Friday Apr 18, 2008

OLPC Brasil

Wandering around FISL, I keep seeing gaggles of schoolkids with XO Laptops. Then I stumbled on the LEC booth:

Some very satisfied customers there!

Friday Apr 11, 2008

Celebspotting at Menlo Park

Number three in an occasional series.

As I mentioned in the previous entry, I was at a SEED event this morning, up at our Menlo Park campus. As we broke for lunch I got talking to Scott Fehrman and Whitfield Diffie, and accompanied them to a very nice lunch. Of course, I couldn't let the occasion pass without whipping out the iPhone and asking Scott to do the honors now, could I?

Monday Dec 17, 2007

Celebspotting at JavaPolis

A personal highlight of my first trip to JavaPolis last week was meeting Java product marketing goddess Jean Elliott. Here we are backstage (rock and roll!) along with some old geezer that wandered into shot

Thanks for the pic, Jacki! More of Jacki's JavaPolis pics.

Monday Nov 05, 2007

Adding My Voice to the 13949712720901ForOSX Chorus

If you are working with Java on OS X, then you are probably aware of 13949712720901ForOSX, a call for Apple to support Java 6 on Mac OS X Leopard.

My personal take on this (stressing the personal - despite my highly exalted position at Sun I have no insider knowledge) is that Java 6 was in Leopard at some point in time (witness the Java 6 developer preview download at ADC - long gone now). Apple put resources into iPhone at the expense of Leopard. I reckon that Java 6 was cut to bring in Leopard's ship date, and Java 5 hastily put in its place, hence the Java 5 issues we are seeing.

All of this would be of little import, were Apple not dealing with a developer community that has become addicted to openness. Apple's ruthless, consumer-oriented, information management just doesn't work with this crowd. And, devoid of any official position from Apple, the community assumes the worst. It's only a matter of time before the first blog entry appears alleging that Java 6 was dropped from Leopard because Steve Jobs spends too much time eating babies (oops - there it is! ).

I guess the first we'll hear from Apple is when the download appears in Software Update. It can't happen too soon...

Saturday Nov 03, 2007

Test Post From Flock

I Flock

I'm trying out Flock - seems pretty neat - a Firefox-based browser with social networking smarts - but we'll see how it works for posting a blog entry...

Blogged with Flock


Sunday Oct 21, 2007

Celebspotting at Narita

I had just retrieved my suitcase from the baggage carousel at Narita, when I saw a familiar face. I just had to wander up and ask "Excuse me, are you Richard Stallman?" - and it was! He was kind enough to pose for a very inexpertly taken picture (note - the iPhone isn't very good for self-portraits!) and mentioned that he is speaking in Tokyo this week - The Free Software Movement and Its Future on Wednesday October 24th in Akihabara. I may just wander along...

Thursday Oct 18, 2007

Sun Folks - Sign up to Dopplr!

UPDATE - it's a challenge - IBM vs Sun. Let's beat them down!!!

James Governor writes today, encouraging IBM'ers to sign up to Dopplr. Chatting with James, the sentiment is by no means exclusive to IBM - Sun is also a member of the 'Dopplr 100' - any Sun employee can sign up to Dopplr with their Sun email address, no invite needed. Here is a tweaked version of James' call to action, explaining why you need Dopplr...

Dopplr is a really cool application that makes it easier for distributed teams to get together. Its essentially a trip planning application but with a strong social element. Do you ever go to a city and then a week later find out that someone on your team was there too and you didn't know it? Sun today is a truly globalised company, and I know this happens a lot. Many is the time I have seen a Sun person really happy to finally meet someone they have worked closely together for years. So why not accelerate your serendipity with Dopplr.

Dopplr is currently still in limited beta (isn't everything cool) and normally people can't register unless they are invited. But
but the firm is savvy enough to have introduce what it calls the Dopplr 100 - that is 100 firms that can self-register. That is Dopplr is saying Sun is one of the cool kids. Sign up here.

disclosure: I share an office with Matt, but I loved the app before I did.
Further disclosure: Matt will think I am super lame if none of you sign up. So get to it.

Go sign up - if you know me, you can share your trips with me here.

Monday Oct 08, 2007

CDDL as a middle way

In a recent blog post, James McGovern reckoned that my "perspective on CDDL is somewhat insular and indoctrinated". As I was wondering how to reply to this, there was some discussion on the OAuth mailing list on the merits of different licenses. I posted this to the list this morning:

As you survey the landscape of open source licenses (, you should also consider whether CDDL ( gives you what you're looking for.

Disclaimer - I work for Sun Microsystems, on OpenSSO (, a CDDL-licensed project. However, in this instance, I'm not shilling for Sun, just giving my personal opinion.

Based on the Mozilla Public License, CDDL attempts to balance the interests of different sides of the developer community - on a file-by-file basis, any modifications you make to CDDL-licensed source code must be made available under the CDDL, however, if you build CDDL into a 'larger work' you choose how to license your 'new' files.

This is essentially a middle course between GPL and Apache/BSD/MIT (they're not the same, but they do lie on the same side of the license spectrum). If I license my code to you under CDDL, you are free to use it as a component in a 'larger work', but you must make available any changes/fixes to my code.

Anyway - the main thing is to read the licenses, decide which one best fits your intentions, adopt it, and get back to the code. One thing some people overlook is that, as the actual copyright-holder, you are not bound perpetually by your initial license choice. Although the genie is out of the bottle regarding already licensed code, you can decide to stop licensing future versions under an open source license, switch licenses, add new licenses or whatever. Of course, you would consider the needs and preferences of the community that you have (hopefully) built around your code before taking any of these courses of action!

I truly believe that CDDL offers a useful middle path between the 'viral' (all your code are belong to us) GPL and the 'permissive' (take what you like, just don't sue us if it doesn't work out) Apache/BSD/MIT, and this provides specific benefits for business.

James goes on to extrapolate somewhat from his lawyer friend's opinion:

She mentioned that corporate friendly licenses permit redistribution without restrictions on commercial use and don't have broad retaliation clauses. In reading into her position, I would guess that she doesn't like Sun, IBM or Mozilla but would like likes such as GPL 2.0, Apache and MIT though.

Nice guess, James, but I'd like her unfiltered opinion after reading the licenses (you are correct in your suspicion that I've never had a conversation with any corporate lawyers whose primary business isn't technology). The Apache 2.0 license has a patent retaliation clause (my emphasis:

3. Grant of Patent License.

Subject to the terms and conditions of this License, each Contributor hereby grants to You a perpetual, worldwide, non-exclusive, no-charge, royalty-free, irrevocable (except as stated in this section) patent license to make, have made, use, offer to sell, sell, import, and otherwise transfer the Work, where such license applies only to those patent claims licensable by such Contributor that are necessarily infringed by their Contribution(s) alone or by combination of their Contribution(s) with the Work to which such Contribution(s) was submitted. If You institute patent litigation against any entity (including a cross-claim or counterclaim in a lawsuit) alleging that the Work or a Contribution incorporated within the Work constitutes direct or contributory patent infringement, then any patent licenses granted to You under this License for that Work shall terminate as of the date such litigation is filed.

I AM NOT A LAWYER, but this does not seem substantially different from the equivalent section of CDDL:


If You assert a patent infringement claim (excluding declaratory judgment actions) against Initial Developer or a Contributor (the Initial Developer or Contributor against whom You assert such claim is referred to as Participant) alleging that the Participant Software (meaning the Contributor Version where the Participant is a Contributor or the Original Software where the Participant is the Initial Developer) directly or indirectly infringes any patent, then any and all rights granted directly or indirectly to You by such Participant, the Initial Developer (if the Initial Developer is not the Participant) and all Contributors under Sections 2.1 and/or 2.2 of this License shall, upon 60 days notice from Participant terminate prospectively and automatically at the expiration of such 60 day notice period, unless if within such 60 day period You withdraw Your claim with respect to the Participant Software against such Participant either unilaterally or pursuant to a written agreement with Participant.

Understand, I'm not saying that CDDL is the license-to-end-all-licenses, but it is definitely worth considering as an option if you want a middle way.

Friday Oct 05, 2007

Tracking Keywords on Twitter

I had to piece this together from several sources (including some great hints from Mark Atwood), so I consider it blogworthy...

A few days ago I tweeted (posted an update on Twitter) that I was looking at OAuth. A few seconds later, Mark Atwood IM'd me: "Any questions about OAuth? I'm one of the spec authors". Wow. How did that happen?

It turns out that you can now track keywords on Twitter. For some reason I thought you could only get this working via SMS, you can also do it on IM. Here's how...

New Sun Developer Network Goodies

The Sun Developer Network elves have been hard at work at the cobbler's bench, publishing new articles in the identity section and creating a whole new resource center for scripty folk.

First up, Installing, Configuring, and Deploying Sun Java System Access Manager the Simple Way, by Sun engineer (and techno buff!) Anant Kadam and regular SDN tech author Marina Sum, shows how Access Manager's WAR deployment mechanism allows you to install the product on any of a variety of containers in just a few minutes. <whisper>It works on Tomcat and Glassfish as well as the officially supported containers - just don't tell anyone </whisper>.

Also, the very first article on OpenDS just hit SDN, Trey Drake and the ubiquitous Marina present an introduction to OpenDS. In case you hadn't heard, OpenDS is Sun's open source directory server project, written in Java and fully compliant with LDAP v3. Check out the article and OpenDS itself!

Finally, we have the new Scripting Resource Center - all sorts of goodies here - JavaScript, Ajax, Ruby, JavaFX, jMaki, PHP, Python, C, DTrace, and more. Set aside a couple of hours before following this link

Friday Sep 21, 2007

All-New Fall Schedule

I have a packed schedule this fall - well, packed for me, anyway:

First up, next week, is Digital ID World at the Hilton in San Francisco. I'll be there for Sun's reception on Monday evening and the Concordia workshop on Wednesday. The last Concordia workshop, colocated with Burton Catalyst, back in June, gave some great insights into some real-world identity interoperability, with George Fletcher of AOL [PDF], Mike Beach of Boeing [PDF], Jim Heaton of GM [PDF], Ian Bailey of the BC Government [PDF] and Georgia Marsh of GSA [PDF] explaining the interop issues they are facing, as well as some notable successes. This time round, representatives of Chevron, InCommon and the State Services Commission of the New Zealand Government will be presenting. Admission is free - just add yourself to the wiki.

Next month, from October 23rd to 25th, is the Liberty Alliance plenary meeting in Tokyo. The plenary meeting is Liberty members-only, but there is an open workshop day on the Friday. On the packed bill are Roger Sullivan of Oracle, Makoto Hatakeyama of NEC, Paul Madsen of NTT, Prateek Mishra of Oracle, Yukio Itakura of the Institute of Information Security, Colin Wallis of the New Zealand State Services Commission, Ken Ojiri of NTT, Brett McDowell of the Liberty Alliance, Kenji Takahashi of NTT and my good self. I will be presenting an update on open source identity at Sun - OpenSSO, OpenDS and... well, you'll have to wait and see. The event is free - just register here.

November brings my first ever trip to Raleigh, North Carolina, on November 8th, to talk to the Triangle Linux Users Group. They've given me 2 hours (the fools!) to wax lyrical on identity from LDAP to SAML and beyond. Attendance is free and open, so, if you're in the Triangle area, come along. It starts at 7pm and, apparently, there is pizza.

Finally, in December, the good folks at Javapolis in Antwerp have kindly invited me to present 3 sessions - one each on SAML 2.0, Liberty ID-WSF 2.0 and OpenSSO. Hmm - I must submit those abstracts... I'm afraid you have to pay this time, but, at 410 Euros for the entire week (December 10th - 14th), it's great value. Here's the registration page.

So - there you have it - come along to one of the events, say hi, eat pizza and find out about identity, federation and OpenSSO

Monday Sep 17, 2007

Glassfish v2 / Sun Java System Application Server 9.1 - it's here!

As you've almost certainly already noticed, Glassfish turned v2 today, with commercial support available from Sun in the form of Sun Java System Application Server 9.1. New features target the enterprise, with clustering support, improved performance and, arguably most interesting, web services support from Metro. We're building OpenSSO's WS-Trust security token service (STS) on Metro.

OpenSSO and Sun Java System Access Manager have supported GFv2 and AS 9.1 for some time now both as a deployment container (recall, OpenSSO/Access Manager is a standard J2EE web application) and via a Java EE policy agent - available here in source form and here as a supported policy agent for Access Manager. It's also worth pointing out that Access Manager ships with the NetBeans Enterprise Pack - NetBeans, Glassfish, Access Manager and much, much more in one hit. Heady stuff!

Sunday Jul 29, 2007

Java CAPS Awarded SWIFTReady Gold Label

I just read in John McLaughlin's latest Sun SystemNews email newsletter that Sun Java Composite Application Platform Suite (Java CAPS) received the SWIFTReady Gold Label for Financial Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) for the ninth year in a row.

Apart from the fact that this is a great achievement for Java CAPS, the news made me smile for another reason. Back in the Trustbase days (heh - just found a Bloor report on Trustbase, if you're really keen to know more - free registration required), I got to visit SWIFT a couple of times. If you ever get the chance to see their headquarters at La Hulpe, just outside Brussels, then GO! It's amazing, like a Bond villain's lair. You expect the tennis courts to slide back to reveal a rocket launch pad. And the cafeteria. Wow! Puts even the Googleplex to shame

Wednesday Jun 27, 2007

Blog Bling - Part 2 - Tag Cloud

Back in version 3.1, Apache Roller added support for tags. After Dave Levy blogged about tag clouds, I added one, based on his code:

#set($mytags = $model.weblog.getPopularTags(-1, 100))
#foreach ($tag in $mytags)
    #if ($tag.count > 2)
        <a class="tag s${tag.intensity}" href="$url.tag($"

The code is quite simple - we create a set of popular tags, and, for each tag, if there are more than two blog entries with that tag, we create a link. The link's class is s1, s2...s5 based on the number of entries with that tag ('tag intensity'). The classes control the font size of the link:

<style type="text/css">
   .s1 {
   .s2 {
   .s3 {
   .s4 {
   .s5 {

That's all there is to it. I can link to all entries for a given tag - for example,; there are even RSS feeds per tag - You can also combine tags to get an intersection - I've completely moved from categories to tags now - "It just works".

Thursday Jun 14, 2007

Enterprise Service Oriented Architectures

James McGovern has blogged an interesting challenge - if 50 folks trackback to his post, he will convince his publisher to make Enterprise Service Oriented Architectures available under a Creative Commons license. Well - I'm up for that James, here's 1 of 50.




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