Friday May 09, 2008

JavaOne 08: JavaU Bonus course on GlassFish Application Server

As part of JavaU courses offered this JavaOne, a GlassFish Application Server bonus training course was offered for free as part of a multi course deal. 

Many attended this course on Monday, May 05, 08. Arun Gupta and I  presented at this course. We are pleasantly surprised by the turn out of around 180 given that it was in the evening (6 - 9 pm), 3 hours long, and JavaOne had not yet started! :) That was surely a boost of positive energy for me.

The most interesting part of the course for me was the number of questions from the greatly interactive audience right from the get go. We answered most of the questions, even picked up an NB issue from an audience member in the web services area, and the feedback we received was mostly that the course was very helpful for the audience to understand how the product features and capabilities stacked up with their experience with other app servers such as WebLogic and JBoss.

We finished around 9.45 pm. :)

Since the printed slide deck was only a portion of the total at the time it went to print, I promised the audience that I would make this available through my blog.

So here it is. JavaU Bonus Course on GlassFish Application Server Java One 2008

So for those who find the material useful, please download GlassFish and let us know what you think. Send us your comments and questions through the GlassFish User mailing list.  


Tuesday Jun 12, 2007

Safari on Windows XP, Initial thoughts

Just downloaded Safari beta for Windows XP and was earlier writing this blog entry using it before moving back to FireFox.

The Javascript widgets at the blogs.sun.com editor do not show up as this is not a supported browser. I wish Roller would show the widgets on a best effort basis.

Upsides:

The rendering quality and speed is awesome. Absolutely blazing fast on my home DSL connection. And the look and feel is very smooth and pleasing. Has Tabbed viewing support. Renders RSS feeds on a site with a single click and looks very nice. Has popup blocker, and most features that FireFox.

Downsides:

Commonly used sites sometimes dont work with Safari beta on Windows. Seems to have problems with forms. Hotmail, YahooMail, did not work in my experience (to its credit, web 2.0 sites such as dzone.com, upcoming.org worked well).

On this blog entry being written on Safari, in the end it did not allow me to post the blog or save it as draft. The buttons just would not work.

I hope these bugs get addressed soon.
Looking forward to the final version. Wish Firefox were as fast and smooth! Oh well, a little competition is good for all products.

 

Thursday Sep 28, 2006

Mumbai's still the same yet changed a lot

After three years, I recently visited Mumbai, my native city. Having heard of the stupendous boom in India over and over again over these years, I was expecting to see some impact on Mumbai after these few years. Things have changed quite a bit, but then things have not.

What has changed:

People have snazzier mobile phones than here in the US. The cell plans cost a lot less than here (even after not considering the currency effect).

I did not see many iPods though and the dog ear'd look with headphones on (whether the device is playing or not). 

Technological inroads through high speed internet is just beginning to happen. The internet cafe's are flourishing, also meaning that majority homes may not yet be hooked to the internet boom.

The real estate skyline has changed dramatically. New buildings look like gigantic townships placed in the middle of wiry thin streets.

The local Government is playing catch up by trying to complete long delayed infrastructure projects such as flyovers that would have addressed needs of people ten years ago. Already,  the new flyovers look unable to address future needs of the city. And with the vehicle market boom, the impact will be felt more acutely and faster than ever.

Also, given the size of the residential buildings, I doubt if the city planners have provided for expanding the city's water and sewage infrastructure.

Pollution levels have dropped from three years ago as the auto-rickshaws and taxis and public buses have moved to Compressed Natural Gas. Trucks continue to spew venomous fumes.

There is a huge chain of malls coming up in Mumbai at various suburbs and these are as trendy and flashy as the ones in the US. In fact, we found the equivalent of all that you get here in the US for almost every item. And the prices were fairly reasonable. Added to that are the nice fast food joints within large stores offering cleanly made food.

The local McDonalds had the Indian variety of burgers and a nice set of menu items and it was an absolute treat. Way better tasting than the stuff you get here. Why dont McDonalds open country themed restaurants here in the US with country specific cuisines? After all, the US has a pretty diverse population and people like to try out  other ethnic cuisines.
Pizza Hut had Indian Curried Toppings on the Pizza and these were fantastic.

There is a retail boom going on in India and several new and innovative products are being introduced.

What's not changed

The around-the-corner cobbler repaired my umbrella and did not take a dime from me for it. His response "For this small job what can I charge you?". Only in Mumbai do you still find this spirit.

Pot holes continue to happen and be filled the same way as before. There is no technique change or technology change. One can sense corruption here through repeat contracts to patch after doing a bad job earlier.

Dumping of trash on the roadside or small empty spaces between buildings continues unabated. The hygiene and health risks are known but then its the municipality's job to clean up, apparently!

Slums dot the airport's runway and many other parts of the city with no possibility of proper housing and hygiene amenities. This is indeed a huge challenge for this city for many years.

Online life is still fairly low although its picking up in the sense that people don't usually just say go to this website for this information, Or I bought this online at this site, Or just google this... :)

Mom and pop grocery stores and pharmacies are around every corner and are such a huge convenience especially when one is sick. They even deliver home based on a phone call without any extra charge. This is good old Mumbai's spirit or rather I should say, this spirit is prevalent almost throughout the country.

Ah, the traffic disorder. Its almost part of the Mumbaikar's identity. The first day, I was actually scared out of my skull sitting in the taxi as the driver moved right in front of a speeding public bus as the bus was moving from our right side to the left. Cordially, the bus slowed rapidly inches away and allowed the taxi to go and life just moved on from then. Almost everyday, I experienced the orchestration of a moving set of sheet metal amidst the narrow roads and helpless signal lights. Road signals mean very little as the impatient traffic on the other side inches into the oncoming traffic's way and then eventually a gridlock happens. Somehow, it resolves itself after some waiting in the muggy weather conditions but there's this unspoken understanding between drivers to put up.

Crowded trains are still the same and getting worse. The system somehow works wonderfully and when it fails it does miserably. One wonders why the surrounding seas around Mumbai have not been used to construct freeways as in other countries to cut down distances. After all, thats good for the economy and people's productivity.


In sum, the city is undergoing growth pangs but people are accepting newer lifestyles gradually and gracefully. Culture continues to play a major role in people's lives and I could sense that life is not as mechanical and robotic as it is here.



Wednesday Sep 27, 2006

Java EE/J2EE Web Hosting: Your view as an ISP (web hoster)?


The web hosting landscape comprises a percentage of providers who offer Java EE / J2EE based hosting solutions. We are interested in hearing some feedback from web hosters.


If you are a Java EE /J2EE web hosting provider,

  1. what do you look for in an application server product?
  2. Specifically, there are features and facilities that you look for that would allow you to maximize your resource usage
    at the lowest possible cost. What are those?
  3. What drives you to offere a particular application server product?
  4. What support arrangements do you make with appserver vendors or support providers in order to keep the server environment up and running for mission critical apps of customers.
  5. What choices and type of hardware and OS environments do you typically offer for customers?

Needless to say, this is an attempt to understand the web hosting segment landscape and generate feedback from both Web Hosting providers and users of such services.


This will help us to come up with functionalities that would address your requirements with the ensuing releases of Project GlassFish.



Friday May 19, 2006

JavaOne BOF-0044 Generic Clustering Framework presentation

At the JavaOne, we had our BOF scheduled in the last minute due to a cancellation of another BOF. It turned out to be a great opportunity to share information about our upcoming clustering framework with a small but very interested audience. The BOF was presented by me, and my esteemed Sun colleague, Mohamed Abdelaziz from the JXTA organization. As the BOF was not part of the printed schedule, it is possible that many who may have been interested may not have known about it.
So here is PDF version of the presentation. We are planning on a screencast version of the presentation with audio in the near future so that more context and details can be heard.
You can meantime look at Project Shoal at java.net for details of the framework.

Friday Mar 10, 2006

PRINCE2: Organized project management methodology

Last week, I attended a week's course to get certified for PRINCE2 Foundation level and Practitioner level.

PRINCE stands for PRojects IN Controlled Environments and is a standard project management methodology adopted by many companies in Europe and Asia and is gradually catching up in the US. It is the UK Government's standard for project management and is in fact part of the Office of Government Commerce(OGC).

The course helped me get a very organized but non-bureaucratic and flexible approach to project management. The methodology espouses management by exception and covers organization, management, and control of projects. Important aspects cover emphasis on the business case for justifying projects, planning, risk & issue management, and quality assurance. The methodology uses a process based approach allowing for projects to go through a step by step process (but not necessarily linear) from start to finish showing how to rather than dealing with mere concepts.

I now look forward to opportunities to apply what I learned, here at Sun and contribute to our continuous improvement.

Wednesday Feb 08, 2006

JavaInsight: Positive review for Creator 2

Terrence O'Donnell, editor of Java Pro, offers a very good overview of Creator 2 here.

As a Sun employee, any kudos or praises about our own products from me may be construed a marketing gimmick. But, believe me, I am not a web app developer in any sense in my current capacity. I admit I have interest in learning emerging web front end technologies. I am beginning to learn JSF based web app building through Creator2 purely out of interest and the need to keep up with tech developments all around. I must say I am most impressed with this tool. The only issue I have had though, is that my laptop had a measly 512MB and Creator 2 did not like that very much (or is that because of the total memory requirements going up due to the bundled appserver and database and all that); anyways, it groans. The recommended minimum is 1GB of RAM. That apart ( a laptop memory upgrade comes for 30-45 bucks these days), it has been a breeze learning to build GUI components with very few lines of code hand coded. Yes, I also checked out the AJAX text completion component, pretty cool and hope to learn more! :)

The packaging of the Sun Application Server 8 PE makes deployment and testing work very easy.

Monday Jan 30, 2006

J2EE SDK With Sun Appserver 8.2 PE released: Get it free!

Download the J2EE 1.4 SDK which now includes the latest release of Sun Java System Application Server 8.2 PE edition here. The Sun Java System Application Server 8.2 provides a free license for download, development, and deployment? This is an industry standard Application Server that is production-ready as the product goes through intensive development, testing, and quality assurance phases.

The 8.2 release includes several performance enhancements particularly for multicore environments such as UltraSparc T1000/T2000 (Niagara) based systems, further enhanced http connector (grizzly), improved administration functionalities, and brand new features such as FastInfoset integration for superior web services performance, web services security features, integrated Derby database based JavaDB that replaces Pointbase as the bundled database, vastly improved developer experience with Netbeans 5, and many more.


Thursday Jan 26, 2006

Sun, Oracle, Netbeans...

Some speculation about whether or not Oracle endorses Netbeans. CNET News reports here.


What does an endorsement from a corporate such as Oracle mean to a product?  I can imagine that the more obvious objective of an endorsement is that it will spur official adoption of the product within the corporate, and potentially extend to its partners, thus leading to rapid improvements and functionalities in the product. Additionally, it would open up more opportunities for developers from the corporate to contribute their time to code for the product.


In this case, the news item seems to indicate some uncertainty on that front. From a technical perspective, developers would love to see more collaboration in this wide open space. Any lack of endorsements from large corporations should only lead to more opportunity for products such as NetBeans to be improved even further than it already is. The concept of continuous improvement (Kaizen) is the best to apply at all times. At some point, it will be compelling enough to be endorsed purely on technical merit leaving little room for speculation and non-technical determinants.

Monday Dec 12, 2005

Good old Turlock now a larger city

Over the weekend, I visited my alma mater, Cal State Univ, Stanislaus, located at Turlock, CA after a long time. Its been over 4-5 years since I last visited the city.

I have fond memories of Turlock. During the time I studied there for my MBA degree, Turlock was a huge relief far away from the stressful life I was living for years in Mumbai, India with its overcrowded trains, pollution and monsoon muck. Turlock, in contrast, was always a homely small university town with its rich orchards, fields, ranches and friendly people. The town-folk were very friendly with unknown people at shopping areas caring to say a howdy or a "Ha' yu doin'" to a stranger from another country.

During this visit over the weekend, I was quite surprised to see the looks of a pretty telling housing boom that has transformed the city with larger residential areas. Needless to say, the University has expanded (and is still expanding) with pristine new buildings anticipating the needs for future students. There are sprawling shopping centers with the usual sprinking of large stores that one finds in every city. Sigh:The sprawling green lawns and large open lands of the college are shrinking and the many almond orchards and vineyards that lined up the college backroads and Geer road are all but gone.

To my knowledge, Turlock, economically, does not have major industry concentrations and major employers, other than the earlier ones related to the agriculture industry and the college. And Modesto, the larger city nearby, has not expanded with major employers other than E&J Gallo winery, etc. I guess that the low cost of housing here may have motivated people to move from other areas such as Pleasanton where affordability is almost non-existent. Telecommuting or weekly commuting may be driving this move.

Sir, it not Bangalore anymore, its Bengaluru!

Yes, it happened again. Earlier, there were a few cities in India moving back to their pre-colonial names such as Bombay going to Mumbai, Madras going to Chennai, Trivandrum to Tiruvananthapuram, Cochin to Kochi, Calcutta to Kolkata, etc. Now its Bangalore turn going to Bengaluru (pronounced close to "Benglooru", not "Bengaaluru").

While the rationale behind this is something that will be debated for a long time, businesses and Govt, now need to get their official stationery, visiting cards, web sites, etc. changed to reflect the new name. A pain for businesses and a boon for stationery printing outfits, etc.

Internationally though, given the erstwhile nomenclature Bangalore's reach, it will take a while to getting used to the new name.

Saturday Dec 03, 2005

Our Free Software Strategy: Some useful pointers

Some responses from writers in the media, to our Free Software strategy announcement, indicated a poor grasp of what just happened. What I don't get is the accompanying misguided remarks such as "poorly architected application server" without sufficient factual data backing up, and misinterpretations such as "giving up revenue", and "goodbye revenue". To address the application server related remark, our own Rich Sharples explains it with aplomb here . Sun's free Application Server 8.1 PE version provides the best price/performance (per our SPECjAppserver submission) and administration features. We have a vibrant community developing for the GlassFish Project, the open source application server starting with version 9.0. Look here The GlassFish Project.

Here are a couple of good analyses, from a well grounded writer, Paula Rooney, on CRN.com :

here and here.

Put very simply, our software stack through JES was earlier available for free as a 90 day evaluation, and now it is available for free forever. Up until now, customers signed up on our subscription program for support of various forms. That does not change. What this strategy does is, as I indicated in my previous blog, make this production quality software stack more accessible to Developers, and Small and Medium Businesses. And as Jonathan points out in his blog here:

Begin Quote

Sun doesn't have a single customer, worldwide, that will run an unsupported product in their datacenter

End Quote

Thursday Dec 01, 2005

Sun's Free software - a never before opportunity

Yesterday's announcement to provide free production ready software stack from Sun provides a never-before opportunity for Businesses of All Sizes - Large, Small and Medium.
The combination of free and open source software stack based on open standards comprises highly tested and highly performant middleware infrastructures that would, from another vendor, cost a whole lot of cash. All of Sun's software goes through intensive quality processes and performance tuning aimed to make these ready to roll for applications at big companies. Particularly for Small and Medium Businesses, this would present a never before opportunity to Build and Deploy sophisticated web infrastructures for their own business needs with the freedom to choose from a wide range of middleware components at no cost.

Needless to say, ISVs, System Integrators and Channel partners now have a range of the best infrastructure components along with highly quality development tools such as NetBeans at their disposal to drive wider adoption of their specialized applications built on top of these production quality free software suites. And running on top of the world's best Solaris OS, this is probably the greatest paradigm shifting market opportunity to present itself.
This is not a temporary promotion from Sun but a conscious strategy to eliminate entry barriers, enabling everyone to take advantage of our offerings to suit their web infrastructure needs.

Visit the Sun website here to get it all today : Solaris Enterprise System

Tuesday Nov 22, 2005

Share your Sun appserver experience, Win iPod

Share your experiences with the Sun Java System Application Server in this survey and you might win a 20GB iPod. Details are here.
The more details you share, the better your chances to win, and the better we can enhance our product to serve your needs.

Free Sun Java Studio Creator is pretty cool

Just viewed the Sun Java Studio Creator Flash Demo and downloaded the product to experience JSF development since I am not much of a web app developer. The flash demo is very interesting. And the Sun JSC is one of the coolest products I am seeing.
See it here : Sun Java Studio Creator Flash Demo

Download the product here : Sun Java Studio Creator 2 early access

The interface should be very familiar to VB developers and makes it easy for developers to do their development in Java in a familiar and easy-to-use environment. All the way from development to deployment of web apps and portlets, the platform is very robust as it is based on Netbeans with very good ease-of-use (including drag-and-drop) features. And a very compelling cost : $0

One can rapidly develop and deploy their app to any Java EE compliant appserver including Sun's open source appserver (project Glassfish on java.net). Check it out.

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Shreedhar Ganapathy

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