Archive for open-source

OSCON 2008 – Day 2

Morning Keynotes

Two of the presenters (Tim O’Reilly and some dude from Intel) talked alot about Linux on mobile devices and cloud computing.  A couple of terms that I think we’ll be hearing more soon are: MID’s = Mobile Internet Devices (think iPod Touch) and Netbooks = small-ish laptops like the Asus EEE PC.

Sessions

OpenJDK
Pretty much just talked about the timeline of pushing for an opensource version of Java and how it all started back with GNU Classpath and gjc.  The OpenJDK is still currently running a bit behind Sun’s commercial releases, but hopefully they can catch-up around Java 7.

One nice effect of OpenJDK is now Java is started to be included by default on many Linux distro’s (Debian, Fedora, etc).

Leveraging XMPP for Cloud Computing
Wish I could tell you more, but the talk was at capacity and they wouldn’t let anyone else in.  Reminded me of Thursday nights at Harpo’s in Columbia, MO during college and their “1 in, 1 out” policy.

Groovy -vs- JRuby…which one should you use?
I basically took away from the talk that it’s pretty much a wash as far as features go.  Groovy is going to be a bit easier for normal Java dudes.  Supposedly Sun has put a lot of nice features in Netbeans for JRuby support…so I might have to give it a spin.

JavaFX
There was a lot to like about this talk…especially since my group at work is heavily invested in JavaFX.  I’ll list out some of the new goodness in bullet form:

  • Java 6 update 10 is due out late summer, is a consumer-focused release focusing on improving the Java user-experience
  • Applets will now run out-of-process.  This means a couple of things: A hung applet will not crash the browser and now you can have “draggable” applets that you can pull onto the desktop.
  • Applets will now share a lot of the same features as Java WebStart apps.
  • crossdomain.xml files will be available to allow for “mashups”
  • Hardware graphics acceleration is now on by default.
  • Moving toward a more modular JRE (Java Kernel)
  • Working on video support.  Java will just wrap whatever video codecs are present on the local system.  Sun is also working on a native Java video codec.
  • Check out more about 6u10 here.

New JavaFX Stuff:

  • JavaFX Script meant to resemble Javascript (more comfortable for web designers)…but you can still call normal Java code.
  • New “javadocs” format for JavaFX
  • Netbeans plugin for JavaFX – syntax highlighting, code completion, preview
  • Photoshop and Illustrator plugins that can export to “FXD” files.  Also a tool that will convert SVG’s to FXD’s

XMPP for Cloud Services
Yet another cloud computing session that was completely jam-packed.  People seem to be bonkers about anything and everything “cloud”.

Talked mostly about how the REST polling method used in most web2.0 apps today scales horribly.  Using a PubSub methodolgy scales much better.  XMPP is built from the ground up for this type of scenario.  I’m still trying to figure out how in the Java world this would be better than just using a JMS provider like ActiveMQ.  Sounds like this might be problem that is being solved by these guys.

BONUS

Unbeknownst to me, I sat down for lunch at a table with Steve Souders.  He literally wrote the book on high performance web sites and is the creator of the YSlow! plugin for Firefox/Firebug.  He was an unbelievably nice guy and we had a good conversation about all things web, Yahoo! and Google (his current employer).

OSCON 2008 – Day 1

Technically, it’s day 2…but it’s day 1-ish for me.

I got into Portland around 2PM local time.  Checked-in to the hotel, then ran over to the convention center to check-in for the conference.  Probably the worst conference bag I’ve ever got.  That said, I think I have 5 computer backpacks lying around by now…so I’m definitely on overload.  Tech conferences need to move on to something else.

Not being familiar with the area and having not eaten in about 10 hrs, I went the path of least resistance and stopped by the mexican restuarant in the hotel (come to find out later it’s named “Eduardo’s Cantina”…if I’d known that, I probably would have just moved along).  I ended up chatting for a good long while with Josh Marinacci from the JavaFX team at Sun…which was cool because we’ve been working with JavaFX for well over a year now at work (I don’t think many people can say that…and even less could say they have an app in production using JavaFX).

Later in the night, they had an “Extravaganza” back over at the convention center.  There where 3 main parts (that I stayed for):

Mark Shuttleworth: Founder of the Ubuntu project, as well as the commercial company supporting Ubuntu, Canonical.

He spoke about the economics of open source, software development methodologies (specifically Agile/Scrum/XP) and building software that encourages others to extend.  I’m sure my synopsis doesn’t do it justice, but overall a good talk.

Next, O’Reilly/Google gave out some Open Source awards.  I’m sure you can check out their site for the low-down

Finally (for me), Robert Lefkowitz gave a talk about software development methodologies.  The theme of Agile/XP came up yet again.  It definitely feels like (at least from attending conventions) that we’re at a tipping point on Agile methodoligy acceptance.  One thought I hadn’t had until tonite is that this is closely tied to the rise of open source.  In most open source projects, there aren’t a lot of requirements made up front..people either use (and by extension, like) what you’ve built, or they don’t and go elsewhere.  If they do like your product, instead of creating “requirements” for new features, they just submit bug reports…which get triaged appropriately.  Sounds pretty efficient.

Groovy FriendFeed API

I’m starting to get my feet wet with Groovy these days, so I decided a small project would expedite the learning process.  The past few weeks, I’ve become more enamored with FriendFeed…so I decided a Groovy wrapper around their RESTful Webservice API would be a pretty good choice.

I’m hosting the work up on Google Code currently.  Any feedback (especially from Groovy veterans) is appreciated!

Groovy FriendFeed API

Sun open-sourcing Java: The Slashdot reaction.

I sit here in utter disbelief.  Having just finished reading an article about Java on Slashdot, I’ve noticed that the comments regarding it are overwhelmingly positive.  Yes, Java…on Slashdot…and it’s being viewed in a positive light.

For my entire geek life reading Slashdot, I can’t think of a single time that the notoriously cantankerous crowd of commenters there has ever been remotely positive about Java.  Clearly (using my small sample set), Sun has struck a cord with the hardest of hard-core open source zealots by making this push to truely free Java.

Kudos Sun.