a startup that's working on an interesting open source product suite that combines content management, task management and wiki functionality. Behind the scenes the product combines Subversion, Apache Jackrabbit and other open source products. Apparently everything is tied together via the Java Content Repository (JCR) API and that's why Lars is interested in the possibility of hooking Roller up with a JCR backend.
Talks began Wednesday and I sat in the business track for most of the day. I particularly enjoyed Rebecca Hansen's talk Better than free: Strategic opportunities in open source and Bill Stoddards talk on Best Practices for Incorporating Open Source Code in Commercial Production. I also enjoyed Alexandru Popescu talk on Up to Speed with Java Content Repository API and Jackrabbit. I attended Stefano Machacci's excellent Community Building Practices talk again -- I think it should be required for all Apache contributors.
Thursday night was the Sun party at Lloyd Hotel, which was was quite successful. I had an interesting Roller-related chat with Paolo Castagna of HP, who is investigating new ways to integrate blogs, planets and wikis -- so we had a lot to talk about. I'm hoping he'll find that Roller is a good foundation for his work and encouraged him to collaborate with us via the Roller mailing lists. By the way, like Lars Trieloff, he is also interested in JCR as a back-end for blog/wiki data.
My talk Roller and blogs as a web development platform was scheduled for 10:30 Friday morning. It didn't go so well. Power went out at around 10AM and didn't come back until about 20 minutes into the talk. That left me a bit frazzled and feeling rushed, so I don't think I gave my best performance. If you'd like more information on the talk, you can find the outline here and the slides here (1.6MB PDF).
Sun is throwing a party at ApacheCon EU on Thursday night, right after the lightning talks. It looks like Rebecca has arranged a very nice party-space (see below) at the Lloyd, a self-described "Trendy Design Hotel" just down the water from the Movenpick. So please stop by, say hello and enjoy a beverage or two to start the evening.
Vacation is over and it's back to work today. I rode the tram up to Amsterdam Central Station to see Andi off, checked out of our vacation hotel and made my way up to the Movenpick Hotel for ApacheCon EU.
I'm in the ApacheCon hackathon room now working to clear my in-box,
catch-up on blogs and figure out what work things need my (rather
limited) attention this week.
Vacation was wonderful, by the way. I didn't do any travel blogging on this trip, but I've taken about 200 photos and uploaded some of the best to my Flickr account. I took a bunch of nice shots of the Queens Day festivities yesterday. and the ad hoc boat parades. I've also been building a Google map of our travels, annotated with photos and comments. I'll share that link later this week once it's more complete.
It's hard to believe it's been three years since the blogs.sun.com (BSC) launch. Sun bloggers are having a birthday party of sorts around the tag bsc3years, so check out all the posts. My favorite is Linda's, which sums up the successes and reasons for the success of BSC. I think she's right on the money with her comments about employee blogging. Let me add this: you don't need a marketing team or a blog consulting firm to write your company's blogs. Trust your employees. Encourage them to blog and, if you can, provide the enabling infrastructure. I think I may have said that before
I still remember how amazed, surprised and pleased I was to learn that Sun was using Roller. I found out on May 5, 2004 via Roller; I noticed referrers from blogs.sun.com and just couldn't believe my eyes. Shortly after that I wrote to Tim Bray, who introduced me to Will Snow and soon I managed to become part of the BSC phenomenon. I'm proud to have played a part in the BSC success, but the success was certainly not due to the Roller software; it's the bloggers who made BSC. So here's to the BSC bloggers: happy birthday!
Finally! Roller has graduated to become a top-level Apache project and we've shipped the long awaited Apache Roller 3.1 release. You can find the full announcement on the Roller mailing list and on the Roller project blog and our new top-level site at http://roller.apache.org.
Following up on the APP interop event last week, here are the ROME Propono APP client issues we found:
And here are the Roller APP server issues:
I plan on fixing the Roller issues for this summer's Roller 4.0 release. I won't have time to fix the Propono issues for the upcoming Propono 0.5 release (due this week), so they'll be in 0.6 sometime after JavaOne.
The Atom Publishing Protocol interop event is over and now I'm catching up on blogs and email in my hotel room in Mountain View, CA. In the end, I was able to run ROME Propono successfully against Blogger/GData, AOL Journals and Wordpress. I also found a dozen small problems in Propono and in the Roller APP server.
For more information on the event, check O'Reilly's Keith Fahlgren's summary of the event titled Atom Publishing Protocol a Success. Keith mentions that "big industry players like AOL, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, and Sun are working on APP clients and servers and sent people to the interop event with interesting code" and I agree that's definitely a good sign for the protocol.
I thought it was particularly interesting that database vendors IBM and Oracle showed up with DB2 and Oracle-backed Atom stores. If Google's half-dozen or so Atom protocol based services aren't enough make you stand up and take notice, surely that should get your attention.
Day one of the Atom Publishing Protocol (APP) interop event was a success, at least from my point-of-view. I was able to test the Propono client against Blogger.com/GData, AOL Journals and an implementation from Oracle. I found and fixed problems in Roller's APP implementation. Plus, it was great to meet all of the good folks implementing Atom and to get a close look at the Google campus. I'm getting ready to drive back to Google now so... gotta go.
Check out Tim Bray's blog for some photos of the event.
Today is the fifth anniversary of this blog, which I started on April 11, 2002 to promote the Roller blog software that I had just finished writing.
Roller wasn't really ready for deployment at the time, so I started blogging using Userland Radio radio.weblogs.com. You can find my first post on Radio here FIRST POST!!! You can also find the original Roller 0.90 user guide on the old site, complete with screen-shots. A couple of weeks later, my article on Roller was published at OnJava.com and folks started to take notice of Roller.
Now, five years later, Roller has graduated from the Apache Incubator to become Apache Roller, blog-tech is my full-time job at Sun and I'm still Blogging Roller. Thanks to Roller users and contributors everywhere for helping to make this possible.
I'm happy to announce the first release of the ROME subproject Propono. Propono is a ROME-based Java class library that supports publishing protocols, specifically the Atom Publishing Protocol and the legacy MetaWeblog API. Propono includes an Atom client library, an Atom server framework and a Blog client that supports both Atom protocol and the MetaWeblog API.
Here's the project page
Here's the Propono 0.4 release page:
And here's a link to the API docs, which include details, diagrams and code examples:
I'll be testing Propono this week and next (at the Google-hosted APP interop meeting) so now is a great time to provide feedback and bug reports. I plan on releasing Propono 0.5 in the *very* near future.
Most of Tim O'Reilly's proposed blogger's code of ethics is common sense stuff, but some of it seems to conflict with the informal, conversational and public nature of blogs. It's flawed and besides that, it's unnecessary.
It's not always important to "connect privately before we respond publicly" to "misrepresentations or conflicts" as the code states. Blogging is supposed to be a public conversation, not a bunch of back-channel emails and phone calls. If you think somebody misspoke you might want to check with them before you totally lay into them, but you can do that gently on your blog e.g. "I was reading Bob's post and wondering if he really meant to say 'all foo is bar' because that just doesn't seem right."
It's not necessary for every blogger to take action "when we believe someone is unfairly attacking another;" especially if others are already responding well and being heard. It's OK to lurk.
And I definitely do not believe that anonymous comments should be banned. So I'm glad to see that O'Reilly now says (in the comments to his own post) that part should be optional.
For me the bottom line is that bloggers should follow the same rules as everybody else. We don't need special blogger's code of ethics, a sheriff badge or the blog police. The fundamental things apply: common sense, decency and the laws of the land.
We haven't released the standalone Roller-Planet application yet, but the .Sun Engineering team quietly deployed the latest bits at planet.sun.com a couple of weeks ago in response to requests from the Glassfish, SWDP and other teams for planet-style web sites. You can follow the links on the main page to find planets for Glassfish, SWDP, Sun India, Sun Alumni, Sun Java System Web Server, web services and globalization bloggers.
What's Roller-Planet? It's a community aggregation server, similar to Planet-Planet but with some key differences: it's got a web UI that enables groups of users to run their own planet sites, it's based on Java and it uses the ROME feed parser and fetcher. I've written about it before. We don't have a release plan yet for Roller-Planet so if you really want to try it you'll have to fetch and build it from the Apache Roller SVN repo.