Advanced Roller at ApacheCon EU, April 2008

One of my five ApacheCon EU 2008 proposals was accepted. I submitted a couple of proposals for customizing Roller, one for advanced Roller and one on RSS/Atom. The advanced Roller talk was accepted. Here's the abstract:

Apache Roller is a popular open source blog server designed to serve the needs of large multi-user blogging sites and typically used by large corporations, universities and government organizations. This session for managers, sysadmins and developers will goes beyond the Roller installation guide and explores the advanced issues of planning and executing a Roller deployment, including deployment architecture and configuration options as well as options for customization and automation.

2008 NC Science Blogging Conference

I just registered for the 2008 NC Science Blogging Conference and I'm really looking forward to another excellent BlogTogether production. I attended the first edition of the conference last year and learned a lot about how scientists are using blogs, how they'd like to use them and the issues they're facing with both the medium and the software tools, very useful stuff for a blog software developer like me. I'm itchin' to learn more, and to get another chance to hang with the BlogTogether folks and science bloggers from far and wide.

If you're interested in science or blogging, check it out.

conference logo

Here's the conference wiki

Here's the conference registration page.

And here's the conference sponsorship page.

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.

Apache Shindig voting in progress and more OpenSocial details emerge

I wrote about Shindig before, it's a new open source project to implement the Google OpenSocial APIs. Well, now the official voting to accept the Shindig project into the Apache Incubator is in progress and some interesting details have emerged in the latest version of the proposal. First, as you can see by the initial list of committers in the proposal Google has joined the Shindig effort in force. Second, the proposal says that Shindig will be the reference implementation of the OpenSocial APIs. And third, Shindig will not only include the client-side JavaScript container but also a Java back-end. Brian McAllister has already made some "gnarly" initial client-side container code available, I can't wait to see the Google contribution.

PHP support in Netbeans

Hadn't heard about this one until today, but Netbeans 6.1 will have plugin support for creating, editing, deploying to Apache HTTPD, running and even debugging PHP projects. Check out the details and screenshots on the Phantom Reference blog.

Here's a sceenshot from the Netbeans Wiki page on PHP:

screenshot of PHP in NB editor

Groovy support back in Netbeans

After going missing in NB 5.5, Groovy support is back in Netbeans. Basic Groovy support with syntax coloring and support for running scripts from the IDE is available in plugin form (download page) for Netbeans 6.0 (starting with RC2), read about it on Geertjan's blog.

Here's what's coming after Netbeans 6.0, Groovy project support: screenshot of Groovy NB project types

After Netbeans 6.0, the story gets better. Geertjan writes that a brand new Groovy plugin will be available in the post-6.0 builds that adds support for three types of Groovy projects: applications, class libraries and Grails webapps.

Roller Strong #11

I've got a couple of Roller related items to blog about, so why not just call it Roller Strong #11.

First, Lars Trieloff responds to some of the questions I raised about JCR and Roller in my ApacheCon wrap-up post. I left a comment on his blog in response. Personally, I think a JCR back-end is a very interesting idea and I wish I had some more time to explore it.

Manchi Leung AKA Thinkboy posted the code for a new Textile plugin to the Roller dev list, using Textile-J. Thinkboy says "it supports almost all of the Textile syntax. very much the same as Confluence wiki. Now I can easily sync or copy working notes from Confluence wiki to my personal Roller blog." Nice. Note to self: I need to fix up some of our existing entry plugins -- I think some of them (e.g. Ekit) still haven't been updated for Roller 3.1.

Arun Gupta blogged recently about Backing up your Roller entries and explained how to use the Grabber example (now known as BlogBackup in Blogapps 2) from the Blogapps project to backup your Roller blog. Backing-up your entries, but backing up your uploads is not. Hopefully, blogs.sun,com will turn on Atom protocol someday and that'll will make it easy for a tool like Grabber backup both entries and uploads.

roller logo

We're still waiting on Roller 4.0, but I sense our wait is soon over. Roller 4.0 RC10 was released one week ago with just a couple of bug fixes. And so far, no critical issues have been found. We've got only one +1 vote (thanks Anil!) so far so committers please test and vote.

And finally, I have to mention MarkMail because I've been using it throughout this blog post. MarkMail provides a slick interface and excellent facilities for mailing lists of all kinds. They're indexing all of the Apache mailing lists and providing statis and charts for each. Check the Roller page at MarkMail for example.

That's all I've got for this go-round. Keep on rollin'

Latest Links: Android, OpenSolaris and misc.

Fall morning

Originally uploaded by snoopdave

Happy Thanksgiving, turkeys.

ApacheCon US 2007 wrapup

I spent last week at the ApacheCon US 2007 conference in Atlanta, Georgia. Here's a write up of some of my experiences there. [Read More]

Roller and blogs as a web dev. platform presentation

I just posted the slides for my ApacheCon US 2007 talk on the ApacheCon wiki. It's basically the same talk that I gave at ApacheCon EU earlier this year, but I spent some time tweaking the slides, simplifying removing unnecessary bits and adding a little Abdera coverage. That, and the fact that the power did not fail, seemed to make the talk go more smoothly this morning. Here are the slides:

Apache Roller and blogs as a web development platform (2MB PDF)

Shindig: open source implementation of OpenSocial

Apache member Brian McAllister, who works for Ning, has proposed a new project for Apache called Shindig. Here's an excerpt from the proposal:

OpenSocial provides a common set of APIs for social applications across multiple websites. With standard JavaScript and HTML, developers can create social applications that use a social network's friends and update feeds. A social application, in this context, is an application run by a third party provider and embedded in a web page, or web application, which consumes services provided by the container and by the application host. This is very similar to Portal/Portlet technology, but is based on client-side compositing, rather than server. More information can be found about OpenSocial at

Shindig is an implementation of an emerging set of APIs for client-side composited web applications. The Apache Software Foundation has proven to have developed a strong system and set of mores for building community-centric, open standards based systems with a wide variety of participants. A robust, community-developed implementation of these APIs will encourage compatibility between service providers, ensure an excellent implementation is available to everyone, and enable faster and easier application development for users.

. . .

Ning, Inc. intends to donate code based on their implementation of OpenSocial. The backend systems will be replaced with more generic equivalents in order to not bind the implementation to specifics of the Ning platform.

Brian is pretty excited about OpenSocial as a light-weight client-side alternative to Portal/Portlet technology, not just for social apps but for webapps of all kind. He'd like to see both Apache Roller and Apache JSPWIki (incubating) become OpenSocial containers, despite the fact that neither product stores the social graph of user/friend relationships. Blogs and wikis are already great platforms for web development, OpenSocial could make them even stronger. Very interesting stuff.

I hadn't planned on talking OpenSocial during my session tomorrow, but I might have to add a slide or two to illustrate the possibilities.


I'm off to ApacheCon US in Atlanta this morning. Here's where you can find me.

Latest links Nov. 12, 2007: Glassfish, OpenSocial and more

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

ApacheCon Roller and Struts 2 BOF-BOF sign-up

Peachtree Westin Hotel, Atlanta, GA

Matt Raible, Don Brown and I will be doing at "Roller and Struts 2" birds-of-a-feather (BOF) session on Wednesday night at ApacheCon at 8:30PM. Thanks to Atlassian for sponsoring the beer-of-freeness (BOF). The sign-up is here:

There are already handful of people signed up, so I guess I better work on some preso materials. I'll be prepared to talk about Roller status, future plans and Roller's recent migration from Struts 1 to 2.

Are there any specific Roller issues you'd like to discuss in the BOF?

Latest Links Oct. 31, 2007 - OpenSocial edition

Another batch of social software related links today, but today it's all about Google's new OpenSocial APIs (link to go live tomorrow). I waded through 20 or so posts today and the links below are my favorites. Gotta say, I'm really looking forward to getting the details tomorrow, understanding how Roller can play and seeing how AtomPub fits into the picture -- and I'm assuming it does since GData has been mentioned (see the Brady Forrest link below). After reading Marc Andreessen's post, which is the first link below, I think it's possible that Roller could act as both a Container and as a provider of Apps for other Containers. I wonder, could OpenSocial provide the UI widget API that Roller needs? And, will Roller's rather limited user profile data be enough to allow Roller to act as a Container? If so, I might be doing some late night hacking this weekend.

Latest links - Oct. 30, 2007

Some reading on Facebook and enterprise social software from my bookmarks collection:

Roller Strong #10

It's been over a month since the last Roller Strong, so now I'm really glad I didn't call this thing Roller Week. Anyhow, in this installment I've got news about including new releases, a big new Roller customer and upcoming Roller-related events. I'll start with the release news. [Read More]

No Bee of the Bird of the Moth

That was the only complaint the kids had about the They Might Be Giants show last night, their first "real rock concert" as they called it. Otherwise they loved it. My brother and I took Alex (10) and Linus (9) to the show at the Carolina Theater in Durham. They had a great time, pogoed around like the rest of the crowd and didn't get to bed until after 1AM.

TMBG in Durham
by ncgoth

I loved the show too. The last time I saw TMBG was probably before you were born; just the two Johns with a guitar, accordion, saxophone and a jam-box playing a drum tape. This time they had a full rock band with an amazing guitar player but unfortunately, no horns. They put on a solid show, played a wide variety of songs not weighted too heavily to their latest release, The Else, which was good and bad. Good because they've got a giant back catalog of kick ass jams. Bad because we've been listening to The Else and the boys really dig Bee of the Bird of the Moth -- guess they needed the horns for that one.

Here are some related links: There are still about 20 shows left in the TMBG tour. David Menconi of the Raleigh N&O blogged about TBMG and scored an interview. And Pat Mueller remarks on the nerd-fest that is the TMBG audience.

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