Dave Johnson on open web technologies, social software and Java
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:
Joe Cheng posted another entry in his series explaining the details of AtomPub support in Windows Live Writer (WLM), titled WLW+AtomPub, Part 2: Authentication.
Solaris back in the race: Last week, I wrote about us discarding Solaris for a new project. Most large companies will not care and not listen to their customers. Many of us have dealt with Verizon, Time Warner, Creative Labs, etc and know what I mean. After all, when you have so many customers, it is cheaper to lose a bunch of them and provide overall bad service than it is to fix real problems. After my short experience with Sun, I assumed it was the same:I WAS WRONG. They do listen!
That's my experience too. Folks at Sun are very tuned into the blogs, forums and other sites where our products might be discussed. We subscribe to RSS/Atom keyword search feeds so we can find out who is talking about our products, we join the conversations and we try our best to make things right when they go wrong. Critical blog posts about us almost always set off a flurry of activities on our internal bloggers mailing list. It's nice to see when those "inbound messaging" efforts pay off.
The next releases that I'd like to announce are the Blogapps 2.1 Examples and the Blogapps 2.1 Server.
If you'd like to learn more about the Blogapps examples and server then read The Blogapps Project article at Java.net. Here's a quick summary:
The Blogapps project hosts a collection of useful RSS and Atom utilities and examples from RSS and Atom In Action by Dave Johnson. They're designed to be useful even if you haven't read the book and they're available under the Apache License 2.0 so you can use the code in your applications and you can modify and redistribute them as you wish.
What's changed since 2.0? The examples have been updated to include the latest version of ROME Propono, which means that most of them now support the final Atom protcol spec. The server has been updated to include Roller 4.0 RC5, which also includes Atom protocol support and JSPWiki 2.4. And of course, various bugs have been fixed. Here are the release files, installation instructions and release notes.
This blog entry was posted via Atom protocol and the MatisseBlogger blog-client, which you can see in the screen-shot below (which was also posted via Atom.
What's next? Not sure at this point, but I will do another Blogapps release once ROME 1.0 is released.
My brother's popular film blog FilmBabble, hosted on Google's Blogspot site, is now dead in the water and he cannot find any way to get help from Blogspot or Google. He's followed the help links to send support requests to both Google and Blogger.com last week, but Gmail tells him that his email address does not exist!
Could this be another case of mass email deletions at Gmail.com? Personally, I wouldn't trust Google to host my blog or my email; I only use Gmail for mailing lists that are archived elsewhere. Seems like my caution might be well justified.
So please help, Google folks. Please tell us: how do you get help from Google when your email address and therefore your Google identity is apparently deleted?
Update 1: apparently Dan filled out this help request form on Friday. I wonder what kind of turn around time they have for this type of issue. Guess we'll find out.
Update 2: Google responded today and restored Dan's account, after only two business days. I must say, that's pretty damn good for a free service. Still, the "that email address does not exist" message is pretty damn scary. It's pretty nerve wracking to get locked out of your blog.
ApacheCon is coming up fast. I just faxed in my speaker's agreement and I'm starting to update my talk to cover the latest changes in the upcoming Apache Roller 4.0 and 4.1 releases.
I've been four times now and ApacheCon is always a great conference. It's small and cozy enough, but almost all of the Apache projects are represented. So it's easy to find the experts, make new friends and get all of your questions answered. The session line-up looks great this year; here are ones that caught my eye:
Want to go? There's still time to shave a couple of hundred dollars off the conference fees by registering early. Early bird pricing has been extended to Sept. 22, 2007.
And the Weston looks like a pretty nice place for a conference:
ApacheCon US 2007 | Register here
Atom protocol "features" extension
I try to follow the Atom community pretty closely, but sometimes I fall out of the loop. For example, I missed the discussion on James "Mr. Atom" Snell's important new extension proposal for Atom protocol features, which will enable blog servers to declare what features they support. For example, Roller could inform blog clients that you can enable/disable comments for each post, limit comments to N days on, "pin" a blog entry to to site's main page (if you are an admin) and more. Hopefully, we can get blog server developers to agree on a common set of features and blog client developers to support that set.
Publishing critical info with Atom
And I had to bookmark James Snell's excellent and important article Publish critical public warnings on the Web, with the sub-title "Atom publishing can provide a powerful and flexible way to distribute critical, life-saving information."
Sun Portal's blog porlet, powered by Atom protocol
This next Atom link comes from docs.sun.com. It's some documentation for the Sun Portal Server 7.1 - Blog Portlet. I did not realize that the Sun Portal blog portlet uses Atom protocol to enable publishing to Roller. It was developed and tested against Roller 3.1, so it probably does not conform to the final Atom protocol.
What to call Atom protocol?
And finally, folks are wondering what to call Atom Publishing Protocol. Is it APP or Atompub or Atom protocol? Ian Bicking says Iâve decided to make a conscious effort to call it Atompub from now on." I don't have a strong opinion, but I do think APP is to vague to be useful.
Lightweight image editors for Mac
I've got a copy of Photoshop Elements for the Mac, but I really hate to have to start it up when I want to crop or resize an image. So I twittered about it. Ryan Irelan pointed out ImageWell "the Free and Lean Image Editor". Rich Sharples recommended Skitch, a Web 2.0-ish desktop app that makes it easy to snap, draw and share images from your desktop. I'm on the waiting list for an invite. On my own, I found Seashore, which is a Gimp based open source image editor Mac, one that does not need X11, and it's pretty light-weight. I'm not ashamed to admit, I love the Gimp.
Whew! I've got a couple more links but my lunch break is over so there you go.
My brother Dan is a great writer with an encyclopedic knowledge of films, rock and pop music in general, and he's blogging, so it's only natural that folks start to notice. This weekend he got another boost, this time it's a mention in New York Magazine: The week in Woody Allen on Ingmar Bergman.
This week was a big week for Roller, development and deployment-wise. As you may already know from Linda Skrocki's blog, Roller 4.0 went live this week at the premier corporate blogging site blogs.sun.com (BSC) with some nice new themes, easier blog customization and a UI that has been completely rewritten to do use Struts2. Check the What's New in Roller 4.0 page to learn more about the upcoming release.
But don't get too excited, you can't download Roller 4.0 just yet. Sun deployed a pre-release version of Roller and if you want to do the same, you'll either have to build it yourself or wait for the official Apache Roller 4.0 release coming out this summer. And don't be too disappointed, that's one of the nice things about Roller: before we make a release, the code is battle tested on blogs.sun.com. Big thanks to .Sun Engineering for that.
A couple folks wrote into to tell me that GIS software developer ESRI is blogging with Roller, something I've been meaning to mention for quite some time. In fact, I've been meaning to mention it for over a year and now it's time to wish ESRI a happy 1st blogaversary. Man, how time flies.
That's it for this weeks installment of Roller Strong. Y'all come back now.
It's hard to believe it's been three years since the blogs.sun.com (BSC) launch. Sun bloggers are having a birthday party of sorts around the tag bsc3years, so check out all the posts. My favorite is Linda's, which sums up the successes and reasons for the success of BSC. I think she's right on the money with her comments about employee blogging. Let me add this: you don't need a marketing team or a blog consulting firm to write your company's blogs. Trust your employees. Encourage them to blog and, if you can, provide the enabling infrastructure. I think I may have said that before
I still remember how amazed, surprised and pleased I was to learn that Sun was using Roller. I found out on May 5, 2004 via Roller; I noticed referrers from blogs.sun.com and just couldn't believe my eyes. Shortly after that I wrote to Tim Bray, who introduced me to Will Snow and soon I managed to become part of the BSC phenomenon. I'm proud to have played a part in the BSC success, but the success was certainly not due to the Roller software; it's the bloggers who made BSC. So here's to the BSC bloggers: happy birthday!
Finally! Roller has graduated to become a top-level Apache project and we've shipped the long awaited Apache Roller 3.1 release. You can find the full announcement on the Roller mailing list and on the Roller project blog and our new top-level site at http://roller.apache.org.
Today is the fifth anniversary of this blog, which I started on April 11, 2002 to promote the Roller blog software that I had just finished writing.
Roller wasn't really ready for deployment at the time, so I started blogging using Userland Radio radio.weblogs.com. You can find my first post on Radio here FIRST POST!!! You can also find the original Roller 0.90 user guide on the old site, complete with screen-shots. A couple of weeks later, my article on Roller was published at OnJava.com and folks started to take notice of Roller.
Now, five years later, Roller has graduated from the Apache Incubator to become Apache Roller, blog-tech is my full-time job at Sun and I'm still Blogging Roller. Thanks to Roller users and contributors everywhere for helping to make this possible.
Most of Tim O'Reilly's proposed blogger's code of ethics is common sense stuff, but some of it seems to conflict with the informal, conversational and public nature of blogs. It's flawed and besides that, it's unnecessary.
It's not always important to "connect privately before we respond publicly" to "misrepresentations or conflicts" as the code states. Blogging is supposed to be a public conversation, not a bunch of back-channel emails and phone calls. If you think somebody misspoke you might want to check with them before you totally lay into them, but you can do that gently on your blog e.g. "I was reading Bob's post and wondering if he really meant to say 'all foo is bar' because that just doesn't seem right."
It's not necessary for every blogger to take action "when we believe someone is unfairly attacking another;" especially if others are already responding well and being heard. It's OK to lurk.
And I definitely do not believe that anonymous comments should be banned. So I'm glad to see that O'Reilly now says (in the comments to his own post) that part should be optional.
For me the bottom line is that bloggers should follow the same rules as everybody else. We don't need special blogger's code of ethics, a sheriff badge or the blog police. The fundamental things apply: common sense, decency and the laws of the land.