Joe's Q&A: Do we need WADL?

Joe turns a #redmonk IRC chat-room discussion into an insightful Steven O'Grady style Q&A on REST, WADL, interfaces and APP. For the record, I still think WADL is going to be useful to many, but I think APP is going to be a whole lot more useful and it doesn't need or use WADL.

Update: Pat Meuller has more on the WADL question. Apparently, there were some interesting hallway discussions about about out at IBM RTP. I just caught the tail-end of that on IRC.

Nice weekend and DCampSouth

It was a nice weekend: I had dinner and went to a musical (The Full Monty at the RLT, quite good) with my parents, played some Heroscape with the kids, got a little work done and on Saturday I attended DCampSouth. DCampSouth was a lot of fun. Thanks to Jackson Fox and friends for creating just the right environment for a barcamp experience. Here are a couple of notes on my experience. [Read More]

Roller Strong #1

This blog is called Blogging Roller because that's what it's supposed to be about, but lately there's a shortage of Roller content here and I don't think I'm getting the word out the way I used to. There's a lot of cool stuff coming with Roller 4.0 and other efforts, so I need to fix that. I'm going to start by doing a weekly roundup of Roller news on Fridays, but I'm not going to call it Roller Week. [Read More]


I feel bad blogging about this so last minute. I really should have mentioned it weeks ago.

I just signed up for DCampSouth, a BarCamp style unconference for "anyone interested in design and user experience" that's happening here in Raleigh, tomorrow June 2 from 8:30 - 4PM. The attendee list looks interesting and the venue certainly looks pretty far out (literally and figuratively): the School of Communication Arts housed in "three Monolithic hurricane proof, clear span concrete domes."

It's a busy week but I'll definitely be able to make it to the morning and some of the afternoon sessions.

Friday Atom and REST links

A bunch of Atom and REST related links that I came across while catching up with my blog reading today:

Atom and LDAP sitting in a tree. Trey Drake has released his OpenDS based Atom store as an open source project on at It's a directory server distributed as a Java web application that supports both Atom Publishing Protocol (APP) and Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP).

Signing, encrypting and decrypting Atom. On IBM developerWorks, Nicolas Chase explains how "digital signatures and encryption can easily mesh with Atom data using the Apache Abdera API."

Google GData: A Uniform Web API for All Google Services. Dare Obasanjo praises Google for creating a single uniform and RESTful web services API for eight of its key services, the APP based GData API. He writes "not only is it now possible to create a single library that knows how to talk to all of Google's existing and future Web services since they all use GData. It is also a lot easier to provide 'tooling' for these services than it would be for Yahoo's family of Web services given that they use a simple and uniform interface."

RESTful web services support in Netbeans. Geertjan links to blog entries and a screen-cast that explain Netbeans 6.0 support for RESTful web services, including the early access JSR-311 REST API.

Generate code from your WADL REST API. Eduardo at The Aquarium links to Thomas Steiner who is making progress on a WADL editor and a generator, bringing WSDL-like code generation to RESTful web services.

Apache Roller webinar from Covalent

Covalent is presenting a web presentation titled "Introduction to Apache Roller" that will cover Roller architecture, features, installation, customization and road-map with Roller committer and blogger Matt Raible. The presentation is on June 6 at  11AM Pacific Time. You can sign up at

Apache OpenJPA graduates

Congrats to the OpenJPA team.

Patrick Linksey: Last week, OpenJPA graduated from the Apache incubator, meaning that it's now a fully-fledged Apache project. We're graduating to a top-level project, so once the infrastructure administrivia gets worked out, the new URL will be

I'd like to thank Craig Russell for pushing the project through the last mile of graduation details, and our incubation mentors (Brian McAllister, Eddie O'Neil, and Geir Magnusson) for all their help transitioning into the Apache world.

I'm pushing to replace Hibernate with JPA in Roller and OpenJPA seems the most likely candidate, so I'm glad to hear the community is thriving.

Basic Groovy, for Netbeans 6.0

Speaking of open source projects that need help, there's Coyote, which promised to bring scripting support to Netbeans and did so for Netbeans 5.0. Since then, the project has been pretty stagnant. JRuby's getting all the attention these days.

Geertjan is doing his best to jump-start Groovy support in Netbeans, but it's not really his job. He's gone beyond the call of duty and it looks like he's got something pretty functional going, which is very nice. I've been doing some Groovy scripting lately, so I'll try it out. It would be cool if the Groovy project itself had time to help out, or even take over, but they're probably pretty busy too.

Sun open sources Slynkr, Digg-like social bookmarking app

Sun just open sourced an interesting Java webapp called Slynkr that supports a Digg-like form of social bookmarking and tagging. You can get the source and docs at

Slynkr was developed inside Sun by Jamey Wood and others. The small community that formed around it found it useful and fun and wanted to share it. Slynkr was first deployed externally (and experimentally) at and more recently it was put into production at

Slynkr has a nice feature set and UI, but under the covers it needs some work. It's only been tested with the Sun app server and Oracle, so it's probably got some "portability" issues. For better or worse, it's got a simple Servlet/JSP and JDBC architecture -- no frameworks or persistence layer yet. Jamey is interested in improving the architecture, making it work on multiple servers and databases and growing a community around the project. So if you're interested, grab the source, join the mailing-list and get in on the ground-floor of an cool new open source project.

Update: check out Jamey's post on Slynkr for some more background.

What exactly is RSS anyway?

Is it this, promoted by Dave Winer?

This, from the RSS advisory board?

Or one of the other dozen or so incompatible formats.

It doesn't really matter. There's only one Atom: RFC-4287.

Hat tip to Sam Ruby.

Full commercial support for Apache Roller, from Covalent

WALNUT CREEK, CA, May 15, 2007 -- Covalent Technologies, the most trusted source for enterprise open source solutions, today announced it is now offering full commercial support for Apache Roller, the open source blog server from the Apache Software Foundation (ASF).


Organizations are increasingly using blogs as a means of more effectively communicating with their customers and ecosystem, says Mark Brewer, CEO of Covalent Technologies. Consequently, for the enterprise, blog technology is rapidly becoming an important and essential piece of their infrastructure. We are very pleased to be supporting this very worthwhile ASF project. More...

As I indicate in the press release, I think this is excellent news for Roller.

The Apache Lucene GData server project

German Viscuso: Generally spoken GData provides a general interface to make information available even beyond a browser context by providing a single API that could be used to query, update, and index structured data anywhere on the web. Could GData become a simple and open replacement for all the proprietary communications protocols currently in use by database vendors?
Interesting thoughts. I've heard about the Atom Publishing Protocol (APP) based Lucene Web Services API, but I hadn't heard about the Apache Lucene GData server project. Atom protocol is moving fast, especially considering the fact that it's not finished.

Atom Publishing Protocol (APP) plugin for Confluence

I found it via Joe Gregorio's blog, followed the link to the plugin homepage and the link to the source code and saw that it's powered by ROME Propono. I haven't tried the plugin myself yet, but it appears that it allows you to create, retrieve, update and delete Confluence wiki pages via the APP. Very cool!

And from the author himself:

Zohar Melamed: Just released an APP plugin for confluence. The code is based on code from Propono, so a thank you goes to the ROME guys. The protocol is great to work with , all you need to debug and test is wget or similar and it worked right off the bat with Joe's APP Test Client. Looking forward to many more happy atom hours. 

Oh, and by the way: ROME Propono is included in Sun Web Developer Pack (SWDP) R2, which was just released last week.

RESTful Web Services, by Richardson and Ruby

Book's cover Leonard Richardson and Sam Ruby's new book RESTful Web Services is now available. It was one of the best sellers in the JavaOne bookstore this year, so congrats to Leonard and Sam. It sold out before I was able to get a copy; Rajiv bought the last one in the store.

Home again

It's been a fun four weeks of travel with the APP interop event, vacation, ApacheCon EU and JavaOne but damn it's nice to be home with Andi and the boys.

By the way, my talk went very smoothly yesterday and I estimate that about 300 people showed up. I pitched my book at the end of the talk and pointed people to JavaOne bookstore, but by that time it was sold out.

Latest links

TS-6029 - Beyond Blogging: Feeds in Action

As usual, I'm enjoying JavaOne and meeting lots of new people and putting faces to names. I've also been practicing my talk daily so I can give you my best performance, so eat lunch a little early or a little late and come see how it goes. Here are the details:

JavaOne opening keynote notes and comments

Here are some of my (raw and unedited) notes from Rich Green's opening keynote this morning:

  • Community, openness, community! humans require communication
  • Over the last year, we open sourced Java, grew Glassfish and Netbeans communities
  • Martin Harriman of Ericssen on stage to announce
    • Sun Java System Communications Application Server
    • And open sourcing of Ericssen IMS technologies
  • Anna Ewing CIO of NASDAQ on stage to say
    • Trading tech has been running Java for some time now
    • Now prototyping new systems using Real Time Java
  • Tom Hallman of Sony on stage to tout
    • New levels of DVD interactivity and thanks to Blueray
  • Netbeans use is up 92% year over year
  • Annoucement: Open souring of Java is now complete
  • Annoucement: OpenJDK interim governing board
    • Doug Lea, Simon Phipps, Mark Rhinehold, Dalibor Topic, Fabiane Nardone
    • Will decide constitution and governance processes of OpenJDK community
    • Annoucement: improvements to availability of TCK
  • Why did Sun choose GPL V2?
    • Compatibility matters and GPL forces innovation into open
    • Compatible with Linux distributions
  • Annoucement: Series of three new faster Java SE 6 releases this year
  • Annoucement: Java FX scripting language for rich UX and interactivity
    • Rich Green: "Profound change to Java"
    • James Gosling: other scripting languages focus on HTML generation not rich UI
    • Drives Swing and Java 2D graphics
    • Complete line of authoring tools on the way
  • Annoucement: JavaFX mobile, complete "desktop scale" environment for phones
    • Shows demo models that look pretty iPhoney

And a little commentary:

I was a little surprised by JavaFX. I read about F3 a couple of months ago and was pretty impressed. Now we've renamed F3 to JavaFX, we're making it work well everywhere that Java runs incuding the browser and mobile phones and we're developing a line of non-developer friendly authoring tools for it. In short, we're positioning it to compete directly against Adobe Flex, Microsoft Silverlight and to some extent JavaScript/Ajax.

I don't know enough about Flex or Silverlight to know how JavaFX stacks up, but it does worry me a bit that JavaFX in the browser relies on Java Applet technology, which may have been greatly improved, but still doesn't have a great reputation. Maybe that's changed: Alex and Linus' favorite game, Runescape, is based on applet technology and it works flawlessly on all of our various computers and operating systems. We didn't notice it was Java until Leo pointed out the  tiny Duke icon in the browser tray.

Update: Apparently, one big problem with Applets will be fixed in Java SE 6 Update 2: "Brewin fleshed out remarks made during the keynote to the effect that Java 6 Update 2 will introduce a new deployment model for the JRE where the initial download is very small and additional JRE components are lazily downloaded only as needed. He said that the concept is very similar to the Java Kernel project proposed for Java 7."

JavaFX is new news, so there are not many blogs or new articles about it. Here are some links I've found useful:

The announcement of OpenJDK interim board is a good thing is definitely a good thing. It will be interesting to see how the governance shapes up and how quickly the project can become truly an open source project, i.e. with external contributors on equal footing with Sun developers. Like Geir, I did not understand the Java JCK annoucement and haven't yet been able to find a clarification.

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.

Tim Bray: What’s more interesting is that we’re rolling out an OpenID provider at (last time I looked), but with a twist: You can’t get an OpenID there unless you’re a Sun employee, and if someone offers an OpenID whose URI is there, and it authenticates, you can be really sure that they’re a Sun employee. It doesn’t tell you their name or address or anything else; that’s up to the individual to provide (or not). The authentication relies on our Access Manager product, and it’s pretty strong; employees here have to use those crypto-magic SecureCard token generators for serious authentication, passwords aren’t good enough. 
Now, if only Roller and supported OpenID we'd reallly be cookin'

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