Sunday Mar 16, 2014

Talking Usergrid at ApacheCon 2014

ApacheCon 2014

I've been working at Apigee since September 2013 and one of the things I love most about my new job is the fact that I'm actively contributing to open source again.

I'm working on Apache Usergrid (incubating), an open source Backend-As-A-Service (BaaS) that's built on the Apache Cassandra database system. Apigee uses Usergrid as part of Apigee Edge (see the Build Apps part of the docs).

Apigee contributed code for Usergrid to the Apache Software Foundation back in October 2013 and Usergrid is now part of the Apache Incubator. The project is working towards graduating from the Incubator. That means learning the Apache way, following the processes to get a release out and most importantly, building a diverse community of contributors to build and maintain Usergrid.

One on the most important parts of building an open source community is making it easy for people to contribute and and that's why I submitted a talk to the ApacheCon US 2014 conference (April 7-9 in Denver, CO) titled How to Contribute to Usergrid.

The talk is intended to be a briefing for contributors, one that will lead you through building and running Usergrid locally, understanding the code-base and test infrastructure and how to get your code accepted into the Usergrid project.

Here's the outline I have so far:

How to Contribute to Apache Usergrid

  • Motivation
    • Why would anybody want to contribute to Usergrid?
  • First steps
    • The basics
    • Getting signed up
  • Contributing to the Stack
    • Understanding the architecture & code base
    • Building the code. Making and testing changes
    • Running Usergrid locally via launcher & via Tomcat
  • Contributing to the Portal
    • Understanding the architecture & code base
    • Building the code. Making and testing changes
    • Running the portal locally via node.js
  • Contributing to the SDKs
    • Understanding the architecture & code base
    • Building the code. Making and testing changes
  • Contributor workflow: how to get your code into Usergrid
    • For quickie drive-by code contributions
    • For more substantial code contributions
    • For documentation & website changes
  • Contributing Docs and Website changes
    • Website, wiki and GitHub pages
    • How to build the website and docs
  • Roadmap
    • First release
    • New Core Persistence system
    • The two-dot-o branch
    • Other ideas

I'm in the process of writing this talk now so suggestions and other feedback are most welcome.

Saturday Sep 03, 2011

GSOC 2011: Mobile-enabled themes for Roller

I'm going to break blog silence now to tell you about Apache Roller and Google Summer of Code 2011, which just wrapped up about a week ago.

GSOC logo

This year we were very fortunate to get a another highly motivated and smart student, Shelan Perera, and an good proposal as well: Mobile-enabled Templates. Over the summer Shelan designed and implemented a new feature for the Roller blog server, one that enables theme authors to provide an alternative "mobile" template for each page template in a Roller blog theme. You can see a screenshot of the new Edit Template page in Shelan's blog How to change template codes in Roller.

Now, when a page request comes into Roller, Shelan's code determines if it's from a mobile device and, if it is, switches to a mobile template, if one is available. There's also an easy way for template authors to create a button to allow users to switch to the "Standard" site instead of the mobile version. The screenshot on the right, of Roller with a mobile theme comes from Shelan's most recent blog.

screenshot of a mobile Roller theme

It was an honor to act as mentor for this project, and fun talking to Shelan via Skype most Fridays. I'm looking forward to getting this on my blog, and getting this cool new feature into an Apache Roller 5.1 release sometime soon. Thanks, Shelan! And, thanks to Google for running the most excellent Summer of Code program.

Wednesday May 25, 2011

Apache Roller 5.0 released

(cross-posted from the Roller project blog)

Here's some more happy Roller news. Apache Roller 5.0 has been released!

<img src='http://rollerweblogger.org/project/mediaresource/3cdaff7b-2745-4dac-89c9-151a3a1ccf26' align='right' style='padding:1em' />

The major new feature in Roller 5.0 is Media Blogging, a set of enhancements to Roller's file upload and management capabilities. Also included in 5.0 are simple multi-site support, ~OpenID and ~OAuth support for Roller's ~AtomPub interface. All major dependencies have been updated and Roller now uses Maven for build and dependency management. You can find a summary of Roller 5.0's new features on the Roller wiki.

The road to Roller 5.0 has been a long one and if you are interested the history, you might want to check Dave Johnson's What's New in Roller 5.0 presentation from ~ApacheCon US 2009. Roller 5.0 includes contributions from contributors from Google Summer of Code, San Jose State Univ. and the usual case of Roller committers. Thanks to all who contributed to Roller 5.0 over the years.

To download Apache Roller 5.0 and documentation, visit the Apache Roller download page at the Apache Software Foundation's website.

Monday May 10, 2010

Congrats to Webmink and Forgerock

Congrats to Simon Phipps on what sounds like a great new job at ForgeRock and on his new column in ComputerWorld.UK.

One of the key benefits to customers of the source code becoming open source is that, in the event a product is discontinued by its owner, a group of people from the community can simply pick up the source code and keep on maintaining and improving it. That's a radical change from proprietary products, which can be killed stone dead with no appeal. With open source, the company may fold but the community carries on.

That's all fine in theory, but does it actually work? I intend to find out. Starting this week, I'm joining ForgeRock as chief strategy officer.

Read More

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.

Thursday Feb 25, 2010

Roller Beginner's Guide available

photo of beginner's guide to Apache Roller 4.0

I blogged about Alfonso Romero's Apache Roller 4.0 Beginner's Guide book before. It's a great resource for folks who want to get the most out of their Apache Roller-based blogs, and not just beginners. As you can see in the photo on the right, I've got my copy. You can get yours directly from Pakt publishing:

Buy a copy of Beginner's Guide to Apache Roller 4.0

To publicize the book, Pakt publishing has been publishing some useful excerpts and even a complete sample chapter online. Here's summary of the excerpts so far:

If you've been following Roller development you know that Roller 5.0 is on the way. Most of the changes in Roller 5.0 are "under the hood" so 5.0 won't make Alfonso's book obsolete. Except for a couple of pages in Chapter 5 "Spicing Up Your Blog" that need updated screenshots, I believe everything in the book applies to Roller 5.0 as well.

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]

Thursday Feb 19, 2009

Media Blogging for Roller

For the past five months I've had the pleasure of mentoring two San Jose State Univ. graduate students, Ganesh Mathrubootham and Tanuja Varkanthe, who are working on a project for classes CMP 295A and B. They picked one of the projects that I first proposed for Google Summer of Code and then for Glassfish's student outreach program, Media Blogging for Apache Roller. It's turned out to be a major project and the central new feature in the upcoming Roller 5.0 release. [Read More]

Wednesday Jan 07, 2009

ROME 1.0 RC2 on the way

Nick's Twitter icon

Good news for ROME fans. Nick Lothian picked up the puck and is galloping towards the finish line (sorry, I'm terrible at sports analogies).

Nick Lothian on ROME dev:

I've gone and built some preview jars for the upcoming ROME 1.0RC2, ROME Fetcher 1.0RC2 and Modules 0.3 release.

Those jars can be found here: https://rome.dev.java.net/servlets/ProjectDoc...

I've created source and javadoc jars as well as the normal jars - the idea being that I'll get them uploaded to some maven repository.

If you have some spare time, please take a look at these and test them and let me know of any problems. Assuming there are no big issues found I'd like to do a proper release in a couple of days.

Guess that means I should test Propono with RC2.

Friday Nov 21, 2008

Atom news: Apache Abdera graduates

Atom logo

Congratulations to the Apache Abdera team, who've just graduated to full Apache top level project status. The don't have the new site at abdera.apache.org up yet and they're still not quite at 1.0 yet, but this is a major milestone. They've got the best Atom format and protocol toolkit around, in my opinion.

via Garett and James.

Saturday Oct 04, 2008

Open Source Days 2008 - Copenhagen

My talk went pretty well yesterday and I'm definitely enjoying both the conference, which is still in progress, and my stay in Copenhagen. I'll post more photos later, but for now here is a shot of the conference setup at ITU Copenhagen.

Open Source Days 2008 - Copenhagen

Monday Aug 18, 2008

Roller and SocialSite at Open Source Days 2008

Open Source Days 2008 logo

I'm happy to report that I'll be traveling to Copenhagen, Denmark to talk about Roller and Project SocialSite at the Open Source Days 2008 conference on Oct. 3-4 this year. I'm going to tell the story of Roller and lessons learned along the way and then talk about blogging in the age of social networks and how to social-enable Roller with the SocialSite widgets. The session is called titled The once and future Roller.

Roller status

feather logo

If you want the lowdown on what's going on with Roller community health, ongoing work and upcoming releases then check out the Apache Roller August 2008 Board Report.

Friday Aug 15, 2008

Latest Links - Open Source

Friday Aug 08, 2008

Project SocialSite opens up!

My teammates and I have started a new blog over at blogs.sun.com to cover Project SocialSite and to break the big news: we're open!

We are very pleased to announce that source code is now available for Project SocialSite (under a CDDL/GPL license) and the project is now operating as an open source project following the Glassfish governance policy. We're working in the open and welcome contributors of all stripes. Read more...

Wednesday Jun 25, 2008

JSPWiki vs. XWiki

via Jim Grisanzio: Chris Phelan has done evaluations of JSPWiki and XWiki for use on the OpenSolaris.org site. Based on his 32 requirements, XWiki came out on top.

On balance, XWiki wins by virtue of having better support for management, searching, page taxonomies, virtual servers, content export and language translation/localization support.

JSPWiki has slightly better support for identifying orphaned pages and accesskey support (XWiki 1.4 will have support for access keys).

Confluence was not considered because requirement #0 is "the software must be free and open source," which seems like a reasonable request when selecting software for an open source community site.

Tuesday Jun 17, 2008

Latest Links - misc

It's time to catch up on blogging and I'm going to start by going through my backlog of links and adding some commentary, but not in this post; these are miscellaneous links that don't fit nicely into my other posts.

Sunday Mar 23, 2008

Latest Links: open source, social networking and etc.

Sunday Mar 16, 2008

Google Summer of Code ideas for Roller

I asked for Google Summer of Code (GSOC) ideas for Roller a couple of days ago. Below are links to the proposals I thought were good enough to volunteer as possible mentor for and to submit. The deadline is tomorrow, so you've still got time to suggest additions to the list.

  • Roller OpenID: Open ID support for Roller blog server, for user accounts and comments
  • Roller Mobile: Mobile interface for Roller blog server
  • Roller Activities: Simple Social Networking for Roller blog server, Twitter-like activities
  • Roller Abdera: Abdera-based AtomPub implementation for Roller blog server
  • AtomPub Export: AtomPub Export for Roller blog server, export all!
  • Roller Shindig: Google Gadget support in Roller blog server themes via Shindig
  • Roller Photo Gallery: Better photo and file upload features in Roller blog server

Here's the full list of Apache GSOC proposals.

Tuesday Mar 11, 2008

Fluffy little lambs vs. goats in training

Henry Yandel: I continue to grapple with the concept of how to treat users of Open Source projects. Should you be cruel, or kind?

It sounds like a dumb question - rude hackers who rip users apart for daring to ask a question in a not perfect way are just arseholes who need to get off their high horse. Right?

I’m not convinced. And I’m someone who usually over worries about being polite. Mostly because the voice inside my head is, I suspect, the kind of stormtrooper who after the Death Star blows up for the second time, will be found out of uniform at the Rebel party selling little burgers of ‘forest meat - mind the blaster marks on the fur’. Read more...

Insightful and fun post from Apache board member Henri Yandell. Worth a read for folks trying to grow an open source community of contributors.

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