CommunityOne/GlassFish Day Report

This is a long entry and reports on the CommunityOne opening session and GlassFish Day opening session and lunch session with Jonathan and Rich. Feel free to skip into later section highlighted by bold and underlined words.

Opening Session

Even though JavaOne kicks off tomorrow, CommunityOne started earlier today. This was a FREE event in Moscone Center

Rich Green gave the opening session in the morning and said that it allows every body to communicate at a denser rate than you can do in the virtual world.

Rich then invited Tim O'Reilly, Founder and CEO, O'Reilly Media to talk about open source and community. TimO started by asking two questions:

How many of you use Linux ? - Almost 80% of hands showed up.
How many of you use Google ? - Almost 90% of hands went up.

And then he compared that Google is the most widely deployed application but NOT open source.

Yahoo, eBay, craigslist, wikipedia, Google - all use "Network as the Platform". TimO then pointed that Sun is way ahead when John Gage said "Network is the computer'.

TimO then explained the concepts of Web2.0 (even though he does not like the term anymore :). At Sun, we refer to it as next generation Web application development. The key features are: architecture of participation, rapid development methodologies, perpetual beta and centered around user generated content.

He then invited Rich Green, Tim Bray, and Ian Murdock and asked the following questions:

  • How do you help developers in "harnessing collective intelligence" ?
  • How do you help developers in creating "live software" ?
  • How are you thinking about open source and open standards in the context of future data lock-in ?

There was an interesting discussion around these the term "user generated content" and each of the participant gave their opinions. Ian quoted Jonathan Schwartz "Computers are not the commodity, computing is". And commoditization of computing brings the prices down. Rich talked about the gradient between formal communication, such as phone call, and "user generated content" and how it's blurring.

The session then invited questions from the users and below is my transcript of some of them:

Q. Is there a limit to what Sun will open source or is it merely a question of timing ?
A. Rich: There doubtless can be an edge condition, but everything. Open source our technologies, our intellectual property, with correct licenses, is the right thing to do. This aligns with our business model. This isn't a teaser, but this is our business model.

Q. What is Web3.0 likely to be ?
A. TimO: Probably a meaningless term. Most transformative is when we stop typing, not just speech interface. But also gestual interfaces, such as Wii. Lot of instrumentation, e.g. insurance company reading GPS data. Continuation of web2.0 into an invisible computing fabric. Computers learn from not what we say them to do but learn from what we do.
TimB: It's going to be really surprising.

Q. Is Sun looking to embrace other languages and technologies beyond Java in the future ? Where does Sun see Java fitting in the Java ecosystem ?
A. Rich
: Java language and VM are two separate things. VM can host multiple languages, for example JRuby. Pioneering steps we'll talk later this week. Isolation layer between VM and language is an active play.
Tim: Sun really has to become good at where the developer is.
Ian: Developer platforms of choice are moving up the stack, are the things down under (such as O/S) are relevant. Why does O/S still matter ? Even though you are targeting higher level computing systems, at some level there is computing system.

Q. How will user generated database to compete with proprietary dbs ?
Ebay has a built of database where open db cannot compete. Wikipedia and Britannica. There will lot of battling who owns the first clicks.

Q. Client-side software to Flash or heroic efforts. Why Java (a simpler solution) is not used ?
Rich: 23 hours, come back tomorrow.

Q. How do you see developers do open source and make money instead of big companies taking our ideas and off-shoring our jobs ?
A. Rich:
Worrisome social artifact that there are so many people generating content whose work is picked up by companies and make money. Sun is looking very closely for compensating people if Sun monetizes on a product based upon content generated by community. This is not a balanced fair playfield.
TimB: It's a global world, anybody in IT is in global business. But this is a transition.
TimO: End of cheap out-sourcing. It's a transitional stage.
Ian: We are talking about building a platform, which enables other people rather than the platform itself. Web platform is different in terms of how business is built around it.

After the opening keynote, the attendees were floating between multiple tracks such as NetBeans Day, GlassFish Day, Web 2.0 and others. I attended first part of GlassFish Day.

GlassFish Day

GlassFish Day was all about GlassFish, current state of GlassFish, the community, the ecosystem, partners, where it's going, The Aquarium and lots of other related presos. Karen Tegan Padir kick started the event followed by Eduardo Pelegri-Llopart giving the state of GlassFish and a glimpse of where it's heading. Here (and here) is a good recap of the opening session.

There was a lunch session with Jonathan Schwartz and Rich Green. They both started by thanking everybody for participating in the GlassFish community.

Rich mentioned that even though Bill Joy said "Innovation happens elsewhere" but it happens everywhere. He believes in keep giving away your technology. Jonathan added that the reason we are so confident in giving away because we are confident at producing more of them. And this is produced not by just Sun engineers, but our customers, OEMs and the whole ecosystem.

Here is my transcript of some of the questions asked by the audience:

Q. How do Sun see small companies to go open source ?
: Clear dividing line, who won't pay for the software. There are folks where the cost of hiccups or downtimes way exceeds the cost of software. The revenue stays, but the form changes in support contract. This a bright line. Charge customers for the value add.

Q. For GlassFish, any stats on how much code is contributed by Sun employees and community ? Is it growing ? Any benchmark targets ?
: Varies very widely depending on the area. Most of the TopLink Essentials code comes from Oracle. jMaki, big chunk from outside. The new Web services support is designed so that more contributions can be made easily. Guess is low-two-digits.
Jonathan: We are not Costco, not interested in bulk. We are interested in the quality of innovation.
Rich: We don't have a plan. Skewing of content from inside vs outside. Because we don't want to stop.
Jonathan: Open source is an aggregation of user generated content.

Q. Eclipse developers, expecting to move to NetBeans ? Is is strategy or side-effect ?
: Side effect.
Jonathan: Inevitable side effect. Target demographic is Northward. Eclipse is a brother in arms for us. We could've renamed NetBeans as Corona.

Q. Looked @ GF briefly, positioned as RI of JavaEE5.  Programming model changes often, customer facing part of the application. Would not like to see not that changed.
: Talk to Rod Johnson and Kohsuke on how they are adding Spring support to JAX-WS. Extension points in mutliple layers of GF. For JavaEE6, how you can take advantage of Spring and JRuby and other things. All of this shows that programming model is indeed not changing but accommodating existing frameworks.

There were other interesting sessions in the day but I had to configure the machines for the pavilion that's opening tomorrow morning.

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[Trackback] John Gage kick started JavaOne 2007 this morning. He really explained the essence of JavaOne in 3 words "Don't be shy". Over the next 81 (now 79 hours), there is an ocean of information available in terms of General Sessions,...

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Arun Gupta is a technology enthusiast, a passionate runner, author, and a community guy who works for Oracle Corp.

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