ApacheCon Tuesday


On Tuesday I attended talks on new trends in web security, Lenya and JackRabbit, iBatis, Apache XML-binding approaches, Struts and Struts Shale. I didn't learn a whole lot new, but it was good to get an update on these projects, status and plans for the future -- especially in the case of Struts, which seems to be forking into two incompatible frameworks (Struts TI and Struts Shale). Here's Ted Husted introducing Craig McClanahan's talk on Struts Shale.



After the early evening lightning talks, there was a screening of Michael Wechner's excellent documentary film FUD (Wyona Pictures), which included interviews with Brian Behlendorf, Danese Cooper, Ken Coar, Sam Ruby and others. Sam wasn't able to come to the conference, so it was nice to see/hear him up on the big screen. Here's Sam:



ApacheCon: Roller persistence bake-off?


On Tuesday, I also talked to (JDO spec lead) Craig Russell, who's interested in helping to create a JDO backend (using JPOX) for Roller to replace Hibernate. Later, I talked to (Struts in Action author) Ted Husted, who's interested in doing the same thing with iBatis. And even later, at dinner, Ted Leung suggested the idea of a Roller persistence bake-off. We'd challenge the JDO, iBatis and even EJB3 proponents to create competing implementations of the Roller backend and then we'd choose the best one based on performance, generated SQL, developer ease-of-use and whatever other factors. The prize? An iPod? No, the prize would be the honor of being the official persistence framework of Roller ;-)

ApacheCon Tuesday: Tim Bray's keynote


Tim Bray's slides for ApacheCon/US 2005 contained just five works: Derby, Threads, Beyond Java, Thanks. While the Derby slide was on the screen, Tim announced that Sun will be using and supporting Derby under the name Open Java DB and Francois Orsini gave demo of Derby embedded in Firefox and scripted by JavaScript, cool enough to excite even jaded Ted. While the word Threads was on the screen, Tim talked about Niagara and how CMT processors are going to be part of every webapp developer's future. For Beyond Java, Tim recommended the book of the same name, but took issue with some of the points (see his post on Beyond Java) and tried to stir some controversy by saying that threading features in Python and Ruby are "toys." Surprisingly, nobody took issue with this in the Q&A that followed the talk. On the Thanks slide, Tim took some time to thank Apache for 10 years of wonderful software and finally ended with a simple plea: don't screw up.

Here's Tim delivering the Tuesday keynote (apologies for the fuzzy photos).



ApacheCon Monday (and my Roller talk)


Here's an update on my ApacheCon 2005 experience.This morning was day one of the conference proper. The opening keynote "Open source is not illegal -- yet" by Cory Doctorow was quite entertaining and at the same time quite scary. Cory explained how the governments of the world, including the US, are enacting draconian entertainment industry sponsored laws to mandate Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) in all essentially all hardware and software products. He also explained how the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is working to help governments understand that DRM doesn't work, is anti-competitive and completely incompatible with open source software. I walked out of the talk, walked downstairs to the EFF table and made a donation. If you care about your digital rights and open source software (and bloggers rights) I urge you to do the same. Support the EFF.

Here's Cory delivering his keynote:


Here's the Inside Apache panel, which followed Cory's talk, led by ASF chairman Greg Stein:


After the opening session, I went to Simon Phipps' talk on The Zen of Free: Deriving a General Model For Open Source, which was excellent as I expected, and Jim Driscol's talk on Open Source for Business and Profit. Jim's case studies on Ant, Tomcat and WatchDog were my favorite part of the talk.

After lunch it was time for my session. I felt inadequate after a morning of listening to the pros and in the end I wasn't all that happy with my performance. I think the content and my slides were good, but that was the only goodness. Due to my cold (and sudafed), my mouth was dry. I was worried about running over like I did at JavaOne, so I think I rushed a bit and I finished 20 minutes early! I'm not sure what the audience thought, so if you attended I'd love to hear your impression of the talk. Pleaese be honest, I can take it.

I've posted my slides here on my site. The talk is an overview of Roller including features/benefits, limitations and architecture. It's intended as a primer for new users and developers:

    Roller: An Open Source Blogging Platform (Open Office format | PDF format)

That's all for now.

Finishing the book

Quick status report on RSS and Atom in Action. We've decided we can't wait any longer for the Atom Publishing Protocol. I just promised to finish Atom chapter by January first. The plan is to cover the portions of Atom that are stable, the latest on collections and introspection and then provide updated examples once the APP is finalized. Good thing is, since most the blog client examples in part II use my BlogClient interfaces, they're agnostic about Atom vs. MetaWeblog API.

ApacheCon arrival

I arrived at ApacheCon yesterday (Saturday) on a beautiful San Diego day, clear skies mild weather. I took a couple of pictures and posted them on Flickr for kids back home. Of course, the sunshine didn't stop me from marching right down to the basement for the hackathon, where I met Henri Yandell for the first time and ran into most of the same characters I'd encountered at last years's hackaton. I didn't stay late last night because I picked up a cold. Instead, I decided to sleep (for 10 hours!). After coffee, advil, sudafed and a long walk down the cruise ship docks this morning, I'm back and feeling much better.

Despite the beer, pizza, comfy couches and dinners that keep on rolling into the room, the hackathon is not just a social event. People have work to do and seem to be able to go heads-down and focus on getting things done. For example, today I'm sitting at the Geronimo table with Bruce Synder, David Jencks and others, where they're working to finish the Geronimo 1.0 release before the actual conference begins. I've got a little work to do today as well. My goal for the day is prepare the first Blogapps release, get ready for my talk tomorrow and help out with the extra beer problem. More later...

Tags: topic:{technorati}[ApacheCon], topic:{technorati}[ApacheCon2005]

TMBG podcast

They Might Be Giants first podcast is available. Here's the TMBG podcast feed.


10,000 users

Congrats to Matt Schmidt, Rick Ross and the JRoller.com community, which now numbers 10,000 users -- "the largest Java server on the net." Hopefully, they'll be moving to Roller 2.X soon so they can benefit from group blogging and the comment management features coming in 2.1.


The Aquarium: Roller-powered group blog on Glassfish



Glassfish logo
Here's to Eduardo, Carla and Rich who recently launched The Aquarium, the first Roller-powered group blog that I've seen in the wild. They'll be blogging the growing Glassfish community and, I hope, providing us with some feedback to help us improve the Roller group blogging experience.

Catching up with the APP

Joe Gregorio's latest XML.com article is Catching Up with the Atom Publishing Protocol a nice concise summary of the current state of the Atom Publishing Protocol.

Don't worry about Ruby

Cedric Beust: dynamic languages are not making fast progress in developer mindshare
I wonder when that was published. The evidence from Tim O'Reilly seems to contradict such a claim. Tim says Python book sales are up 20% and Ruby are up 1552%. Quote found via James Robertson.

Years ago

Twenty-five years ago on this day John Lennon was killed. I still remember hearing the news and, I'm not ashamed to say, thinking about it still brings tears to my eyes. On a much happier note, nine years ago on this day my first son Alexander Broering Johnson was born.

Atom/RSS backlash?

Stowe Boyd, who I met at the BlogOn conference in NYC, has an interesting post about feed readers, how they just don't work for him and some cool feature ideas for those who develop feed readers. I suspect his experiences are pretty common. I've had a very hard time convincing my tech savvy friends and family to use an Atom/RSS reader. I think people get into a comfortable routine for web readering, to use Boyd's word, and that's where they want to stay. In my case, I'm addicted to my reader software. You'll have to pry NetNewsWire out of my cold dead hands. Via Scoble.

Postscript: The RsstRoom Reader might change Stowe's opinion of feed readers


Raleigh/Cary bloggers meetup tonight

Tonight's the night to meet-up at Cafe Cyclo. As usual: Josh has the details.

Roller at the launch

Linda Skrocki: Another cool thing about the [Network Computing launch] event in NYC is the Blogs Engineering team was asked to participate. So, if you're there, stop by the OpenSource pods. Allen, blogs.sun.com/Roller Engineer, will be there (probably in a suit...someone please snap a picture) to answer your blogs/Roller questions and will demo some of the new Roller stuff recently released.

Big day for Sun

The name Quarterly Network Computing Launch makes it sound a bit routine, boring even, but this is a big BIG day for Sun. Here's what Schwartz wrote on his blog about the new Sun Fire T2000 and T1000 servers being launched today:

Jonathan Schwartz: A computer that runs five times faster than Dell and HP's fastest Xeon systems. A computer that's one quarter the size. That runs Solaris, and will run Linux and *BSD (and even Windows isn't out of the question). Based on a 9.6 Ghz 8-core Niagara chip available in volume, and compatible with the $120 billion dollar SPARC installed base. A computer that runs the internet like it was purpose built for search, for voice over IP, for video streams and web services and database transactions.

CDH 80

Sam Whitmore: This is the last Closet Deadhead podcast. We weren’t shut down. In light of the Archive.org debacle, we simply sense that it’s time to go. Thank you for all your support, and stay in touch at www.closetdeadhead.com.
How very sad. Ten years after Jerry passed, Dead fans like Sam (and I) mourn another loss.

Here's to the Java Posse

I've been listening to the Java Posse podcast from the get-go and, assuming you're a Java head, it's a great show. So, I was just as pleased as punch to hear them mention the Roller 2.0 release on the Friday show and say some nice words about blogs.sun.com. Thanks guys.

Open source is not a crime -- yet!

That's the title of Cory Doctorow's opening keynote at ApacheCon 2005, which is now one week away. I'm starting to get excited. Last year was my first ApacheCon and it was probably the most enjoyable conference I've ever attended. Here are the sessions I'm most interested in this year:

  • MO07: Portals@Apache: Standards and the Portals Projects
  • MO08: Open Source for Business and Profit
  • MO18: State of the Web Services Union
  • MO19: Apache MyFaces - Open Source JavaServer Faces
  • MO20: Your Open Source Strategy Sucks!
  • MO21: Power Regular Expressions
  • MO23: AJAX in Apache MyFaces
  • MO24: Business Tips for the Open Source Consultant
  • TU16: Java-XML Binding Approaches at Apache
  • TU20: Struts 2006: An Embarrassment of Riches
  • TU24: Shale: The Next Struts?
  • WE14: Ruby for Java Developers
  • WE18: Cheap, Fast, and Good: You can have it all with Ruby on Rails
  • WE19: Achieving High Scalability in JBI with Apache JavaFlow

This year, I'm giving a talk. I'm speaking on day one, Monday Dec. 12 at 2PM. Here's the abstract:

Roller is the open source Java blog server that drives the popular blogs.sun.com, jroller.com and numerous other blog sites. Currently making its way through the Apache incubation process, Roller is built on a host of Apache technologies including Struts, Velocity, Lucene, Jakarta Commons, XML-RPC and more. This overview, a primer for Roller users and contributors, covers the Roller feature set, architecture, lessons learned, project status and future plans.

I'll be at the Sun booth in the 4PM break after my talk, so stop by and say hi.

Tags: topic:{technorati}[ApacheCon], topic:{technorati}[ApacheCon2005]


Walk the Line and a night out

For the first time since three-year-old Leo was born, Andi and I dumped *all* of the kids off with my parents (thanks Mom and Dad) in Chapel Hill and headed out to movie, dinner and a show. We saw Walk the Line, the Johnny Cash bio-pic. Ebert gave it the thumbs up, Rolling Stone says its Oscar material and we both loved it.

After the movie we were hoping to try Panang again, but we didn't have time for dinner. We had to meet Andi's brother and head back to Raleigh to see Carbon Leaf at the Lincoln Theater. Carbon Leaf put on an enjoyable show, but the music didn't really grab me, at least not enough to inspire any CD purchases. If I had to triangulate (using my out-of-date reference materal), I'd say they were Connells-style white-boy jam-pop, with celtic influences (penny whistle included) and Phish-like sing-along lyrics.

All and all, a very nice and kid-free night out.

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