D-day – 3 for Festi’neuch – Get Ready! May 27, 2008Posted by Sacha in Regional.
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Founded in 2001, Festi’neuch is a music festival taking place in Neuchâtel, in the middle of the Three-Lakes region. In 7 years, Festi’Neuch has built a serious reputation, inviting famous bands and singers such as Johnny Clegg, Sinclair, The Prodigy, Iggy Pop, De La Soul, Alpha Blondy and many others.
This year, Festi’Neuch will features guests such as The Verve, Feist and the excellent Stefan Eicher. For the fans of hip hop, Rahzel (NY – USA), previous member of The Roots and “The Godfather of Noyze”, will help boil the lake.
This year, I’ve decided to bring my support to Festineuch’s supporting’s committee so don’t be too surprised if you see some Red Hat/JBoss logos floating around :)
Note: RHT is not directly supporting this event – I am – but just getting visibility
New leadership at JBoss.org May 24, 2008Posted by Sacha in JBoss.
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Since early 2007, Bob McWhirter has done a great job moving JBoss.org forward – especially given that the JBoss/Red Hat integration was taking place in parallel. Very recently, Bob decided to take a break and refocus on research and development – his first love. By the end of the summer, we’ll know what field Bob wants to focus on (JBossians, you can start lobbying him ;) ).
As of this week, the JBoss.org leadership has been taken over by Mark Newton. Mark – originally a senior consultant at JBoss – has been closely working with Bob in the last 12 months as part of the JBoss.org team. You might have already met with him at various conferences or JUGs across Europe or watched some of his video interviews on www.jboss.org.
Congratulations to you both.
In the last few weeks, the amount of noise around OSGi was embarrassing. It seems the IT world discovered it was indeed possible to have non-monolithic architectures. These days, it is enough to say that your runtime is “OSGi-compatible” or “based on OSGi” to look like David Lynch’s new egeria.
Don’t get me wrong, I do like OSGi, it is a pretty decent spec. No, what’s interesting is how most middleware vendors only seem to care about micro-kernel-based architecture since 2007-2008 – while OSGi has been around for ages. When a vendor tells you “we are now OSGi-based”, it is actually very similar to the good old “our new software release is 200% faster than the previous one!”: 101 of anti-marketing. What users actually hear is “our previous architecture was horribly bad” and “it was also slow as a dog”.
JBoss AS has been based on a micro-kernel architecture since its 2.x series – around 2000 – (thanks to the work done by Rickard around JMX, RMI dynamic proxies, etc.) and then further extended in the 3.x series with the hot-deployable services concept (SAR files, thanks to Scott and Marc).
In the last two years, Adrian Brock and his team have been working on the next.gen JBoss Microcontainer based on our past experience with JBoss AS 3.x micro-kernel. I’ll soon write a more complete blog entry on JBoss MC features of. Without digging too much in JBoss MC’s architecture, I can tell you it was clearly not conceivable to base our microcontainer on OSGi directly: OSGi doesn’t define many of the concepts we required (services lifecycle and extended dependency management, deployment customization, metadata management, etc.). We wanted to make sure OEMs&ISVs could deeply customize JBoss Middleware through JBoss Microcontainer: from embedding it in another runtime, to hook or replace the meatadata, classloading, bytecode, lifecycle, etc. subsystems.
Then, does it mean OSGi is a bad spec? No, not at all. First, it is an open specification, which is a good start. Then it provides a standard way to extend a given runtime while controlling what gets imported/exported. That’s quite an achievement considering the erratic situation we have gone through in the last 10 years with such an underspecified classloading mechanism in EE. OSGi is a good way to define how to cleanly plug third-party/user-provided extensions to a runtime, but it is certainly not complete enough to provide what’s needed by a fully customizable application server. It is about writing an AS vs. using an AS.
Furthermore, specifications come and go, requirements stay. That’s why JBoss Microcontainer features what we call “Personalities”. A Personality is a specific view of our POJO-based Microcontainer (its services, its dependencies, its metadata, etc.). JBoss Microcontainer currently features two personalities: OSGi (almost finished) and JMX (done). It also provides a Spring-deployer that reads OSGi Spring’s DI descriptors and map them to JBoss Microcontainer constructs. Trivial to implement. That’s where we are going: runtimes à la carte. Everybody in middleware has its own religion these days, fair enough. We are providing the common infrastructure that will bridge those needs. Whatever is the programming model or DI you favor, your applications will always rely on the same set of enterprise aspects: security, transaction, messaging, etc. We care about offering the most stable and performing enterprise services/aspects. We will then provide you with bridges to whatever programming model/API you like, that’s the easy part.
So, next time somebody tells your their runtime is OSGi-based or that “their framework is available as an OSGi-bundle”, ask yourself “what does it really do for me?”. If the answer isn’t obvious, you’ve probably just stepped into BS.
Plate Tectonics May 7, 2008Posted by Sacha in JBoss.
Changes in the IT industry seem to happen like plate tectonics motion: in spades.
Last week, ORCL announce they had closed their BEAS acquisition. That was fast, less than four months! This probably shows that this acquisition was just a blip on the radar of ORCL’s highly exercised M&A team. As a consequence of this acquisition, the market suddenly got much simpler with one less vendor in Gartner’s magic quadrant. Given ORCL’s past claims that they owned such a big chunk of the middleware market share, some might find it surprising that the EU didn’t consider this new Frankenstein as a monopoly… It will be very interesting to see what they keep/throw away from their multiples middleware stacks. If you are a customer one of their customers, feel free to contact us, we’ll be glad to tell you all about freeing your infrastructure from vendor lock-in :)
SpringSource also announced their GPL3/proprietary “application server” (yes, we are in 2008). While I can understand that some of SpringSource’s execs and VCs are motivated by a quick exit strategy, I was a bit shocked by their announcement: going proprietary from a BSDish offering is quite a jump. I doubt everybody at SpringSource must be considering this move as compatible with their DNA – never go against your DNA. I predict SpringSource’s next board meetings will be pretty “energetic”. Also, their dance around OSGi was a bit disappointing. JBoss has been using a microkernel since 2001 and we know exactly why decided not to go straight with OSGi as the core of our next microcontainer, but instead provide an OSGi “personality” on top of our POJO-based microcontainer – providing much more powerful feature than a raw OSGi implementation). It seems SpringSource still need to go through that 7-years learning experience.
Last but not least, SUN announced their Q3 report and missed the street’s expectations, by quite a bit… In the same, spasm, they announced they would cut their workforce by 1’500-to-2’500 employees! Fast forward by a few days and voilà, this week at the Moscone Center (SFO, SUN hosts JavaOne, its yearly party. Bad timing, very bad timing to party.
The AS-war is over, les jeux sont faits.