RackSpace vs. the jackboots?

From the EFF statement: "Rackspace may claim to provide its customers with 'fanatical support,' but in this case it looks like it was more interested in serving the government," added Kevin Bankston, EFF attorney and Equal Justice Works/Bruce J. Ennis Fellow. "Despite these new revelations, a key question remains: Did government agents intentionally mislead the web host into thinking it had to hand over complete copies of the Indymedia servers?"

To summarize the story: when the US government requested the server logs for the grassroots media network IndyMedia from internet service provider RackSpace, RackSpace couldn't find the files. So RackSpace handed over IndyMedia's servers. I wonder how the government agents worked their magic? Did they threaten to declare RackSpace an enemy combatant and lock the whole company up without a trial?

Raleigh/Cary blogger meetup tonight

Tonight at Cafe Cyclo. As usual, Josh has the details. I may not be able to make it tonight, due to the Roller 2.0 demo, which I abscent-mindedly scheduled for the very same time.

Status, cc:world

My status report was easy this week because I only worked on one thing. I spent all of last week working on Roller 2.0/Group Blogging and hope to be feature complete by (internal) demo time, i.e. tomorrow. I'll put together a standalone demo too, so you can check it out.

Website vs. product: monthly Roller releases?

Linda's written up a summary of her smaller-is-better web application release philosophy and Roller fans take note, one of the projects she manages is blogs.sun.com. That's right folks, we're rolling out new blogs.sun.com releases on a monthly basis. Coming from a software product background, monthly releases seemed crazy to me, but Linda (and Will) have beaten me in to submission.

So, monthly releases are good for blogs.sun.com, which is a website, but do they make sense for Roller, which is a product? Sun can't force Roller to make monthly releases, since it's an external and independent project, but should the Roller team try to align with the blogs.sun.com release schedule? Is a monthly release too much for an open source web application like Roller? What if Sun was shipping a jazzed-up version of Roller, would Sun want to ship that once a month?

I'm thinking monthly releases a too much for a product like Roller, but I could be convinced otherwise. What do you think?

Fixing Java.Net

Raible: If you're hosting your open source project at java.net, you might be annoyed by the fact that you can't disable the forums or issue tracker. The forums pretty much suck, mainly because there's no "remember me" on the site and it's a pain to click 3 times just to answer someone's question. They also don't have the ability to quote a previous message. In addition to the less-than-adequate forums, the issue tracker doesn't hold a candle to JIRA.

For the longest time, I've been wanting to remove both the "Discussion forums" and "Project issues" links from the AppFuse homepage. I asked the java.net folks, and they didn't have a solution. Finally, I thought of one on my own.

Matt offers some constructive critcism of java.net (and by extension CollabNet).

del.icio.us links [July 27, 2005]

It's alive!

We've got enough rough UI in place now to support basic group blogging in Roller. It's now possible for a single user to create, manage, invite others to join up, and blog in multiple weblogs. There's plenty more to be done, but we're still planning on completing all UI work by Friday. After that comes database migration, testing, testing and more testing.

For more information on Roller's new group blogging features, check the group blogging proposal page on the Roller wiki.

Roller rocks because...

The guys at JavaCertificate.com, on the other hand are digging Roller, because it's "easily extensible and low in maintenance." They got the name wrong though. It's Roller not JRoller.

Roller sucks because...

Vinny thinks Roller sucks because it doesn't support Weblogic and Oracle. I posted this response in the comments of his blog:

Roller is not a commercial product with a revenue stream, so it’s difficult to justify the added expense of supporting lots of application servers and databases.

As you said, Roller uses Hibernate and should therefore work with any JDBC capable database, but somebody has to write the installation guides and answer the tech support database questions for each platform — if you’d like to volunteer to do that for Weblogic/Oracle, we’d love it!

And, if you do get Roller working on Weblogic and Oracle please submut patches to the dev-list so that others don’t have to suffer through the porting process too.


Originally uploaded by snoopdave.

Hippified jewelry store in downtown Boone, NC (taken at dusk). Boone, by the way, was named after frontiersman Daniel Boone, who once camped here. According to Wikipedia, Boone claimed to have killed a Yahoo, which is "a vile and savage creature, filthy and with unpleasant habits."

del.icio.us links [July 20, 2005]

Raleigh Blog Meetup: Tuesday June 19, 2005

I don't see the notice on Josh's site, so I'll post it here: Join us tomorrow (Tuesday, July 19) for the fortnightly Raleigh/Cary Bloggers meetup.

What: An open meeting to talk about blogging, podcasting & whatever's on your mind
When: Tues @ 6:30 p.m.
Where: Cafe Cyclo, in Cameron Village

2020 Cameron St
Raleigh, NC 27605 (map)
(919) 829-3773

Who: Bloggers & people who want to blog (Podcasters welcome!)

Hope to see you there!

Status, cc:world

Last week

  • Roller 2.0 progress! I focused on Roller 2.0 group blogging work last week (to the exclusion of pretty much everything else) and made very good progress. After making the giant number of changes required to create a many-to-many relationship between users and websites, I put everything back together again; first the unit tests, then the Roller UI. I'm well into the group blogging UI development now and will have something to show next week.
  • Roller@Apache progress. We submitted Roller's first quarterly status report to the Apache incubator last week. You can read the whole report, but in a nutshell: Roller is in Apache's Subversion repository now, we're using the Apache mailing lists and we're trying to figure out how to deal with the contentious issue of Roller's LGPL dependencies.

This week

  • Roller 2.0 work. I'm going to focus on Roller 2.0 again this week and not much else.
  • RSS and Atom in Action. We're still putting the book through producution and preparing for Manning's early access program. At the same time, I'm updating the newsfeed format, parsing and serving chapters to cover Atom Format 1.0. Unfortunately, we can't complete chapter 8 until the Atom Protocol 1.0 is complete.
  • Vacation. I'm leaving Wednesday afternoon for a trip the the NC mountains, probably my last vacation of the summer.

Reform the patriot act


And check the Reform the Patriot Act blog and feed. Via Ruby Sinreich.

del.icio.us links [July 15, 2005]

Atom 1.0 support in Roller

I just updated Roller's Atom support to Atom 1.0 and added the updated template (atom.vm) to this site.

Valid Atom 1.0 This is a valid Atom 1.0 feed.

Mostly off-line today

Andi and I went out to celebrate our 14th wedding anniversary last night (thank you very much) and as we left, a Time Warner truck parked right next to our cable box. When we returned from our dinner/movie date (both were excellent: Margaux and Batman Begins), I found that my cable modem was dead. After an hour on-hold with the Time Warner folks, they finally offered to come out in a couple of days and fix things. Isn't that nice. Until then, my availability on AIM will be spotty. I'll probably park myself at Sun's Cary office once I figure out how to get acccess there, but for now I'm at Helios coffee.

del.icio.us links [July 13, 2005]

  • Sun blogging policy
    Orignally drafted by Tim Bray, the policy now has a home on sun.com
  • Interview with P@
    Interesting interview with Pat Chanezon on syndication past, present and future
  • CDDL is Open Source
    Jim: "Marc Fleury is either the most misquoted CEO in history, or he really doesn't know what Open Source is"
  • Trouble in ROME
    Alan: "I will be publishing the extra classes you need to extend ROME to handle more liberal formats"

del.icio.us links [July 12, 2005]

Java Creator for open source development, or not

partial Creator screenshot One of the other things I did over the break was to start reading Core JSF again. I've made it about halfway through this time and I must say, the book is quite good. I like the way Geary and Horstmann walk you through the learning process. Starting with something small, simple and not IDE specific and slowly adding in the pieces you need to build a real app. For me, that approach dispelled the "JSF is too complex argument." I'm finding that JSF is a lot less complex than Struts, which is really all I have to compare it against. I might actually finish the book this time ;-)

At JavaOne, I picked up a copy of Java Creator 2 early access (EA) and I've been playing with that as well. I was hoping to build a simple JSF front-end for Roller, just for fun. Creator looks great and the form designer works well, but when I noticed how many com.sun.* classes end up in the generated code I backed off. According to the release notes the whole JSF implementation and com-sun-web-ui-appbase jars are redistributable (as are mail.jar and activation.jar -- that's news to me), but the idea of IDE specific code makes me uncomfortable -- especially in an open source context. So instead of using the form editor, I decided to base my little RollerFaces experiment on example code from Core JSF, which so far relies only on the javax.faces packages.

I decided not to use the form editor, but I didn't want to give up on Creator completely. So I tried to use Creator in place of Netbeans, but ran into another problem: Creator 2 EA only supports the Sun Java App Server and the built-in Netbeans Tomcat launch/debug feature has been disabled. That's disappointing. I don't want or need a full-blown EJB app server for this simple learning excercise. I want Tomcat. It's light-weight, starts fast and I know it well (as do most Java webapp developers, I expect). According to the Creator EA 2 docs, Tomcat support is coming soon. Personally, I would have supported Tomcat and simple webapps first and then Sun Java App Server and more advanced EJB stuff later. Please the most folks first, right? Anyhow, I backed off of Creator 2 EA entirely and now I'm hacking RollerFaces in Netbeans 4.1. I'll try Creator 2 again when it hits beta.

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