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 JBoss.org 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, JBoss.org 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.

Land of Cheese

21 September 2007

cheese day-job java jbossorg traveling

Picture 9.pngNo, not Wisconsin.

Nor the Happy Cows of California.

I'm heading to Switzerland next week.

Finally, I get to actually use Dopplr. I'm one of those remote-type web workers, so this international trip is chance for me to actually have some face-time with my boss.

"Stop by my office before you go home" doesn't work so well in a distributed company such as Red Hat.

Seams to be a Good Day

20 September 2007

community groovy java jbossorg opensource

A couple of JBoss-related announcements today...

Picture 8.png First, if you're wanting to meet some of the JBoss guys out in the Real World, we've mashed-up Google Calendar over at our Community Calendar Page. Currently it includes some dates to meet the Drools guys in Orlando, Romania and Sao Paulo, some Hibernate guys in Atlanta, Dublin and London, and the Value2 tour across North America.

Additionally, Norm Richards has announced Seam 2.0.0-CR1. If you've been waiting to jump on the Seam 2.x bandwagon, this is a really good time to check it out. Being a candidate-release, this could quite possibly be The Real Thing. If while digging around, you find a show-stopper of a bug, let us know in the forums or via JIRA.

JBoss.org Podcast with Gavin King of Seam

18 September 2007

community groovy java jbossorg opensource podcasting

Back at JavaOne, the team and I chased down Gavin and made him speak on Seam, Web Beans (JSR-299), Groovy, Grails, and two-wheeled forms of transportation.

We've also included a transcript, since both Gavin and Mark have those funny accents.

JBoss World 2008 CFP

06 September 2007

community events java jboss opensource

presentation-boy.gifThe 2008 JBoss World conference has been announced as happening in Orlando during February 13-15. That's Valentine's Day. Bring your sweetie south, and thaw out with some hot Java in the sun.

Want to be a superstar and get a free pass to the conference? Of course you do!

Just submit a presentation. If you're selected, you get a conference badge, some free meals, and the glory of the community.

You know you want to.

Mashup Down Under

01 August 2007

business java tools

Picture 13.pngMike "JIRA JIRA JIRA" Cannon-Brookes pinged me on IM tonight to let me know that Atlassian has acquired Cenqua. Cenqua, as you might know, makes the fancy-dandy FishEye product for viewing source repositories. Atlassian is the Australian wiki/bug-tracking giant run by stylish surfers.

Congrats to both groups. I enjoyed having beers with the Cenqua kids at JavaOne this year.

Tom Baeyens of jBPM

06 June 2007

java jbossorg opensource podcasting

I've finished putting together the first podcast since I've joined JBoss.org. Mark Newton and James Cobb helped with this interview of Tom Baeyens, the project lead for jBPM. In it, Tom discusses some of the fundamentals of jBPM, including his ideas around the Process Virtual Machine (PVM).

YouTube | MPEG-4 (Video) | MP3 (Audio Only)


ANTLR is Ter-rific

06 June 2007

blogging java jbossorg

Mark Proctor has posted an interview he did with Terence Parr of ANTLR fame. Ter is one of the nicest and smartest guys I know.

Ter ParrBack in the day, teaching myself how to program in C++, I decided to write my own scripting language. I'd tried (f)lex/yacc/bison, and they were either not friendly to C++, or not friendly to the way my brain works. Then I stumbled across PCCTS and recursive-descent LL(k) parsers. For once, the grammar productions seemed to make sense. The generated code seemed to be readable and make sense.

Praise be unto Terence Parr, creator of PCCTS.

Then he abandoned C++ for Java, and created ANTLR. Now it's up to version 3.0. And has a book.

ANTLR Book ANTLR is one of those libraries that you either love or have never heard about. You've probably enjoyed the benefits of ANTLR none-the-less.

Being able to create a parser for a new little language (or "DSL" to be hip and trendy) opens up a whole world when implementing new software. It makes it easy to think of formats beyond XML or CSV. Users get tired of being stabbed in the eye with XML's pointy brackets.

State of the BPM Nation

21 May 2007

java jboss opensource

Tom Baeyens has written a nice blog introduction to a technical article on the Process Virtual Machine.

state.pngTom's blog is great, because it gives you an understanding of the problems and commonalities between various process/workflow/orchestration technologies. I faffed about with Werkflow though a few revisions, all failing miserably.

I think workflow (and rules) will ultimately be important programming models in the future. While developers may find it hard to transition from imperative to declarative thinking, both of these technologies map more closely to how Real Humans tend to think about problems. This is evidenced by the "flow charts" that match the shape of a business process. We're better at drawing pictures than describing with words the steps involved in taking a thing through a process.

Trip Report: JavaOne 2007

15 May 2007

community day-job events java jboss jbossorg social

I got back from my first ever JavaOne, and I'd have to say it was a success.

First the obligatory "look how cool I am" section...

Name dropping


Drank too much with Hani of the BileBlog. Congratulated Cameron John Purdy at the Tangosol party. Finally met Phil Dodds and Brett Porter, from DevZuz. Dan Diephouse and Paul R. Brown ("Yes, we're the XFire guys") had candy at their booth. Jason Hunter handed me an invite to the Google party, where I finally met Crazy Bob Lee (one of the damn nicest people ever). There I chatted with Ola Bini who is a man who makes me feel short. Re-met Jon Tirsen after a 3-year hiatus (the first hausparty in Amsterdam). Paul Hammant expounded on Mingle and other things over bowls of curry. Chatted with Matt Quail and Pete Moore of Cenqua a bit while absconding with Google t-shirts. Chatted with Matthew Porter of Contegix, the hosting providers of the Codehaus. Stood around (in my JBoss shirt) in front of the IBM booth chatting with Lauren Cooney. Met Guillaume LaForge and Graeme Rocher finally. Put some faces with the Exadel guys I'd worked with during the opensourcing of their products. Greg Wilkins reminded me the Codehaus SSL cert was expired (fixed now). Geert Bevin was as enthusiastic as ever at the TerraCotta booth. Ran into Jeremy Boynes in the lobby of the W on my way out of town. Jason van Zyl wandered the streets of San Francisco with me in search of a 7-11 and an ATM. Alex Vasseur dropped by the JBoss party to discuss event stream processing. James Strachan and Rob Davis were everywhere, of course.


Did some podcast recording with Tom Baeyens, Emmanuel Bernard, Bill Burke and Gavin King. Chatted with Thomas Diesler, Michael Yuan, Matt Quinlan, and Sacha Labourey. Enjoyed dinner with James Cobb, Mark Newton and Bela Ban. Damon Sicore, my predecessor, dropped by the JBoss party. Met innumerable coworkers whos names all fail me during my stints in or near the JBoss booth.

The fabulous Cindy Scheneck, Rebecca Goldstein and Chantal Yang arranged the booth, the party, the printing of the t-shirts and everything else that made it all awesome. Mad props to that trio, Burr Sutter, and the gaggle of sales-engineers who did an awesome job with the attendees.


With the large investment announced by Interface21, a lot of side-line analysis of business models was happening. Exactly where is the sweet spot of professional opensource? Is it training? Certifying a stack that you control? Supporting a stack that you don't? Purely professional services?

At the booth, technical demos seemed well received. A large screen and a good sound-system were definitely a wise investment. Every demo drew a large crowd around the booth. A lucky few got to see Gavin debug a demo live on stage. Seam is definitely hot this year.

Luckier still are those who "received" a "free" copy of Michael Yuan's book about Seam. Did I mention Seam is apparently hot?

We all need to realize that parties can occur on nights other than Wednesday. Luckily the JBoss->Eclipse->Google triathlon worked out, but many parties were concurrently scheduled.

I heard a lot of positive feedback from people I met about liking what we're doing at JBoss.org. They like the new look and layout. When it's common for people to throw around criticism and negativity, it's really nice to hear kind words. Sure, we've still got a long way to go, I'll readily admit, but I think we're doing a-okay.

In general, conferences like these are somewhat educational, definition inspirational, and help cement human-to-human relationships. While we all might be competitors, we're not enemies. In the world of opensource, we share the same community, so we all might as well get along and order another round of beers. Conferences demonstrate these cross-cutting commonalities that crosses P statements.