Saturday Mar 27, 2010

Oracle: please follow through on Project SocialSite

One year ago on this day I wrote that Sun Microsystems is willing to contribute Project SocialSite" to the Apache Software Foundation. My contacts at Sun told me it was OK to make that announcement because a VP approved. One year later, we have established Apache SocialSite (incubating) project, setup user accounts, put up a status page and setup source code control but we still have no code from Sun.

Since March 2009 I've been exchanging emails with my helpful contacts at Sun and trying to help them move forward with the contribution, but because of the ongoing Oracle/Sun merger things have moved incredibly slowly. Finally in late December 2009, my Sun contacts had permission to actually release the code to Apache, but there was a problem.

When Sun said that they were willing to contribute the SocialSite code to Apache, I figured that they would do so using the standard Software Grant agreement that was used for Roller and all other projects entering Apache via the Incubator. Unfortunately, the Sun lawyers did not want to use the standard Software Grant agreement and Apache did and does not want to devise a new legal agreement just to accommodate Sun. That's where we stand today. Sun committed to contributing SocialSite to Apache and now we're waiting for Oracle/Sun to follow through on that commitment.

Meanwhile, others have been making some progress with SocialSite. A major sports brand has launched a SocialSite based network with a million-plus users. A couple of developers have rewritten the build script to use Maven, others have "ported" to JBoss and there is still interest in and a need for what was Sun's Project SocialSite. Neither effort has contributed code back to SocialSite-proper and because of legal concerns are waiting for the main code to appear at Apache.

fish1 fish2 fish3

SocialSite is a small project and it will not survive for much longer with resources spread across multiple sites and a community working separately. So, I'm asking again and publicly: Oracle, please follow through on your commitment and grant the Project SocialSite codebase to Apache.

Monday Nov 09, 2009

Trip report: Social Web Camp, Santa Clara, CA

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Sunday Aug 02, 2009

Month of blogging

Crammed into one post...

After a month of blog neglect, my automatic Latest Links from my Delicious.com account started to pile up. Back in the glory days of this blog, I blogged about things instead just saving links or tweeting about them. I realized that, by adding some commentary/opinion for each, I could turn a month's worth of links into a month's worth of blog posts and thus gain total absolution for my sin of going a full month without a post. So that's what I did.  [Read More]

Friday Mar 27, 2009

The future of Project SocialSite: Apache?

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Thursday Mar 19, 2009

Latest Links: Sun and clouds

Monday Jan 26, 2009

Thanks, tweeple

tweeple

Even when you're mentally prepared for a layoff and you know it's probably for the best, its still a life-changing shock when it happens, a loss. It's hard not to feel fear, anger, sadness, self-recrimination and all those stages that fellow RIFee David Van Couvering blogged about. I still cycle through those, but not as frenetically as before.

I got over the sadness and fear part pretty quickly thanks to my tweeple, the very supportive network of friends, colleagues, former coworkers, etc. that's grown around my blog, my work at Sun, my involvement at Apache Software Foundation and my social network accounts like Twitter. I got the word out on Twitter first and word spread quickly. I posted to my blog and some very kind friends, Tim Bray, Ted Leung and Robert Donkin helped spread the word on their blogs and said some very nice things about me in the process. Within hours a flood of supportive tweets, emails and calls come rolling in, including about a dozen real live job leads.

So, thanks folks. I really appreciate the help. I'll keep you posted.

Thursday Jan 22, 2009

Leaving Sun...

Silver Lake sunset

It was over four years ago when I discovered that Sun was using my software, Roller, to power blogs.sun.com. I was thrilled to go to work for the company back in 2004 and what an awesome cast of characters I've gotten to work with over the years. I really enjoyed the folks I worked with on the blogs.sun.com team, the open source folks and most recently, the Glassfish team -- some of the most talented and nicest folks I've ever worked with. It's been a great four and a half years but all good things must come to an end and today is the day.

I've been swept up in the latest round of Sun layoffs. Sun has decided to disinvest in Project SocialSite and as of today I'm free and available for employment. Though I do feel some urgency due to the bad economy, Sun's layoff package is pretty good and so I have some time to figure out what comes next and no need to make hasty decisions. Whatever I end up doing, I'll be blogging it here.

Oh, and about Apache Roller and Project SocialSite? I'm not ready to give up just yet. I'll be using a little of my time to do some mentoring and to move forward plans for Roller 5.0 this spring. And I see real value in the Project SocialSite "social-enable existing web sites" concept and I'm considering ways to move that forward as well, with or without Sun. I'm still giving my talk Shindig for Blogs & Wikis in March 2009 and, actually, I'm pretty happy I have some time right now to focus on those demos and slides.

Tuesday Nov 25, 2008

Sun should give up on the desktop?

Tim Bray: What Sun should do: Sun is going through a lousy spell right now. Well, so is the world’s economy in general and the IT business in particular, but this is about Sun. This is my opinion about what my employer should do about it.

It takes a lot of guts to write a piece like that and I'm really glad Tim did it. I'm going to walk out on the same limb and agree with pretty much everything Tim wrote. Tim wants Sun to focus like a laser on providing the best web platform around with Solaris, storage offerings, Java/Hotspot, Glassfish, MySQL and Netbeans for Java, Ruby, PHP, Groovy, etc. tooling. He writes:

It’s easy to understand how our servers, CMT and x86, and the Solaris OS, fit into the Web Suite. All the software, including the HotSpot, GlassFish, and MySQL runtimes, needs to be obsessively tuned and optimized to run best in the context of the Suite. Obviously, the Suite will also include Ruby and Python and PHP runtimes, similarly tuned.

All of Sun’s software tooling should have a laser focus on usability, performance, and ease of adoption for the Web Suite.

I agree, but as a web geek I guess I'm pretty biased.

Tim doesn't shy away from the critical question of what Sun should stop doing. Tim says Sun should give up on the client-side, dropping JavaFX and JavaME (and OpenOffice too, I presume). Here's Tim on JavaFX:

For actual business apps, the kind that our servers spend most of their time running, the war for the desktop is over and the Web Browser won. I just totally don’t believe that any combination of Flash and Silverlight and JavaFX is going to win it back.

I can't say I disagree with that either. Cutting JavaFX and JavaME would be extremely tough and painful decisions, but somebody's going to make to make some of those. Looking at things from Tim's web-platform-only point of view, they make sense. Sun needs only enough client-side software to keep Solaris attractive to developers and to support great development tools on all the platforms that web developers love.

Wednesday Nov 19, 2008

SocialSite's Flexible Relationship model

oneway We want Project SocialSite to have a Flexible Relationship model that a site operator can tweak to suit the unique requirements of the site's community. We've settled on a model based on relationship types and named levels. In this post, I'll review this new model that we have designed. [Read More]

Tuesday Nov 18, 2008

Details of Roller setup at blogs.sun.com

Meena Vyas, Murthy Chintalapati and Allen Gilliland just published an article on BigAdmin that describes the architecture of blogs.sun.com, a Roller, Sun Web Server, Memcached and MySQL based site that averages 4 million hits a day with its two SunFire T2000 servers at 97% idle. You can get the article for free (registration required) here: Sun Blogs: A Sun Java System Web Server 7.0 Reference Deployment

diagram

Sunday Apr 27, 2008

Happy 4th birthday to blogs.sun.com

I remember how freaked-out I was to see the referrer hits start rolling in (pun fully intended) from http://blogs.sun.com/roller. I can't believe it's been four years already. Thanks to Linda for the reminder.

Saturday Mar 08, 2008

Six

By my count that's how many Apache members work at Sun. I thought I had a complete count, but Nick Kew's recent post revealed a sixth (see the comments). Here's the list:

  • Craig McClanahan
  • Craig Russell
  • Dave Johnson
  • Jim Winstead
  • Nick Kew
  • Ted Leung

Know of any other Sun employees that are Apache members?

Tuesday Mar 04, 2008

Welcome to Sun!

It's great to be welcoming new folks to Sun, especially when they're brilliant people like Ted Leung and Nick Kew, both of whom, by the way, are members of the Apache Software Foundation. I met Ted at ApacheCon US 2004 in Vegas and he answered all my questions about the implications of moving Roller to the ASF. And I met Nick at ApacheCon EU 2006 in Dublin and we chatted, over a couple of pints of Guiness, about the perils and pleasures of working from home and other things.

I'm also pretty damn pleased to be part of the MySQL welcoming committee, AKA the SunVisor program, and paired-up with Chuck Bell of MySQL. He's the author of Expert MySQL. I'll be answering his questions about Sun and, I hope, learning a thing or two about MySQL in the process.

Welcome to Sun guys!

Thursday Feb 21, 2008

Blackbox tour coming to the Triangle

In case you're not following the Blackbox blog, the Sun Modular Data Center is coming to the Triangle on March 12, 2008. The event will be hosted at the SAS Institute campus in Cary, NC. Here's the blurb:

Join us and enjoy presentations and tours throughout the day of Sun's Modular Datacenter, the world's first datacenter in a box - a 6.1 meter (20 foot) shipping container. Also known as Project Blackbox, this is a virtualized datacenter optimized for extreme energy, space, and performance efficiency. It applies Sun's trademark innovation and network computing infrastructure expertise to engineer out complexity and provide a whole new alternative for quickly adding datacenter capacity anywhere it's needed, with the ability to move it as business needs change. Because of its modular, high density design, the Sun Modular Datacenter packs more heterogeneous compute power in less space than a traditional datacenter, and can be configured, deployed, and quickly modified and redeployed for another project virtually anywhere worldwide.

Interested? The sign up is here.

Wednesday Feb 06, 2008

Project Kenai: social networking place for developers

Kenai was announced yesterday at the Sun Analyst Summit (SAS 2008):

presentation slide about Project Kenai

It was mentioned in Software VP Rich Green's presentation.
I think that's just about all I can say on the topic.

And by the way, the audio and slides for all of the SAS 2008 presentations are online now. Ian Murdock's presentation is especially good, as Redmonk's James Governor tweeted yesterday "Ian Murdoch (the ian of debian) is doing a phenomenal job of explaining what Linux, and distributions are. A great education for analysts."

Saturday Dec 01, 2007

Sun open source project governance

Here's a sampling of governance docs from some of Sun's many open source projects. I've listed them in order of what I feel to be, the most progressive (i.e. community governance) to least progressive (i.e. corporate control). I've also listed a key quote from each doc and made a brief comment about each.

  • OpenSolaris governance: "The OpenSolaris Community has the authority and responsibility for all decisions" - seems to approach ASF style governance.

  • OpenJDK interim governance: "The [board] shall be comprised of [5 and ] shall conduct its affairs in accordance with democratic principles and shall represent the interests of the Community. Two [members] shall be employees of Sun" - not final, but looking good.

  • Netbeans governance: "In the case of an irresolvable dispute, there is a governance board of three people, who are appointed for six month terms." (2 appointed by community, 1 by Sun)." - sounds pretty good, but the doc seems a little vague.

  • SunGrid governance: "The Board positions include the Community Leader, the Community Site Manager, and four general members, two Sun members and from the independent developer Community." - sounds good, again doc seems a little vague.

  • Glassfish governance: "The GlassFish project has an overall Project Lead ... appointed by Sun" - Sun has final say.

  • OpenSSO governance (draft): "Project Managers make the final decision ... are appointed by Sun" - Sun has final say.

  • OpenDS governance: The OpenDS project has single, overall Project Lead [who is] appointed by Sun Microsystems." - Sun has final say.

  • Mobile and embedded: "Sun may change its appointed Governance Board members at any time" - Sun has final say.

Looks to me like the trend is towards community governance and the most important projects are the ones getting the most attention and the most progressive governance. That's good and I sincerely hope the trend continues.

Thursday Nov 08, 2007

SuperPat speaks tonight at Tri-LUG

Tri-LUG announcement: Pat Patterson from Sun Microsystems will provide us with a developer perspective on digital identity, starting from the emergence of LDAP in the 90s, through single sign-on, SAML and the Liberty Alliance protocols to recent developments such as OpenID, Cardspace and OAuth. The emphasis will be on understanding the protocols and how they are implemented in the real world, with a particular focus on deciding which (if any!) approach to select for a given project.

Pat Patterson is a federation architect at Sun Microsystems, focusing on federation, identity-enabled Web services and OpenSSO, Sun's open-source implementation of those technologies. Pat's blog centers on identity-related topics.

Looks like a great talk and I've always wanted to meet SuperPat, so I'll be there.

Here are the details:

Speaker:   Pat Patterson
Title:     Digital Identity from LDAP to SAML and beyond
Date/time: 7PM Thursday Nov. 8, 2007
Location:  Red Hat HQ (map)
           1801 Varsity Drive
           Raleigh, North Carolina 27606
           Tel: +1-919-754-3700

Thursday Oct 04, 2007

Diversity and acceptance

Linda Skrocki: I find it interesting that although trust is a two way street, the focus in the blogoshpere is often on companies going out on a limb by trusting employees to blog on a corporate sponsored site, but the fact is, employees also go out on a limb for companies when they contribute content to the company blog site (whether it's personal or not).
Some wonderful insights from blogs.sun.com PM Linda Skrocki, read the whole post. She's writing about Sun's 2007 Corporate Responsbility Report.

Thursday Aug 23, 2007

Blogs on Sun's new stock ticker

Todays news that Sun's stock ticker will change from SUNW to JAVA was met with pretty mixed reactions both inside and outside of Sun. On the day of the announcement, the more than 170 comments on Jonathan Schwartz's blog announcement were mostly negative and though there are some positive reactions in the interblogonet, they come mostly from Sun employees.

Below are the posts that I've seen in my feed reader so far.

For (or seeing the positive) Against (or seeing the negative side) Unclear (don't state a strong opinion either way)

What do I think? I'm not sure what I think of the change. The ticker SUNW was out of date because "workstations" are so 80s man, so it's a good thing to update it. And Java ISVs like BlogBridge should like the vote of confidence in Java. On the negative side, it's easy to search for SUNW to get Sun news and that won't work as well with the new ticker. And Java's not all Sun does. One more point. I'm not sure most folks really care what the ticker name is. If they did, don't you think Sun would have changed it years ago?

By the way. I didn't mean the hit the post button on this entry so soon, but it's out there now so I might as well let it stand. I'll update over the next day or two as reactions roll in.

UPDATE: Ed Burnette has a positive, neutral, negative and funny breakdown of his 25 favorite comments from Jonathan's blog post. He says that "Stockholders and employees are among the most vocal critics." of the change.

Tuesday May 08, 2007

JavaOne bloggers bash

Sun is throwing another JavaOne bloggers bash at Thirsty Bear this year, at 6PM on Wednesday night. I'll be there and I hope to see other Roller users and developers there too.

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