Sunday May 08, 2011

Welcome to - the new "Miles to go..."!

One of the last pieces of identity coming from Sun is now fully submerged in Oracle and I'm excited about that!

After over 1200 blog entries at for over 5 years, this is my first post at This new blog will continue to be my primary blog going forward and I heartily welcome you here. Your suggestions and over 4400 comments is what makes this blog worthwhile so keep them coming. The redirects from -> should be automatically working, leave a comment if you see something broken though.

Just to set the expectations on what to expect on this blog, here is a tag cloud from the previous blog:

And I expect this to be the trend going forward as well. As always, your suggestions and comments are valuable to me and I respond to each one of them carefully so please keep them coming.

And just for memory sake, here is a snapshot of the now erstwhile :-)

Now ... on to!

There are still a tons of cities to visit ...
Plenty of developers to spread the fever ...
Loads of conferences to speak ...
And miles to go before I sleep.

JavaOne India starts tomorrow ... are you gonna be there ?

Technorati: milestogo blog oracle sun

Wednesday Apr 27, 2011

This blog is moving to!

This 1200th blog entry announces that after 5 years, 8 months, 28 days and 1199 blog entries later, this blog ( will be migrating to The new location is not live yet but redirects will work once it is.

There will be no blogging activity starting April 29th, 2011 and will be live sometime late next week.

Starting with a first entry Hello Blogsphere! (Aug 2, 2005), this blog has talked about several topics as shown by the tag cloud:

Here are some other statistics reported by Google Analytics (since Jan 1, 2007):

Here is another interesting snapshot (starting 6/22/10) from clustrmaps:

I like how the red dots are distributed all around the world ... even way up in Greenland :-)

And this blog visited tons of cities as well ...

View Cities Visited by "Miles To Go..." in a larger map

There are still a tons of cities to visit...
Plenty of JUGs to spread the fever ...
Loads of conferences to speak ...
And miles to go before I sleep.

"Miles to go" will be back ... stay tuned!

Technorati: milestogo blogs googleanalytics stats

Sunday Feb 27, 2011

"Miles To Go" thanks GlassFish Community!

GlassFish 3.1 is just about a few hours away ... the bow has been placed!

This release is the countless hours of work put by the developers, testers, project/people management, docs, partners, and last but not the least, and the most important the active community users who gave us constant feedback. I certainly feel privileged to be with the team when we delivered the very first version of "Reference Implementation" back in 1999. And also enjoy the floor with most of the GlassFish team and the ability to have hallway/whiteboard discussions with them other than participating in the daily jokes ;-) I'm merely a spokesperson of all these brilliant folks and just blow the horn all around the world. With GlassFish 3.1 out the door, this is going to get much more exciting!

On the eve of GlassFish 3.1 launch, I thought of sharing how this blog has traveled around the world promoting Java EE and GlassFish.

This blog has visited the following cities so far ...

Amsterdam, Atlanta, Bengaluru, Beijing, Berlin, Brasilia, Budapest, Chennai, Chicago, Dallas, Delhi, Fortaleza, Hyderabad, Kansas City, Las Vegas, London, Malmo, Milan, Minneapolis, Montreal, Mountain View, New York City, Orlando, Portland, Porto Alegre, Pune, Reston, Rome, San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Clara, Sao Paolo, Seattle, Singapore, Sofia, St Louis, Stockholm, Toronto, Turku, Salt Lake City, Vejle, Vitoria, Wisconsin, Zurich, ...

View Cities Visited by "Miles To Go..." in a larger map

Spoken at the following Java User Groups ...

  1. Berlin-Brandenburg JUG (Aug 2008)
  2. Brasilia DFJUG (Sep 2008)
  3. CEJUG, Fortaleza (2010)
  4. Dallas JUG (Nov 2008)
  5. ES JUG, Espirito Santo (Sep 2008)
  6. Javagruppen (2011)
  7. London Java Community (2010)
  8. Oakland Java SIG (Oct 2010)
  9. RS JUG, Brazil (2009)
  10. San Francisco JUG (Aug 2010, May 2009)
  11. Silicon Valley JUG (Aug 2008)
  12. SouJava, Brazil (2009)
  13. Taguatinga DFJUG (Sep 2008)
  14. Utah JUG (Jul 2008)

Spoken, Attended, Engaged with community at the following conferences

  1. acts_as_conference (Feb 2008)
  2. Ajax World (2008)
  3. Bay Area JUG Roundup (2010)
  4. Cloud Computing Expo (2010)
  5. DevIgnition (2010)
  6. DevNexus (2010)
  7. Eclipse Demo Camp (2009)
  8. EclipseCon (2009)
  9. FISL (2010, 2009)
  10. FOSS.IN (Dec 2007)
  11. Google Developer Day (May 2007)
  12. IndicThreads (2010, 2009)
  13. Java2Days (2010)
  14. Java EE / GlassFish Workshops
    1. 2 day in Budapest - Jan 2011
    2. 7 hrs at San Francsico JUG - Aug 2010
    3. 3 hrs at Dallas Tech Fest
    4. 8 hrs at Milwaukee - Mar 2009
    5. Day long at Santa Clara - Mar 2009
    6. 4 hrs at JavaMUG - Feb 2010
    7. 4 hrs at Delhi University - Dec 2007
    8. 3 hrs in Seattle/Toronto/Montreal - Nov 2007
    9. 4 hrs in Chicago - Oct 2007
    10. 4 hrs in Minneapols - Oct 2007
  15. Javagruppen (2011)
  16. Javali (2009)
  17. JavaOne (2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005)
  18. JFall (2009)
  19. JavaOne Brazil (2010)
  20. JFokus (2011)
  21. Mashup Camp (Jul 2007)
  22. Oracle User Group Leaders Summit (2011)
  23. Microsoft Web Services Interoperathon (Nov 2005, Mar 2006)
  24. MySQL Users Conference (2009)
  25. Oracle Open World (2010, 2009)
  26. Oredev (2010)
  27. Rails Conf (2009, 2007)
  28. Rails Conf Europe (2008, 2007)
  29. Rich Web Experience (2010, 2007)
  30. RightScale User Meetup (2009)
  31. Ruby Conf India (2010)
  32. Silicon Valley Code Camp (2010, 2009, 2008, 2007)
  33. Sun Tech Days
    1. Hyderabad 2010
    2. Singapore 2009
    3. Sao Paolo 2008
    4. Hyderabad 2008
    5. Beijing 2007
    6. Rome 2007
    7. Milan 2007
    8. Atlanta Jan 2007
  34. UberConf (2010)
  35. Spark IT (2010)
  36. Jazoon (2010)
  37. Dallas Tech Fest (2010)
  38. JAX London (2010)
  39. OTN Developer Day (New York City 2010)
  40. Silicon Valley Rails Meetup (2009)
  41. Super Happy Dev House 30 (Feb 2009)
  42. The Server Side Java Symposium (2008, 2007)
  43. SD West (Mar 2008)
  44. South Bay Ruby Meetup (Jan 2008)
  45. Web 2.0 Conference & Expo (Jan 2008)
  46. Vaadin Meetup (2011)
  47. WS-I Plenary (Summer 2005)

And in order to stay healthy, did outdoor running in the following cities (while attending a conference) ...

  1. Spree River, Berlin
  2. Singapore River, Singapore
  3. River Danube, Budapest
  4. Las Vegas, USA
  5. Bussum, Netherlands
  6. Rome, Italy
  7. Mercuripe beach, Fortaleza
  8. Ft Lauderdale Beach, USA
  9. Denver, USA
  10. Üetliberg, Zurich
  11. Stockholm, Sweden
  12. Porto Alegre, Brazil

And here are some statistics on page visits/views for this blog ...

Over a 1,000,000 page visits by audience from 30,658 cities cities from 215 countries/territories ...

Thank you GlassFish!

Thank you for reading the content on this blog and please keep those suggestions coming! I'm here to serve your needs :-)

There are still a tons of cities to visit...
Plenty of JUGs to spread the fever ...
Loads of conferences to speak ...
And miles to go before I sleep.

Technorati: milestogo glassfish javaee blogs googleanalytics stats

Monday Jan 03, 2011

Happy New Year 2011!

2010 is over and 2011 is here ... wishing you a very happy & prosperous new year folks!

Here are some statistics from 2010 (missed 2009 and now lazy, similar reports from 2008 and 2007) ...

  • 126 blog entries, 523 comments
  • Blog visited 282,972 times from 13,296 cities (thanks a lot!)
  • 237,054 flight miles
  • About 1320 running miles
  • 4155 tweets
  • Crossed 2000 followers (thank you for that as well!)
  • 2 marathons (Silicon Valley Marathon 2010 and San Francisco 1/2 Marathon 2010)
  • Some of the conferences visited: JavaOne Latin America, CEJUG, DevIgnition, Rich Web Experience, Oredev, Cloud Computing Expo, OTN Developer Days, Silicon Valley Code Camp, Java2Days, JavaOne San Francsico, JAX London, London JUG, IndicThreads Cloud Computing, Java EE 6 Hands-on workshop @ San Francsico JUG, Dallas Tech Fest, UberConf, Jazoon, Tech Days Hyderabad, Ruby Conf India, Spark IT, DevNexus, EclipseCon, . . .

And now some data reported by Google Analytics for this blog ...

Here is a comparison with 2009 ...

Majority of searches are still organic ...

Firefox, IE, Chrome, and Safari are the top browsers ...

And Windows remain to be the dominant OS ...

Here is the geo spread ...

Somebody read this blog once even from Greenland :-)

And here are the top 25 blog entries ...

The decline in blogs traffic is most likely because of the increase in micro-blogging traffic as shown by twitter stats:

Do you know of any tools that allow to measure tweets/followers over a period of dates ? Google Analytics for Twitter would be nice :-)

Onward to 2011, Miles to go ...

Technorati: milestogo happynewyear 2010 2011 blogs bsc googleanalytics twitter stats

Wednesday Sep 09, 2009

Getting Started with Wordpress Customization

So you have a brand new Wordpress installation and would like to start blogging. There are several tutorials available on that topic. However it's important to customize your blog as it reflects your style / personality. Wordpress official documentation is extensive, very nicely organized and provide great tips on how to customize your blogs. But it can take a while to go through the docs and customize look-and-feel of your blog.

This blog entry explains how this blog was customized from a fresh Wordpress installation.

  • Pick a theme that you like and customize it. This blog started with "Classic" theme and added pages as relevant. This is totally a personal preference as I like the header + right navigation bar + body format.
  • Add your picture and edit the "About" page so that readers know you.
  • Customize sidebar
    • Prefer static toolbar by editing "sidebar.php" instead of dynamic toolbar created using the "Appearance" -> "Widgets".
    • Add "search" dialog box
    • Add Twitter widget (choose "Yes" for "Loop old results", explained here). May not be relevant if you don't tweet, but seems like everybody is these days ;-)
    • Add a ClustrMap widget to monitor geographical spread of readership.
    • Total Page hits / page views on sidebar + on each post (How ?)
  • Installed the following Wordpress plugins to begin with:
    • Google XML Sitemaps - Creates a Google Sitemaps compliant XML file and submits the blog content to Google, Bing and It took 1.64 seconds for the first creation and used 12.75 MB.
    • Sociable - Adds social media button to your posts
    • Google Analyticator plugin - Adds Google Analytics script to monitor traffic. Even though Google Analytics capture geographical distribution as well but I like the ClustrMap widget that can be displayed on the nav bar. Do Google Analytics provide that kind of widget ?
    • Search Plugin for Firefox and IE - Creates a Firefox and IE search plug-in. Install the plugin, go to "Settings", "Search Browser" to generate the code and insert in "header.php". Add a customized search page by copying "search.php" from the "default" theme. Show the summarized result with clickable links to the content.
    • Smart 404 plugin - Creates a clean and simple page with a friendly error message to a reader who might have somehow reached a broken link or mistyped the URL. Add/Edit a 404.php as explained here. It's important to not loose your reader and instead gracefully guide them to the next steps.
    • YARPP - Shows a list of related entries based on a unique algorithm for display on your blog and RSS feeds. A templating feature allows customization of the display.
    • WP Greet Box - Show a different greeting message to your new visitors
      depending on their referrer URL.
  • Some more customizations
    • Add pre/code styles to "styles.css" for code formatting. Now simple <pre> and <code> will format the code nicely.
    • Create hierarchical categories so that readers can read the topic of their choice
    • Add Next and Previous links to each page (<?php posts_nav_link(); ?>) and each blog post (<?php previous_post(); ?> <?php next_post(); ?>) as described here.
    • Personalize the page using a favicon as described here.
    • Change the default permalink format from "" to "" as described here. This makes your blog entry URLs search-engine friendly.
  • Editing
    • If you prefer editing online, disable the "Visual rich editor" as it strips all the paragraph formatting from a nicely-formatted HTML page. It's primarily meant for newbies and I like better control over the HTML formatting so prefer editing it manually.
    • Choose a blog editor client. It seems Wordpress adds line breaks (<br>) if the text in a line is not wrapped. Qumana was chosen as the blog editor after trying nvu, Kompozer, Ecto, MarsEdit, Smultron, and HTML Tidy. Loving it's WYSIWYG capabilities, transition between WYSIWYG and source view is seamless, ease of cross-posting to multiple blogs and intuitive interface.
  • Join Technorati (if not already) and Claim your blog.
The beauty of Wordpress is that a myriad of customizations is possible but the tips above provide a common set of configuration.

Any other obvious tips that are missing ?

Technorati: wordpress blog milestogo

Monday Aug 31, 2009

This blog is moving!

I've been blogging for little over four years now. The first blog entry was on Apr 8, 2005 on A new blog was born on Aug 2, 2005 on While blog was focused exclusively on technical entries, also talked a lot about personal stuff as well. Both and teams have done a stupendous job providing my first ever blogging platform ever. I learned a lot during the process and will always remain thankful to them for that. provide a fair amount of look-and-feel customization and somewhat basic (although it seems to be changing). But here are few things that I never encountered being an end-user:
  • What does it involve to manage and administer a blog server ?
  • How to leverage the "community innovation" with pluggability, extensibility, themes, and other stuff in the blogging world ?
  • How to have complete control (including hosting, domain, installation, upgrade, etc) over your blog ?
  • What issues are involved in ensuring high availability of a blog ?
  • What are the "joys" of running a blog on personal domain ?
  • Who knows what future has in store ? It's easier to deal with uncertainty this way ;-)
So taking these issues into consideration, I've decided that my primary blog going forward will be That does not mean that I'll stop publishing content to "" or "" immediately. But it's going to be expensive (mostly in terms of resources) to maintain multiple blogs. I can ensure that all the content will be published on first, and slowly exclusively there only.

Yep, it's hosted on a personal domain running Wordpress 2.8 using GoDaddy for domain and Wordpress hosting. Got a good deal for multi-year Wordpress hosting with them and have been happy and satisfied with their customer service so far. A comparison between different Wordpress hosting services is also useful. For the new blog, I've customized a theme (more on that in a subsequent blog) and added few plug-ins to have a nice user experience.

All the content (blog entries, resources, and comments) from "" is migrated to this blog and is live for the past few days. There is very little and now stale content (dated Apr 8 - Aug 1 2005) on "" that is not migrated to the new blog. Other than that, you'll continue to experience the same richness, diversity, and depth of blog entries on the new blog.

Here is what you need to do to ensure a continued delivery of the content:
  • If you subscribe to "", then you are taken care of because the underlying blog has been updated to reflect the change.
  • If you subscribe to "" or "" then update the URL to "".
  • If you subscribe to "" or "" then update the URL to "".
  • If you read the blog on web, then change your bookmarks to "".
  • For IE and Firefox users, you can add a custom search engine to search this blog by right-clicking on the top-left corner in Search Engines/Providers drop-down and selecting "Miles to go ...". Make sure the photograph in the text matches the one displayed in the top-right corner of new blog.
Feel free to drop a comment on this blog with your thoughts / suggestions on how to make the experience better.

Elated by the joys of running a blog on a personal domain, visit at :)

Technorati: milestogo bsc wordpress

Sunday Aug 09, 2009

"Miles to go" is 4 years old ... yaay!

Last week (Aug 2 to be precise), this blog turned 4 years old.

All the way from Hello Blogsphere more than 4 years ago to multiple tips, screencasts, deep dive technical entries, fun stuff, running tips and lots more ... I've thoroughly enjoyed publishing content on this blog. Hope you did too :)

Here are some comparable statistics with ... Miles to go ...
Age 5 yrs, 4 months 4 years and 1 week
First Entry Apr 27, 2004 Aug 2, 2005
Total Entries 138248 944 (0.68%)
Total Comments 156060 3537 (2.26%)

Some "Miles to go ..." analytics ...
  • 732,251 visits and 984,877 page views since Jan 5, 2007 according to Google Analytics
  • 21,862 cities from 211 countries according to Google Analytics. Surprisingly (pleasant) London is far exceeding other cities :)
  • 837,889 visits since Jun 12, 2006 according to clustrmaps
  • 63.04% is organic search (58.37% from Google, 2.54% from Yahoo), 23.66% from referring sites, 13.2% is direct traffic
  • 50% of the visits come from Firefox, 38% from IE
  • 80% from Windows, 10.04% from Macintosh, 7.74% from Linux
From 3rd birthday ...
  • 287 blog entries & 1598 comments
  • Visitors from 12 new countries
  • 334,545 page visits & 427,352 page views
And here are some snapshots ...

Visitors from all over the world ...

Weekly page visits ...

Here are the topics with more than 50 entries ...

And now the complete tag cloud ...

Now lets see if this blog ever reaches 1000th entry ;-)

Technorati: milestogo birthday

Friday Jun 19, 2009

ClustrMaps Archive - Jun 20, 2009

The clustrmaps on this blog are scheduled to be archived sometime around today. And so here is a snapshot of visitors to this blog from Jun 20, 2008.

The legend is:

And here is the same map with smaller clusters:

The entries tagged milestogo show other similar statistics.

Technorati: blogs bsc milestogo clustrmaps

Monday Apr 27, 2009 turns 5
- the blogging server for Sun employees has been chugging along for 5 years today!

Congratulations to Linda and her team for running a stupendous show and providing all Sun employees with a great opportunity to engage with the community. Miles to go ...
Age 5 years 3 yrs, 8 months (73.3%)
First Entry Apr 27, 2004 Aug 2, 2005
Total Entries 132413 836 (0.6 %)
Total Comments 145899 3174 (2.2 %)
Total Bloggers 4385 1

Some Analytics of Miles to go ... ...
  • 633,614 visits and 871,737 page views since Jan 5, 2007 according to Google Analytics
  • 20,088 cities from 210 countries according to Google Analytics
  • 747,907 visits since Jun 12, 2006 according to clustrmaps
And here are some image snapshots ...

And here are the topics on which I've blogged more than 50 entries:

I'd love to see similar statistics for :-)

Follow bsc5years for all similar entries!

Technorati: bsc5years bsc milestogo

Thursday Mar 05, 2009

800th Blog Entry

Do you know this blog has been read in 19,457 cities from 208 countries, has more than 25% repeat visitors, and close to 3000 comments ?

Now that's nothing comparable to Scobleizer or TechCrunch but I'm still happy with the achievement :)

This is the 800th blog entry in little over 3.5 years and below are some statistics.

Before this blog is published, the following counter was shown in the top-right corner of the blog:

With this blog, the # of blog entries will now be incremented to 800.

Here are some charts generated by Google Analytics since Dec 2006:

And then a geographic distribution of visitors ...

And the page views ...

Here is another distribution (since Jun 2008) generated by clustrmaps:

Archived versions of Jun 2006 - Jun 2007 and Jun 2007- Jun 2008 are available. I really wish however there was a way to generate a consolidated map from all the years. It even features in top-1000 free users :)

Here is the tag cloud of entries:

As evident from the tag cloud, GlassFish (427), NetBeans (191), Web services (146), Ruby-on-Rails (128), and JRuby (107) are some of the prominent technologies featured so far.

And finally the top-25 entries:

Now the march towards 900th entry and finally completing a centennial ... most likely this year :)

Technorati: blogs bsc googleanalytics milestogo clustrmaps

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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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