Trip Report: EuroTour '07

17 December 2007

events java jbossorg polish traveling

As noted earlier, Rebecca and I flew off to Europe last week for a little holiday, JavaPolis, and a week of team meetings.

With the winds behind us, we managed to make it to Schiphol airport in a record 6.5hrs from Newark. Not bad at all.

Met up with James Cobb, the kick-ass .org brand-manager/designer at the airport. We managed to keep each other walking around and awake all day to stave off horrible jet lag.

The wife and I stayed a night in Amsterdam before taking the train to the lovely Centraal Station area of Antwerp. If you're looking for the ambiance of a Motel 6 with the convenience and bouquet of being beside the Greyhound Station, this is the place for you!

Once in Antwerp, we hooked back up with James, and met, for the first time, the Fabulous Five from Poland: Przemek, Ryseik, Adam, Tomek and Pawel (left to right). Mark Newton was present for a few days, but had to return to Switzerland early, unfortunately.

We ate a lot of frites. And waffles.

The Polish developers attended a lot of the conference talks, and we as a team had some great whiteboarding/brainmapping sessions about the future direction of, as we're calling it (more blogs to follow on that topic).

Somewhere along the way, the guys goaded me into doing the Java Black Belt competition at the Cap-Gemini booth. I managed to make it to the finals, and ultimately won a PlayStation 3. Unfortunately, it was a PAL-based Region-2 PS3, which is decidedly incompatible with my Region-1 NTSC lifestyle choices. It's now living in Poland, along with a Nintendo Wii that Adam won.

I chatted up Crazy Bob and learned that we'd both lost our hats during the trip. A man without his hat is a sad sad thing. Luckily, I did manage to procure another. Also luckily, I have more hair than the other Bob.

I met Vincent Massol, Stan Silvert and Julien Viet for the first time. I met Emmanual Bernard, Max Andersen, and a host of other JBossers yet again.

During the entire trip, I managed to get yelled at a lot (hat shopkeeper, hotel matron, inn keeper, bar maid) and had that Alecia Keys song injected into my skull everywhere I went.

Overall, a success!

Java and Waffles

06 December 2007

events java jbossorg opensource traveling

In about 24 hours I'll be jetting towards Antwerp, Belgium to attend JavaPolis. I'll also be meeting most of my team for the first time, as the development stars from Poland wing their way westward.

JBoss has a booth, and a bundle of core developers (and management) will either be attending or speaking.

Mustache? Oui!

28 November 2007

art events health meme movember

As Movember winds down, I decided to trim my Douglas Coupland/Generation X/Singles goatee into something with more character. Like last year.

I'm sporting either a French or John Waters mo' now. I'm pretty sure this isn't my wife's favorite look. But, my body, my choice.

And yes, the mustache itself forces me to make that face. I think it may be sentient or at least possesses occult powers.

JBoss Innovation Awards

14 November 2007

events java jboss red-hat

Once again, we'll announce winners of the Innovation Awards at JBoss World in February.

While there's other opportunities for the projects at JBoss to get the nod for their innovation, the Innovation Awards are a chance for you, the users of JBoss projects, to get some glory. That glory includes a free pass to the conference, a VIP dinner, and some special attention during the conference.

What's interesting about what you're doing? There's 8 different categories, surely you fit into at least one.

  1. Joint Red Hat/JBoss Deployment: Everyone deploys their Java stuff on Linux. If that's JBossAS and RHEL for you, you're ready to rock.
  2. SOA Implementation: Are you using JBossESB, Drools, JBoss WebServices, jBPM?
  3. Increased ROI: Ask your CIO/CFO.
  4. Ecosystem: The whole ecosystem around Seam/JSF could be ripe for an award here.
  5. Emerging Technologies: Have you been doing Seam with Groovy?
  6. Migration: Have you ditched your app-server from one of the Other Guys lately?
  7. Business Process Automation: Did you implement jBPM or Drools?
  8. User Experience: Did you produce a slick UI using Portal, RichFaces and AJAX?

The Innovation Awards are a chance to highlight the good work your team has been doing. You've got until the end of the month to send us your story using the simple form at the bottom of this page.

Mos before Foes

08 November 2007

events health meme movember

Every year there is a time that men can put aside their differences, stop their fighting, and do some good.

This important time of year is Movember.

Grow a mustache and help raise awareness for men's health issues.

Last year, I cheated, by simply shaving down an existing beard into a mustache. This year, I started clean-shaven (a day late, even). So far, I'm just stubbly, but will probably shave this weekend to reveal the mustache within.

Have fun with facial hair!

Unstealthing Radar

18 October 2007

day-job events social web-30

Radar Networks, my former employer, is finally going public with what they're up to. To be honest, at this point even I have no clue what they're launching. I've been gone for a while, and they seem to have been massively busy and hiring the past 9 months. I'll be watching intently, to see what they've done.

At the Web2.0 Summit on October 19th, Radar Networks will announce a revolutionary new service that uses the power of the emerging Semantic Web to enable a smarter way of sharing, organizing and finding information. Founder and CEO Nova Spivack will also give the first public preview of Radar’s application, which is one of the first examples of “Web 3.0” – the next-generation of the Web, in which the Web begins to function more like a database, and software grows more intelligent and helpful.

Update #1:

Read/Write Web has done up their review of Twine, Radar's product. So did VentureBeat.

Update #2:

More reviews from...

JBoss World: Roundtable and Hackathon

05 October 2007

community events java jbossorg opensource

Earlier this week, Katie Poplin sent out the notifications to people who submitted presentation proposals for JBoss World 2008. The official schedule will be posted later, but I'm happy to say that my proposal for a round-table discussion about running open-source projects was accepted.

I'll be drafting some core developers, external contributors and users of JBoss projects to discuss the various aspects of OSS projects. We'll compare the differences between projects that have community origins to those with corporate origins. We'll look into the different management styles of both communities and projects. We'll get some feedback from users and contributors, to provide a different perspective. It should be interesting.

Additionally, will be sponsoring a hackathon. This will provide a place for developers who seldom (if ever) meet in person to get together and write some code. Hackathons are a great way to learn a lot in a short amount of time or to knock out a major feature or improvement on a project. We'll be publishing more information about this soon, along with a wiki page in case anyone would like to coordinate their activities.

Without us, you are nothing!

01 October 2007

economics events vc web-20

Browsing the website for the Web 2.0 Summit coming up in October, I tripped across the Launch Pad portion. The introduction says, in part

do-not-enter-sm.jpgWhile it’s great to be chosen to launch your new company at a conference like Web 2.0 Summit, the reality of the market is that the majority of successful Web 2.0 companies do more than just launch products. They also often pass the test of VC scrutiny— that's how the market determines who wins and loses in the world of startups.

I may simply be reading it wrongly, but the implication is that the VCs decide the winners and losers in the world of start-ups.

Or maybe having a VC approve of your idea, and vote with his dollars means you have a better chance of winning in the market (of consumers, not venture capitalists).

But I thought VCs acknowledge they only pick one winner out of ten, and hope it goes big. It's also said that 90% of all new businesses fail. Seems like the odds are the same regardless of VC scrutiny.

Mix in the whole web 2.0 concept (this is the Web 2.0 Summit, after all), which implies that we're reaching a point where venture capital means less and less, and it starts to make even less sense to me. Web 2.0 is trying to relight the mythology of two guys bootstrapping in a garage (or trendy downtown condo).

Am I missing the boat, or is this just a case of someone taking themselves a tad too seriously?

Talk like a Ninja

19 September 2007

events meme meta-meme pirates

Since Ninjas don't talk, though, I suggest talking like a pirate today. It may even help reduce global warming.


Historical Histrionics

14 September 2007

asheville events fame history north-carolina

My friend Lance, here in Asheville, hacks for Electric Sheep Company during the day, and by night is actor extraordinaire.


Starting next week, the immediate theatre project will be presenting Copenhagen, with Lance playing the physicist Werner Heisenberg. The play centers around a meeting (in Copenhagen) that occurred between the seemingly at-odds scientists during the war.

Lance says he has most of his lines mostly memorized, so far. Should be fun!