Back to work

I'm back to work after a week of JavaOne and week of summer-shutdown imposed vacation. What did I do on my vacation? After returning from JavaOne, I joined the rest of the family at the grandparent's new beach/golf house close to Topsail Island, NC. I tried my best to avoid work. I did pretty well and that's not as easy as it sounds; I first starting working on Roller during a summer vacation at Ocracoke Island.

I forced myself to take a break. I did the beach thing: dragged beach chairs and umbrellas around, covered my body in sunblock, built sand-drip castles, etc. I showed the boys the original three Star Wars films. I saw The War of the Worlds, which was surprisingly good in a summer fun movie kind of way. I read Freakonomics, also good. That was great; I needed a break. Now I'm back, the older boys are in all-day camp at the YMCA, I'm ready to get back into Roller 2.0 group blogging work.


del.icio.us links [July 05, 2005]

  • Andy Oliver on Spring
    Very interesting write-up on Spring Framework with responses from Juergen Hoeller
  • Sorry about Dennis Miller
    Simon Phipps: "Miller was a profoundly bad choice of entertainment for an international techno-geek conference"
  • IEEE Atom article
    Nice intro to Atom by Robert Sayre
  • Newsfeed spam
    Spam finds its way into Simon's newsfeed reader via newsfeed search engine feeds

North Ridge fireworks


(Raleigh, NC) Fireworks over the North Ridge Country Club, as seen from my driveway and taken with my Treo 650. Not the greatest picture, but it shows how close they are to my house.


Evil Dave apprehended

Since 911 I've had to wait 20 to 30 minutes at the ticket desk while TSA verifies that I'm not the evil Dave Johnson. I could never use the automated ticket kiosk. Now that they've caught my evil counterpart air travel ain't half so bad.

del.icio.us links [July 01, 2005]


The talk went well

My second JavaOne was a great experience, but it was a little stressful because up until last night I couldn't find any of my co-speakers. I spent most of Wednesday preparing to give the whole talk by myself, but luckily for me (and the attendees), Pat and Kevin showed up just in time. Unfortunately, Pat showed up with some very bad news for us at Sun: he's leaving to work at Google.

In the end, I think the talk went pretty well. Kevin did most of Pat and my slides on syndication because we had split the talk 50-50 when we couldn't locate Pat on Wednesday night (and assumed he was still in Paris). He did a good job with the material and added in some interesting points from his experience at Rojo.com where they parse millions of feeds per hour with the Java-based Apache Commons (sandbox) FeedParser.

We were a little disappointed with the turnout. I'd be surprised if the 700+ seat Yerba Buena theater was more than 30% full. The fact that were in a lunchtime timeslot on the last day of the show certainly didn't help. Anyhow, I'm relieved that it's over and ready for a nice long week off.


JavaOne web framework smack-down



Are there really going to be any smack-downs? I'm betting it's gonna be pretty mild. I'll blog the comments that provoke the smack-down bell. Webwork - Jason Carerra

  • "We're not desgined by a committee"
  • "You have to join the JCP and press the spec meat"
  • "You have to have a tool to deal with the 18 JSF configuration files"
  • "JSF, which hasn't been out for a year, is telling us about maintainability?"
  • "Yeah, use the JSF extensibility to create a spyware component"
  • "(Geary's mailbox is so full because) people are confused by MyFaces"
Struts Shale - David Geary
  • "JSF is a lot better Struts and a better Webwork"
  • "Struts is old school, get over it" (he asked for the bell, but didn't get it)
Wicket - Martin Dashorst
  • "No framework makes it as easy to create components as Wicket"
  • "With Wicket you only need to know the extends keyword"
Tapestry - Howard Lewis-Ship
  • "It's not Struts++"
JSF - Ed Burns
  • (too nice to provoke the bell even once)
  • "You don't care about maintainability, use Struts" (shoulda gotten the bell, but didn't)
Audience
  • To David Geary: "Why did you steal Springs web flow?"
OK, I missed a couple, but you get the idea. Those guys were waaaay too nice.

del.icio.us links [June 29, 2005]

Roller 1.2 available for download

I finally found the bandwidth (and the time) to upload the Roller 1.2 release. The full Roller 1.2 announcement is on the Roller project blog.


JavaOne 2005 opening session notes



Lots of cool news during the general session this morning. I took lots of notes, but I've got no time to type them all in. So, here are the high-lights from my point of view (and in the order they were mentioned):

  • Java in every DVD player. The new Blue Ray standard for DVDs (up to 50GB storage per disk) includes Java technology. I don't have the details, but word is that all Blue Ray DVD players will include a Java VM for creating interactive content, i.e. the menus, special effects, and games that accompany movies on DVD. Gosling mentioned that future DVD players will have network ports too. Sounds like lots of interesting opportunities for Java developers there.
  • IBM supporting Solaris 10. The entire IBM middleware suite will be available for Solaris 10 (and I'm assuming OpenSolaris as well) in both AMD and Intel flavors. This is great for Eclipse-heads that dig Solaris (not that I would know any of them ;-)
  • Sun Java App Server now open source and under CDDL, a true OSI certified open source license (with patent protection/indemnification). Jim Driscol has some more details of this new project, known as Glassfish.
  • Screamin' Sun box with ALL dev tools is $29.95/month. I'm tempted to get one myself. You get Sun Studio C/C++ dev environment, Java Studio, and Java Creator with tech support for less than thirty bucks a month -- all preloaded on one of the new Sun Ultra 20 AMD Opteron based workstations.
  • Java Creator 2.0 EA and AJAX components available: Tor took the stage with Johnny L to demo Creator 2.0 and a cool new AJAX component they've cooked up (I'm still trying to find it on Java.Net).

Pardon (and correct) me if I don't have all the details right. I don't have time to write up Graham Hamilton's presentation on Java SE, EE and ME. Maybe later. Gotta run...

Status, cc:world

Last week: wrapped up documentation and final fixes Roller 1.2 release. I'm doing the build now. Also, I was able to devote several full days of work to Roller 2.0/Group Blogging and made some real progress.

This week: JavaOne! My talk is Thursday at noon (Blogging: Feed Syndication and Publishing With Java™ Technology TS-7318).


Microsoft's on the road to ROME too



Microsoft made a series of RSS related announcements this week. They, like many others, have realized that RSS is not just for blogs anymore. It's for everything from package tracking, monitoring network events, distributing files, synchronizing calendars, DTrace, monitoring your motor fleet, sharing playlists, exchanging photos -- anything that you might want to subscribe to. RSS support should be built right-into the computing platform and that's what Microsoft is doing.

Note that they use the term RSS as a blanket term that refers to the "general concept of feeds of syndicated content." So, in the eyes of Microsoft, the term RSS also includes the new IETF standard Atom Publishing Format.

From what I've read so far, there are three announcements:

1. IE7 will include feed autodiscovery

Well, duh. Just like Safari RSS and Firefox do now, IE7 will recognize when a web page has a feed and will make it easy for you to subscribe to that feed.

2. Longhorn will include a built-in newsfeed datastore

Microsoft's new "Longhorn" OS will keep track of your feeds for you. You can organize them into folders will download them as needed (including an Podcasts or other enclosures they contain) and make them available for all of your applications. This is great for Windows-only application developers, because they no longer have to worry about parsing feeds, caching feeds and annoying things like ETags and HTTP conditional GET -- Longhorn will do that for you.

It's not clear what kind of user-interface will be provided with the Longhorn aggregator. Will it include a feed reader interface like FeedDemon or NetNewsWire or will Microsoft leave that for 3rd party developers?

In Java-land, ROME provides almost all the pieces you need to build such a feed datastore. It's got a parser that can handle any format and extensions. It's got a "fetcher" that fetches and caches feeds and plays nice with ETags, HTTP conditional GET, and FeedDiff. It's got an abstract data model that can represent any type of feed. That's why I say Microsoft is on the road to ROME too.

3. Longhorn will extend RSS to give it better list-handling capabilities

Microsoft's new Simple List Extensions Specification makes it easier to use a newsfeed as a sortable list of items. The extension looks pretty simple, but I believe it will break a lot of parsers because of the way it wraps existing elements (see Phil Ringnalda's post for example). Most feed extensions add new elements, but don't wrap existing elements in this way. ROME's extension handle might need to be redesigned to accommodate this type of extension.

This is all cool stuff and if you want to be able to do it in Java, then join up with the ROME project. Java can get there first.

References:


del.icio.us JavaOne links [June 24, 2005]

Tags: topic:{technorati}[Java] topic:{technorati}[JavaOne] topic:{technorati}[OpenSolaris]

Pheedo hijacking TheServerSide's feed?

Something odd just happened in my aggregator and I'm not sure how to explain it. I was reading through my Java related subscriptions and I noticed that The Server Side feed had just one entry, an "AD" for a service called Pheedo. It looked like this:

screenshot

So I went to theserverside.com and checked their newsfeed. It looked just fine and did not contain even one reference to Pheedo. Hmmm. What happened? So, I went back to NetNewsWire and choose "View XML Source" for The Server Side feed. I saw a feed with a The Server Side header and an atom:link element pointing to Pheedo with rel="start". See the screenshot below:

screenshot

So, what happened here? Just a glitch when The Server Side installed the Pheedo stuff or something more sinister. One thing's for sure, we're gonna need Adblock for feed-readers real soon now.

Beer at JavaOne

Simon Phipp's and Jim Grisanzio have organized a JaveOne bloggers meetup at the Thirsty Bear from 6-8pm on Monday June 27th. See you there.

Beyond blogging at JavaOne

I'm attending JavaOne 2005 next week and speaking on Thursday at noon. The talk is titled Beyond Blogging: Feed Syndication and Publishing With Java™ Technology (TS-7318) and there are four speakers Alejandro Abdelnur (not attending), Pat Chanezon, Kevin Burton and myself.

Missed the meetup

I missed the fortnightly Raleigh bloggers meetup last night. We were out celebrating Leo's third birthday, Andi's birthday and the sale of our old house in Charlotte. I'm going to try to make it to the Chapel Hill meetup tonight, but it looks like work might run a little late today.

Leo

Star Wars weekend

I convinced Andi that Alex(8) and Linus(7) are old enough for the Star Wars films. So, this past weekend we watched episides I, II and III. We started with Episode 1.1: The Phantom Edit, a fan-edited version of the film that includes much less Jar Jar than before. They boys thought they could have cut more; I kid you not. I thought the Phantom Edit was a little too fuzzy to enjoy. I guess that's because it was created from a VHS copy of the film.

I think the boys enjoyed Episode II: Attack of the Clones more than Episode I, but there was a little too much kissing. It's funny to see the kids cringe when Anakin and Padme get all mushy.

It was Andi's birthday on Sunday, so she took Alex and Linus to Episode III and I stayed home with the little Leo. They enjoyed it the most of the three, but Linus was a little disturbed when he saw what happened to Anakin. I don't think he was really traumatized, at least not as bad as he was on The Mummy (whatever you do, do NOT mention The Mummy to Linus).

I wonder what they're going to think of the original films. Will they see IV and V as the awesome classics that I know them to be, or dated and dull after the orgy of special effects they've just gone through in the prequels.

Status, cc: world

It's that time again.
  • Roller 1.2: I spent most of last week working on Roller 1.2. Part of that work was for the OpenSolaris launch. We used Roller 1.2's built-in "planet" aggregator to create the OpenSolaris blog, aggregating together about 150 blogs into one big blog with it's own newsfeed. I had to write a little custom code to load the list of blogs, because the aggregator's UI doesn't have a bulk-load capability yet. Later in the week I spent a couple of days on fixing bugs, Javadocs and Velocidocs.

  • Roller 1.3: We've started to talk a bit about a Roller 1.3 release to incorporate some theme management changes. We need to make it easier to manage themes and apply changes globally to all user's themes, but still allow power-users to tweak their page templates. Allen has put together a rough proposal for better theme management.

  • Roller 2.0: I spent a couple of days on Roller 2.0 last week, still working on the data model and the new many-to-many relationship between weblogs and users. The OpenSolaris and Roller 1.2 contininued to put me further behind schedule, but I'm still shooting for group blogging done in August.

  • Roller@Apache: Starting today, we're using the Apache incubator mailing lists for the Roller-dev and Roller-user lists, but I still haven't updated the wiki with subscribe and unsubscribe info.

  • RSS and Atom in Action: Since the chapters are out of my hands, at this point all I can do is watch the Atom Protocol list. Chapter one may be coming back from copy-edit today.
That's it for now. Again, I hope to spend the remainder of the week on Roller 2.0 'cause who knows how much I'll be able to get done duing JavaOne week. And, the week after that is summer vacation.

Updated Velocidocs and Javadocs for Roller

I spent some time with VelociDoc yesterday and updated the Roller Velocity Macro Reference.

I also updated the Roller Javadocs and added some diagams from my Roller presentation.

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