Monday Nov 27, 2006

GlassFish session and BoF at FOSS.IN

We did not count. The hall had a capacity of 120 people and I could see some folks who had to make do with standing room. It looked like Linux Bangalore had truly turned into FOSS.IN . This was more apparent when contrasted with the turnout last year. There could be a couple of reasons, more audience looking at Free and Open Source Software , Sun open sourcing more software this year , GlassFish catching more eyeballs this year.

A show of hands poll suggested that about 10 to 15 people worked on Java ( or were willing to admit it ), and most of these people worked on Java EE or Tomcat. The questions that came were in the area of Annotations, resource injection in Java EE, Hibernate vs Toplink , custom Ant Tasks for administration of GlassFish and AJAX . The usual suspects one might say !

A message that I would have liked to send out (and I am not sure if I was able to do that ) was , this session is not about what GlassFish can do for you and what it has , but rather its more about here is what GlassFish has in terms features, and YOU can contribute more to make it work for YOU ! Well, I guess that could be the theme for another session.

At the end of this session we announced that we would have a BoF on GlassFish an hour later. This was the time to see the "real" interest. The number of people who turned up were around 10 , but there was focussed discussion on how we could improve our distribution i.e. torrent based downloads, some way of letting mirror sites know about milestone builds. Of course , when told that the download of a basic edition is around 60 MB, some of these concerns were put to rest ! The usual question regarding why GlassFish is yet another Application Server from Sun when we already have Sun Java System Application Server came up ? I think we need to have a "branding" poster wherever we go to clear this one up :-)

Photos for these event ( no not from the session ) are here .

Friday Nov 24, 2006

GlassFish@FOSS.IN 2006



What started off as a pavilion in BangaloreIT.com in 2000 has grown into a full fledged event.
FOSS.IN goes into its second year named as FOSS.IN. So does GlassFish !

Last year at FOSS.IN 2005 , GlassFish was introduced to the FOSS community here in Bangalore . Since then GlassFish has grown in stature from newly open sourced Application Server to what it is today... with one full release behind it , an Enterprise deployment enabled release in the works , broader licensing , bundling with Ubuntu in the works , the first Application Server to be Java EE 5 certified ... . Most importantly the community has grown as well ! Check this out !

I plan to share details about these changes in the session on GlassFish at FOSS.IN/2006 on Saturday 25th of November . If you are keen on knowing more on the feature set of GlassFish , or you would like to be involved as a user or developer do attend this session. We could share a lot !

In case you are not able to make it to the talk , there is also a booth in the Pavilion where you could interact with GlassFish developers , see GlassFish in action , Sahoo blogs about the demo here .

See you then Saturday 25thNov @ 2:00 PM !


Friday Feb 10, 2006

GlassFish @ Sun Tech Days Chennai !



"Why did Sun have to come up with yet another AppServer ?" he asked at the Project GlassFish booth (pic) at the Sun Tech Days in Chennai. The query had the tone of a person who has been in the Appserver world and was a bit concerned about the two Appservers we supposedly had.


"No. The Application Server is the same as the one we have , we have open sourced the development under the name Project GlassFish." I replied. He seemed satisfied with the reply and went on to ask questions about the SJSAS 8.2 and 9.0. He would have a liked a CD with GlassFish ( SJSAS 9.0 ) on it , since bandwidth is a problem in India and downloads are not exactly "free". We had a SJSAS 8.2 CD with Netbeans. That was enough to get him happy enthusiastic and go away promising me that he was going to evaluate both of them.


Sun Tech Days in Chennai was a far different experience than FOSS.IN. For starters we had folks who knew Java ( or wanted to know more about Java ), folks who knew Sun and were there because they were interested in know more about Sun. That makes it much easier to talk about what you have to offer , than when you have to start by saying "We have an Application Server too ! ".


The crowd was huge and I would not get into guesstimating the numbers. There were folks who kept track and I am sure they would tell the world about it. What mattered to me was all of them were interested in Java , Java EE and GlassFish. I would say about 50% of them came from the consulting companies and SIs like Wipro, TCS and Cognizant Technology Solutions , and of course Accenture . The other 50% of them were students from colleges around Chennai and Tamil Nadu, and , I can tell you that there are a lot of engineering colleges in and around Chennai which provide the workforce for the companies mentioned above. The other folks from Sun included the Java DB folks, Sun Java Studio and the Open Solaris groups.

Day 1 was a busy day which included a keynote by Laurie Tolson and Karen Tegan and also with a talk about GlassFish by JeetKaul. With the crowd building up from 9:00 AM onwards it was becoming a task for the three of us Murthy , Gajanan and myself to engage each and everyone who stopped by in a meaningful conversations.


The plan was get a few people to sign up to java.net and get them to the GlassFish site. If were to use George W's phrase I would be saying " We mis-underestimated the response". The Netbeans CD with SJSAS 8.2 was the bait and almost everyone wanted to sign up. At some point of time we started asking folks whether they knew what they were signing up for .Barring a few , almost everyone knew . Let say out of 10 people 5 were students and wanted either Netbeans or the AppServer or both. Some were quite kicked up about being able to contribute to a Open Source project. Of the other five , most of them were developers and wanted to either play around with the Application Server or Net Beans and were quite happy to sign up on java.net as long as there was no commitment involved. The take aways were the few people who got our e-mail ids and promised to get back to us saying they have a few projects in mind and they would get started on this soon. I would wait and watch ! We ended up giving away 600 CDs of NetBeans 5.0 and SJSAS 8.2


Did we hear of competition ? Oh yes ! WebSphere for most of the time, WebLogic a few times a bit of Tomcat and even less JBoss. I guess 7out of 10 developers who said that they use Appserver use WebSphere . Why ? Because the customers want it that way.

Jeet's talk (pic) on Day 1 was a hit and there was a correlation in the surge in the crowd later in the day after the talk. His T-Shirt throws were seemingly popular. Wonder why not many people came and asked for T Shirts at the booth ? Maybe because yours truly politely said "you get a T shirt when you engage in a meaningful conversation with us".
We gave away 100 T shirts in one and half days !

Day2 was similar to Day1 and the folks who stopped by were more focused in their talks. We had a good number of discussions on Hibernate vs EJB3 implementation that we have. There was a question on why we did not go with Hibernate instead ? A good response to that question is .

I would happy even if 10 people we have met register at java.net and 1 person starts contributing to the Project GlassFish in the next 1 month !


Wednesday Dec 07, 2005

Glassfish@FOSS.IN/2005

Project Glassfish was one of the Free and Open Source Software from Sun that was at FOSS.IN/2005 . A bunch of bloggers have already written about what FOSS.IN/2005 is and what to expect . We also had the Open Solaris team with the Open Solaris project on show. Project Glassfish had two of the five pods that formed Sun's booth.
I was there at the event two out of the four days it was held and I spent almost all the time at the Sun booth . Well ! almost because I spent some time looking around the conference expo and getting myself something to eat.
It had been a hectic week for the entire glassfish team here at Bangalore trying put togther presentations and demos for the Application Server features and use of Netbeans with Glassfish. A round of applause to all the folks who chipped at short notice. A closer look at the Netbeans Demo is here .
We thought close to 500 people visted our pod in the four days from Vov29th till Dec 2nd and the Sun booth had the biggest crowd. Incidentally Google had a booth right across Sun's booth , which would have looked more "in-place" in a job fair.
Siva and Binod spoke about Project Glassfish in a session on Day1 . Given that the session got postponed to 5:00 PM , the crowd of 50 odd people who attended seemed good.
The crowd at the conference consisted predominantly of OS hacker , system administrators, people working for ISV , enterprise software developers and college students. There was a lot of curiousity about what Glassfish was, and on what an Application Server was. There were quite a few people who were keen on NetBeans and wanted a CD. Well, in a bandwidth starved country like India , you make more followers when you give away software on a CD rather than a URL to download it from. The GlassFish CDs were a hit and there was a demand for the NetBeans IDE and JDK on a CD too. ( Note to self : Next time get all these stuff on a CD ... the chances someone is going to try the software multiplies ). One question that struck me over and over again was people asking if the Application Server would work on Linux too ! I was way too happy to say "Of Course ! it does . And by the way if you are on Windows , we have one that works on Windows too".
Incidentally Project Looking Glass seems to have captured some attention here and there were quite a few people who came to the GlassFish pod asking for Looking Glass. Well they got that too ! We had a Looking Glass demo running at the Sun booth on Day3 and 4 thanks to Prakash Jalan.
Looking back , I believe Project Glass Fish was at the right place at FOSS.IN , but if we had made a better buzz about it it could have grabbed even more attention. Neverthless , a lot of people who attended went back with an "awareness" about Glass Fish. It would be worthwhile to get some of the student community attention on us , given the number of students that showed interest in these four days.

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