Blog Posting tool

The Blog Posting tool is an "experimental feature creates a daily post of your latest bookmarks to your blog." Lately, folks have been complaining that it is completely broken. Personally, I never could get the thing to work consistently and for the past couple of years I've been using the Feed Poster Blogapp to do my link postings. Now, I'm thinking about fixing Feed Poster up a bit, making it easier to run from the command-line or a cron-job and re-releasing it for those folks who can't get the tool to work.

What follows is a synopsis of how I think the tool should work.

delposter - Synopsis

You run the tool by entering something like this 'java -jar delpost.jar [parameters]' on your favorite command-line. The tool will connect with, grab all of your bookmarks since the last time the tool was run, create a post that lists all of them and publish that post on your blog (via AtomPub or MetaWeblog API). Here are the parameters you can specify on the command line.

  • username - (required) your username
  • blogusername - (required) username for blog API
  • blogpassword - (required) password for blog API
  • blogposturl - (required) blog API endpoint URL
  • blogid - ID of blog (required if you have more than one)
  • blogapitype - either 'metaweblog' or 'atompub'
  • title - format of title, can include ${date}
  • dateformat - date format to be used in title
  • includetags - include only bookmarks with these tags
  • excludetags - exclude bookmarks with these tags
  • since - number of hours back to go looking for posts (ignoring last run time)
  • postdraft - post entry as draft
  • appenddraft - if last post is still in draft mode, then delete it and add its contents to the new post being created.

Is that what you'd like to see in a Blog Posting tool?

Of course, a command-line tool is not the most friendly way to do things, so perhaps I should provide an installer that sets up a cronjob or a Windows Schedule Task. Or maybe I'll reserve that as an outer-ring feature.

Sun Ultra 24 and OpenSolaris 2008.05 first impressions

My old Sun w2100z workstation died a couple of weeks ago. So I ordered a brand new Sun Ultra 24 and installed a whole heap'o Sun software on it -- everything I need for SocialSite and Roller development. Here's a rundown of my initial experiences with my new primary development system.

[Read More]

Latest Links - Roller

Another vote for RESTful JSF

From the Seam Framework team's wiki page on JSF2 major issues:

The JSF2 expert group should work closely with the JSR 311 expert group to define overlapping integration points (unified configuration) and programming models, so that a JSF implementation can work seamlessly with a JAX-RS implementation. For example, a @Path annotated POJO should work as a JSF backing bean without any additional configuration. A JSF application programmer should be able to expose RESTful remote APIs easily.

Right on.

Via Matt Raible

Social Roller

We demonstrated the Project SocialSite widgets in Roller at JavaOne, but we didn't show much other than just the basic widgets. We modified a Roller front-page theme to include a people directory, added a profile page for each user and slapped the widgets on the page. It was pretty rough, as you can see on the right, like our other SocialSite demo vehicles.

This week, I'm working to put together a much better demonstration, something useful enough to deploy to our internal blog site at Sun. Since I have limited time and I really need to get back to working on the SocialSite widgets and web services, I've been thinking about minimum set of features needed to add some value. Here's what I think we need:

  • Landing page: shows activities of your friends and groups, your inbox of social requests and place for you to update your status. This could be added to Roller's Main Menu page or to pages of the Front Page blog, which is my preferred option.
  • Personal profile page: shows your mugshot and the subset of your profile information that the viewer is allowed to see. Shows your activities and the OpenSocial gadgets you have installed. This could be done in the pages of each user's blog, which would give folks complete control of profile layout via page templates. Or I could be done in the pages of the Front Page blog.
  • Activity per entry or comment: whenever you publish a weblog post, or comment on one, an entry will be added to your activity feed so that your friends can see what you're doing. This will be implemented as a feature of a Roller-specific OpenSocial Gadget.
  • Protected entries: ability to publish blog entries that are visible only to your friends via the Roller Gadget.

Most of the above items should be pretty easy with the SocialSite widgets, but I'm sure I'll run into a snag or two at least. I always do. I'll post again next week and let you know how far I got.

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.

Latest Links - Open Source

Red Sox vs. Rangers

I'm not a fan of sports that require balls, but I had a great time at the Red Sox game Tuesday night. It was my first major league game and a doozy with an apparent rout, rain but no delay, a nail biter and finally victory. Here are a couple of snaps from my iPhone. All thanks to my buddy and co-worker with the season tickets (and a serious case of Red Soxoholism) Bobby Bissett. Thanks Bobby!

Green Monstah Ortiz at bat

re: How the Shindig REST API works

Here's a diagram I worked up over the weekend to explain Shindig REST API internals to my team mates. See the Project SocialSite blog for the full story.

diagram of key classes and interfaces of Apache Shinding REST API

Boston this week

red sox logo

I'll be traveling up to the Boston area this week and specifically Burlington, MA to meet with my Project SocialSite team mates, my boss, his boss and who knows who else -- working on a such a distributed team, sometimes I don't know who works where.

I'm going to a Red Sox game Tuesday night (thanks to Bobby) and Thursday night I'm getting together with an old friend, but Wednesday night looks to be open. So, if any blog buddies, twitter followers and/or Roller fans want to meet-up then send me an email (dave.johnson at

RESTful JSF in the works?

JSF spec lead Ed Burns just pointed out that some of my Sun-internal comments about JSF have made it outside the firewall and into an issue on the JSF specification project:

On Wed, 19 Mar 2008, David M Johnson said:

I think the goal should be to make JSF applications RESTful by default, with proper use of GET and POST, i.e. only use POST when application data is changing, not for component state. Another goal should be clean, book-markable URLs that only carry path-info and parameters needed by the application logic.

That's easy and the default situation with Rails, Grails, Struts, etc. How hard would it be to redesign JSF along those lines? Would it require EJB2 -> EJB3 level changes to JSF?

I suspect work on JSF 2.0 is too far along for this kind of change now, but it's nice to hear that the idea of a truly RESTful JSF is at least under consideration.

Project SocialSite opens up!

My teammates and I have started a new blog over at 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...

Big thanks to all for BarCamp RDU 2008!

To the campers, volunteers and sponsors of BarCamp RDU 2008,

Thanks for making BarCamp RDU 2008 a wonderfully successful event! We brought together around 150 of the best and brightest developers, web technologists, designers, scientists, entrepreneurs, social media experts and open source advocates in the Triangle area and surrounding regions. Anybody who wanted could pitch a session and we ended up with 41 sessions on topics of software development, business, social media, science, education and even cross step waltz. We learned a heck of a lot from each other and had a lot of fun in the process.

Below is the session grid that the attendees put together.

You can find a list of the sessions, broken down by category and room size here:

Thanks to our generous host Red Hat, we were able to provide excellent facilities with a variety of rooms, white boards, projectors, a public address system. Thanks to our financial sponsors, we enjoyed a pre-party at Tyler's Tap Room in Durham, NC on the Friday evening before camp. And we enjoyed a breakfast of bagels, fruit and coffee. We had lunch from NeoMonde restaurant and provided plenty of sodas and water throughout the day. Clearwire was on site to ensure we had sufficient Wifi coverage for attendees.

We took time to thank our sponsors at the event, on the events web page, in our blog posts about the event, on the back of the t-shirts and on signs placed prominently around the venue. Below is an example.

In past years, BarCamp RDU led by Fred Stutzman.
This year the organizing committee was:
  • Dave Johnson (coordination and sponsors)
  • Wayne Sutton (t-shirts and technology)
  • Greg DeKoenigsberg (facilities and coordination)
  • Andi Johnson (budget and vendors)
  • Kipp Bodnar (voluneer coordinator)
  • Matt Frye (Coffee and sound)
  • Scott Morningstar (Badges)
  • Fred Stutzman and others monitored our mailing list to make sure we didn't panic
And we had help from a dozen or so volunteers on site. There were a couple of hiccups and things to be improved next year, but overall we think this was the best BarCamp RDU yet and Fred agrees. We're looking forward to doing it again so it won't be too long before you're hearing from us about the next BarCamp RDU.

Thanks again for your support!

PS. here are some more links about BarCamp RDU 2008

Pictures at
Blog posts and articles tagged with barcamprdu2008:

And a lot of folks were Twittering about BarCamp RDU too:

BarCamp fun for the whole family

BarCamp RDU was great fun this year and I'll probably blog a bit more about it later, but for now here's my favorite picture from the event; taken by Fred Stutzman, who led the event in 2007 and 2008. It's my son Alex (11), using Wayne Sutton's cell-phone to stream video of me giving the opening intro:

Alex really enjoyed helping out and he attended sessions on his own including iPhone development and file system encryption, and he got to play werewolf for the first time.

ROME v1.0 RC1 available for testing

ROME logo

I've been meaning to blog about this for a while now: thanks to Alejandro Abdelnur, the long awaited ROME v1.0 RC1 is now available for testing.

I've already updated ROME Propono (changes in CVS only) to work with the new release and I've done some testing, but more is needed. I hope to test with Roller and with Blogapps once BarCamp RDU is over.

Links: ROME 1.0 RC1 downloads and change notes

Triangle is hopping!

Ginny and Wayne in cartoon form
Joe Gregorio: Wow, the local area is really hopping these days, check out the 14 upcoming conferences, camps, workshops and events. Here's some video from the just passed RTP Startup Weekend, we've got coworking sites popping up, and of course a blog to cover it all.

That blog that Joe mentioned is new, NBC 17's, which launched last night at a very well attended blogger, beer and BBQ bash in the Edge Office coworking space in downtown Raleigh. The site is both a community aggregator and a blog authored by local/social media superheros Wayne Sutton and Ginny Skalski. Congrats to Ginny, Wayne and NBC 17 on a great launch and what looks to be a great new community site like no other in the Triangle.

BarCamp RDU 2008 pre-party

If you are one of the 250 lucky folks registered for BarCamp RDU 2008, then you are invited to a party! BarCamp RDU attendees, please join us at Tyler's Tap Room (map) in Durham's American Tobacco Historic District this Friday night to meet, greet and celebrate BarCamp eve with us. We'll be providing beverages (beer, wine, sodas, etc.) and light snacks (chips and salsa). See you there!

tylers logo

BarCamp RDU Pre-party
Friday August 1, 2008 from 7:30 - 9:00PM
Tyler's Tap Room
324 Blackwell St
Durham, NC 27701

And of course, the party would not be possible without the generous support of our most excellent sponsors: BlueStripe Software, Canonical, Carborro Creative Coworking, Design Hammer, Edge Office, IBM developerWorks, iContact,, Montie Design,, Red Hat, rPath and Viget Labs.

1 week 'til BarCamp RDU!

BarCamp RDU logo

BarCamp RDU 2008 is one week from today and it's shaping up the be the biggest and I hope the best BarCamp RDU so far.

Here are a couple of notes for attendees:

Check the attendee list! On July 21, we decided we had budget and space to register everybody on the waiting list. If you were on the waiting list you are now registered to attend.

Remove yourself if you can't attend. If you registered but cannot make it, please remove your name from the list. For planning purposes, we need to have as accurate a count as is possible.

Propose sessions in advance. If you are interested in initiating or attending a session on a specific topic, then go right ahead and add your topic to the Proposed Sessions list.

Oh, and if you are interested in helping out with preparations or on the day of the event, then please let us know (dave.johnson at or wayne at

And one final note. BarCamp RDU would not be possible without the very generous financial support of our sponsors and our host. So...

Thanks to the BarCamp RDU 2008 sponsors!

See you next Saturday at BarCamp RDU 2008!

Roller Mobile with iUI

Roller Mobile
Originally uploaded by snoopdave

After spending a couple of hours with iUI this week, I've put together the beginnings of an iPhone style interface to Roller. So far, I've been able to do everything I need to do by making a couple of changes in Roller's struts.xml and adding two new JSP pages -- no Java code required (yet). This screenshot shows two of the three screens I have created so far.

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