Roller release backlog

We deployed the Roller 3.1 codebase to yesterday so Sun bloggers have got Web 2.0 taggy goodness now. The rest of the Roller-using world will have to wait for Roller 3.1 to make its way through the Apache Incubator release process. Want to know more about 3.1, here's the Roller 3.1 What's New page.

But be warned. If you stand outside the Apache software factory waiting for Roller 3.1 to emerge onto the loading dock, you'll be somewhat disappointed. The next release due out is Roller 3.0 (here's the Roller 3.0 What's New page) -- we just got the votes to make the release so you can expect it in the next couple of days.

Pebble 2.0

Pebble 2.0 is available. Pebble "is a lightweight, open source, Java EE blogging tool designed for individuals and small groups" developed by Simon Brown. No database required.

Rules for blogging #328

One of my rules for blogging is this. Don't blog that you are going to do X, Y and Z unless you are damn sure you are really truly going to do X, Y, and Z. Otherwise you come off as a quitter, a person who can't follow through on commitments. By the way, I'm going to run 5.8 miles today.

Pundit's Monitor

Looks like Elias had a fun weekend creating Pundit's Monitor, a political blog monitoring tool using a heap of Java tech: the Nutch search engine/web crawler, Burton's TailRank FeedParser for auto-discovery and ROME for feed parsing (though he doesn't mention that in the post). 

Netbeans 5.5 themed Roller blog

You've already heard the news about the Netbeans 5.5 release yesterday, so I won't bore you with that. Instead, check out the new Netbeans 5.5 theme on the Netbeans Profiler blog at Very nicely done. And it scales too, Watt will like that.

2007 North Carolina Science Blogging Conference

Anton Zuiker wrote to tell me about the 2007 North Carolina Science Blogging Conference coming up January 20th, 2007. I just registered and I'm looking forward to learning more about how scientists are using blogs and RSS/Atom blog tech in their work.

Statesville balloon-fest

Over the weekend, we drove about three hours west towards the mountains to Statesville, NC for the annual Carolina balloon-fest. We saw a tank, an assortment of military helicopters and we even saw some balloons attempt to inflate. Unfortunately, it was way too windy for ballooning. So it was a bit frustrating, but the kids love any chance to take a road trip so it wasn't a total loss. You can see some of my photos on Flickr.

Latest links

History of Struts 2 post at

Don Brown has written an interesting history of Struts 2. In case you don't already know, Struts 2 is the result of the merger of two competing open source communities: Apache Struts and OpenSymphony WebWork.

Cafe Cyclo is history

Wall lights at Cafe Cyclo I meant to blog it last week, but I forgot. When I arrived at Cafe Cyclo last week for the bloggers meet-up I found Josh and Sam standing under the awning taking shelter from the rain. The outside tables were gone and peering through the dark windows, I saw that everything was gone. Wow. Sad to lose such a unique place (unique for Raleigh, that is). I'm not sure what happened. Maybe the Raleighing folks have a clue.

So now we need a new meeting place. Josh and I think Helios is probably the best choice. Any other ideas, Raleigh bloggers? Ideally we'd like a relatively quiet place with good coffee, beer, food and free WIFI.

Latest links: rules for blogging edition

Lots of reading material on rules or lack of rules for blogging today.

First, some posts about Tim Bray's use of the F-word in a blog about Sun's new Project Blackbox. My take on the F-word? It's good and I use it, but I haven't had the guts or the reason to use it on my blog (although I have posted quotes that include the word). I'm with Scoble on this one: when somebody like Tim says something is F-ing cool, then I sit up and take notice.

Sun VP Dave Douglas' point about corporate vs. personal blogs seems valid, but as Douglas points out, it's not clear whether Tim's blog personal or corporate. Tim's posts are included on the front page of through the magic of aggregation (actually, only the first sentence or two). Do we need to add a bad language filter to the aggregator? Should Tim and other externally hosted Sun bloggers provide a safe-for-Sun feed for our aggregator that includes only polished professional posts?

And second, some links from Raleigh News and Observer's Sunday feature on blogging, which included articles by Triangle blogging mavens Ruby Sinreich and Anton Zuiker:

RSS and Atom in Action in action

Nick Lothian wrote to tell me about the blog, an aggregated site that uses the PlanetTool example from Chapter 11 of RSS and Atom in Action.

Roller 3.1 first post

We're just about ready to create a first release candidate for Roller 3.1 so I've installed it on this site. The major new user-facing features are tagging (thanks to Elias) and a new WYSIWYG editor (thanks to Xinha).

I'm still playing with tags and how to add them to my blog. Roller 3.1 won't copy your categories to tags, so I had to use some SQL to do that -- I don't want to start from scratch. For now, I put my tag cloud at the top of the page but it will probably end up on the sidebar.

The Blogapps Project

RSS logo image
My article on the Blogapps Project just went live today.
The Blogapps project provides what is essentially a complete RSS and Atom development kit, which includes feed parsers, generators, blog client libraries, an Atom protocol implementation, a set of ten useful blogapps, and an easy-to-install blog and wiki server. This article explains the project's purpose and how to install and use the project's products, the Blogapps Examples and Blogapps Server, to jump-start your RSS and Atom development.

Latest links

Today, I've got some Blackbox links,
some Roller links
and RSS and Atom in Action links.

Tuesday: Raleigh bloggers meetup at Cafe Cyclo

Join us tomorrow night 6:30PM at Cafe Cyclo in Cameron Village.
 cafe cyclo logo
For details, check the Raleigh bloggers wiki.

ApacheCon US 2006 highlights

I'm finally back home after a week in Austin, TX attending ApacheCon during the weekdays and exploring the city with Andi over the weekend. I always find ApacheCon an enjoyable and very productive conference. Here are some highlights from my point of view.

Getting to know the Struts, MyFaces and Shale teams. I got to spend some time with the Struts, Shale and MyFaces folks at the hackathon and at the various parties. It's really cool how well the teams get along and even contribute to each other's projects, despite the fact that they're working on competing Java web application frameworks.

Don Brown's talk. Don gave a very professional and persuasive talk on Struts 2.0. His coverage of themes and plugins and the new tags convinced me that I've got to give Struts 2.0 a closer look before I go any farther with JSF.

Stefano Mazzocchi's talk on "patterns in community building for open development projects" drawn from his 9 years of involvement at the ASF was wonderful and full of lots of useful tips and memorable analogies. I'd read about the "good ideas and bad code" pattern before (here and here) and it was interesting to hear Stefano explain it himself.

Clifford Stoll put on quite a show in the opening keynote. He frantically raced and hopped around the room firing lasers through beam splitters and Crayola Markers at monkeys and actually measured the speed of light and the speed of sound right there in the room with amazing accuacy -- lots of thought provoking fun. He also stole Craig McClannahan's coffee, drank it up and claimed it was chocolate milk. Unfortunately, I missed the Benetech keynote.

The Sun UnBOF/open source smack down between Tom Marble and Gier Magnusson got off to a shaky start, but once other folks joined in it started to work, at least for me. It wasn't really a smackdown and there wasn't really a concrete outcome, but it was definitely an interesting discussion of open source community and licensing issues.

Getting to know my Sun co-workers. I work remotely, so I really enjoy spending time with Sun folks and getting to know my co-workers despite the fact  that they're from different areas of Sun. This time around, I spent time with the open source and Java DB teams.

Old 97's at Stubbs

Andi and I had some good luck on Friday the 13th. Old 97's just happened to be playing a couple of blocks away from the ApacheCon hotel.

Old 97's at Stubbs BBQ in Austin, TX

RSS and Atom in Action on Slashdot

Simon P. Chappell writes "We've all seen them, those icons that decorate blogs and websites; sometimes they're just little orange squares with white stripes, while others say RSS or Atom. Many of us have heard of feeds and podcasts and aggregators. What are these things and where did they come from? Well, Dave Johnson, the author of the open source Roller blogging software, is glad you asked and by way of an answer, he's written RSS and Atom in Action." Read the rest of Simon's review.
Woohoo! Simon likes the book and gives it an 8/10 rating.

Sun Weblog Publisher for Open Office

Via the Open Office Tips'n'Tricks blog:
Finally, the new blogging extension for StarOffice and is available. Browse to the Sun Store at and click the link or go direct to this page

Now formatting your Blog is as easy as in Writer. Include pictures. Use the spellchecker.

You can retrieve your existing blog entries, edit them in Writer and then upload with a single click.
I haven't tried it yet, so I can't say whether or not it's worth the $9.95 download price. I must admit, I'm a surprised that it's payware (not that there's any wrong with that). Is the pay-for-plugins model something new for and StarOffice?

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