Dave Johnson on open web technologies, social software and Java
ZDNet - IBM forging developerWorks: IBM is quietly transforming its developerWorks site into something more like Sourceforge, with more public-facing features aimed at expanding its reach to all open source developers.
Congrats are also in order for the JSPWiki team. As Janne Jalkanen notes, JSPWiki was accepted into the Apache Incubator yesterday. I'm proud to be one of the four mentors who will guide the project through the incubation process. Janne and the JSPWiki team put together a great proposal and I think it was clear to everybody involved in the vote that these folks know what they're doing. They'll master the Apache way in no time.
Apache JSPWiki Manifesto: This idea has been brought up before, but so far it has not really been an issue. However, this looks like the time when it would be possible to accomplish this.
JSPWiki code base is old, and it needs some refactoring. This refactoring includes things like moving to Java 5, fixing the metadata engine, replacing the backend with something scalable, and in general removing all the cruft that has been accumulated over time. This requires that we break compatibility with existing plugins and other components. Not badly, but to some degree.
Also, JSPWiki as an open source software project is growing slowly but steadily. However, the wiki world is moving rapidly, and wikis have been adopted widely. JSPWiki has become a tool for a great many companies, who are relying on it in their daily business. This is a lot for a hobby project lead by a "benevolent dictator" -model. Therefore, it is time for JSPWiki to mature to a "real" open source software project to be a serious contender in the wiki world.
To accomplish both of these goals needs a major shift in how JSPWiki is managed and who "owns" it, in a sense. Therefore, we (the people who have been committing source code) think that Apache would be a good choice, and have decided that we will try to submit JSPWiki into the Apache incubation process, with the goal of graduating as a top-level project.
I've been a JSPWiki (and Janne Jalkanen) fan for years now. It's my favorite Java-based wiki so I'm pretty excited that the dev team is preparing a proposal to move the project to Apache. I think this will be a great move and will ensure that the project continues to grow and continues to be a strong contender in the enterprise wiki space. I'm more than willing to help with that proposal and to help out in the Incubator.
I stayed up a little too late last night upgrading this site (rollerweblogger.org) to the latest Roller 4.0 code base, which includes the new Struts2 based Admin UI and a new OpenJPA based back-end. No more Hibernate for me. The upgrade was a bit of a rocky road, but the site seems to be working OK now.
A couple of new users showed up on the Roller mailing-list this week. One was Ryan Delaplante who wrote about his Roller installation experience and the nice new theme he developed on his blog ryandelaplante.com. Jason Johnson stopped by to tell us about the new Roller-based blogging system at the University of South Dakota blogs.usd.edu. They've got some looking themes there too, check out Astra blue and red.
In the blogs, here's a post for Sun bloggers only from Rich Sharples: OpenID Delegation with Roller (take 2). Rich explains how to setup your Roller-based blog as a proxy for your Sun OpenID account.
In development, we're still finishing up the Roller 4.0 release. Most commits this week are coming from Allen who is working on bug fixes across the board. I've been making slow and steady progress on the Roller easy install work. Also, if you look at the Subversion logs you'll see that I'm working in a separate branch to implement Dependency Injection (DI) in Roller via Google's Guice. I'm almost ready to show-and-tell with a proposal. Denis Balazuc has also created a DI implementation using Spring, so we may have some interesting discussions next week.
No significant news about releases this week. We've probably got enough fixes to justify a Roller 3.1.1 release, but nobody has prepared a release candidate yet. I might be able to do one next week.
That's it for this edition. Have a great weekend.
Roller Strong Disclaimer: this is a personal blog and I do not speak on behalf of Sun Microsystems or the Apache Software Foundation.
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.dev.java.net.
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 slynkr.sunwarp.net and more recently it was put into production at www.sdnshare.com.
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.
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).As I indicate in the press release, I think this is excellent news for Roller.
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 usual ApacheCon was a blast. I showed-up on Tuesday, made myself at home in the hackathon room and started reconnecting with old friends and meeting new ones. I arrived at the members reception a little late and missed the beer, but was not too late to meet Lars Trieloff of Mindquarry, a startup that's working on an interesting open source product suite that combines content management, task management and wiki functionality. Behind the scenes the product combines Subversion, Apache Jackrabbit and other open source products. Apparently everything is tied together via the Java Content Repository (JCR) API and that's why Lars is interested in the possibility of hooking Roller up with a JCR backend.
Talks began Wednesday and I sat in the business track for most of the day. I particularly enjoyed Rebecca Hansen's talk Better than free: Strategic opportunities in open source and Bill Stoddards talk on Best Practices for Incorporating Open Source Code in Commercial Production. I also enjoyed Alexandru Popescu talk on Up to Speed with Java Content Repository API and Jackrabbit. I attended Stefano Machacci's excellent Community Building Practices talk again -- I think it should be required for all Apache contributors.
Thursday night was the Sun party at Lloyd Hotel, which was was quite successful. I had an interesting Roller-related chat with Paolo Castagna of HP, who is investigating new ways to integrate blogs, planets and wikis -- so we had a lot to talk about. I'm hoping he'll find that Roller is a good foundation for his work and encouraged him to collaborate with us via the Roller mailing lists. By the way, like Lars Trieloff, he is also interested in JCR as a back-end for blog/wiki data.
My talk Roller and blogs as a web development platform was scheduled for 10:30 Friday morning. It didn't go so well. Power went out at around 10AM and didn't come back until about 20 minutes into the talk. That left me a bit frazzled and feeling rushed, so I don't think I gave my best performance. If you'd like more information on the talk, you can find the outline here and the slides here (1.6MB PDF).
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.