Friday Feb 16, 2007

Open Source JSF With AJAX

I'm pleased to say that Sun has released another project into the open source community this week. Project Woodstock provides a range of components for Java Server Faces, and there is AJAX support included. Worth taking a look at the samples if you're a web developer.

Thursday Feb 15, 2007

JavaOne Saves 111 Trees

I was just alerted to the availability of the first JavaOne mailshot. If you've ever been to JavaOne you'll be expecting your nice, glossy brochure through the mail about now. Well, the JavaOne team has decided that it would be more environmentally responsible to make it a virtual mailshot, so they have instead issued a PDF of the brochure and asked us all to pass the word around. This move has some great consequences; from an e-mail I just received:

By producing this piece virtually, the Eco group has calculated the savings made as follows:
  • Assuming (based on last year) the brochure is equivalent to 2.5 pages of 0% recycled copy paper
  • Total paper saved = 4.63 tons
  • Greenhouse Gases reduced (CO2 equivalents) = 13 tons (26,297 lbs)
  • Reduction in wood use = 13 tons
  • # of trees saved (assuming 1 tree makes 16.67 reams of copy paper or 8,333.3 sheets) = 111
  • Reduction in wastewater (and associated water pollution) = 78,616 gallons (equivalent to 838K cans of soda)
  • Reduction in solid waste (stuff sent to landfills) = 5.1 tons

I was also fascinated to see details of some of the sessions that have been accepted, including (on page 6) the session on Apache Harmony that Tim Ellison and Geir Magnusson will be giving as part of the new Open Source Track, as well as (on page 8) the Java Libre panel. This could be a very interesting JavaOne!

Friday Jan 12, 2007

New programming language launched

Beaumaris Castle

I'm pleased to say that the research group working on programming languages at Sun has taken the step of open sourcing the first release of their new programming language, Fortress. We debated the license to use for the language and settled on using BSD, a permissive class A license, so that the widest possible community - Free software people, academics and commercial researchers - would be free to co-evolve the language and its implementation with us.

Fortress is not for everyone. It's designed with high-performance computing (read: grid) in mind, and to quote the FAQ:

Fortress is a new language. Although many of its features are inspired by existing languages, it isn't an extension of any of them. Syntactically, many Fortress expressions closely resemble mathematical notation.
But by releasing it with full source code on day one, I hope that the widest possible community will be able to form around it and make it into all it can be.

Thursday Jan 04, 2007

"Java Get Powered" Now Easy

Java Get Powered

You may remember when Sun introduced the "Java Get Powered" button for people to use on their web sites, there was some criticism of the Byzantine process that was required to actually get to use it. I shared the view that the process needed fixing (as well as being grateful to the Sun blogger willing to criticise his employers for something deserving criticism).

I'm delighted to say that, after much soul-searching by Sun's lawyers, it's been fixed. No more quizzes, no more auto-responses with passwords, simply cut & paste the code to show your affinity for Java technology or direct your visitors to download the latest desktop Java. What's left is the minimum legal agreement that is feasible for a brand you actually want to protect. I'll be writing about brands and communities at some point since this is a subject that's widely misunderstood.

Wednesday Dec 13, 2006

JavaOne Open Source Track

This is the last week for paper submissions for JavaOne. Something you may not have noticed is there is a new track this year:

Open Source and Community Development

Open source initiatives, empowered by wide-scale sharing and participation, are transforming business models and leading the pace of innovation. Why? Because it offers freedom to every user and developer by encouraging genuinely collaborative innovation. The open source model offers an entirely new way for developers to collaborate and build upon the best of the commons. The result: open source is reaping tremendous leaps in innovation, and standards-based, interoperable solutions.

We are looking for submissions on the following topics:

  • Free/Open Source Java
  • OpenSolaris
  • GNU/Linux
  • OpenOffice
  • mySQL & PostgreSQL
  • Apache Derby

Get those session proposals in right now! Given a decent range of proposals I'll put something creative together. I'd also like to hear from any FOSS community that is planning a casual meeting in San Francisco the same week as JavaOne, so we can collaborate.

Monday Dec 11, 2006

JDK 6 Packages Available For GNU/Linux

Java SE 6 was launched this morning. This afternoon, the install bundles for Debian-based GNU/Linux systems were made available. Huge congratulations to Tom Marble, who I know has worked very hard to make this happen the same day as the release (so hard he's not got round to any blogging while he's been doing it).

Sunday Dec 10, 2006

Java SE 6 Launched in London

I'm in the minimalist splendour of the St Martin's Lane Hotel in London today attending the launch of Java SE 6. Mark can tell you all the details, but what stands out to me is the emphasis of the developer support service. For the next 60 days, developers can try the support service free of charge to help their migration to the Java 6 platform. More importantly, the range of support services on software from Sun is growing -, NetBeans, now Java 6. It's not the only way we'll be monetising our engagement in FOSS, but you can see the trend.

Thursday Nov 30, 2006

Will Sun Use GPLv3?

Some people have been throwing rocks at the GPLv3 process from outside, and others have been accusing Sun of joining the rock throwers by opting for GPL v2 for the Java platform. Here's why I disagree with both.[Read More]

Wednesday Nov 29, 2006

First Time in Second Life

The reactions to Sun's announcements about the Java platform moving to GPL produced a deep amazement in many people. A crowd had gathered waiting for the news, and there were definitely critics waiting to find fault. When we actually announced the news, it turned out we had gone further than anyone expected.

In fact, apart from the odd voice of self-interest (from what others call "strip miners"), the only serious criticism was over holding one of the events on the announcement day as a "virtual" Q & A in Second Life. ZDNet newbie Larry Dignan was pretty harsh, for example. To be honest, if that's all people can find to criticise them I'm pretty happy!

Having said that, and being like Tim a teachable sceptic of the value of Second Life, I actually thought it was a pretty good thing to do. Despite what this comedy writer said:

Sun, of all companies, recently hosted a Java developer Q&A in Second Life. No Web cast, no conference calls, no live forum. If you wanted to participate, you had to become a Second Life resident.
(and Larry implied), there was plenty of opportunity for engagement. We briefed press all over the world, provided a press release translated to local language, had press at the launch event, held an IRC chat which was so heavily attended it was almost unmanageable, wrote blogs and responded to comments - and so on. The Second Life event was an experiment, and just one part of the overall picture.

Moving on from the ephemeral and the complaints of those outraged by the new, was the content any good? Well, I didn't find the immersive environment added anything much to the experience, but the content was actually very good indeed. Floyd has a good summary of what went on and you can listen to the audio recording too. True, it was amusing to see the penguin cruising around the auditorium, and guessing which avatar was which person was fun too, but the questions were good and so - even though I say so myself - were the answers. If that's the quality we'll get every time I want more, break-dancers or not..

Overall, I think this was a good thing to do. I think we'll see more use of immersive collaboration spaces to augment more traditional communications, so this was an interesting experience. It got plenty of coverage and brought the OpenJDK news to more people than would have heard otherwise. And best of all, despite all the straight-laced tut-tutting, it was actually pretty good fun.

Wednesday Nov 22, 2006


Today is pretty quiet for me here in the UK, and I am thankful that the US is celebrating Thanksgiving. I spent a couple of days in Milan at the start of the week where I gave a talk at the new Open Source Business Academy event that was held there. I was able to include an open source status slide for Sun's Java implementations for the first time - something I am especially thankful for!

If one could earn US citizenship by collecting US stamps in one's passport I would almost certainly have done so by now, so it's in order to thank a few people (nowhere near everybody I should, I have so many people to thank) in connection with the Free Java platform progress we've made! I'd like to recognise the huge help that Geir, Dalibor and Mark generously gave and continue to give me over OpenJDK and much else. A huge thank-you to my excellent and wonderful team, the best I've worked with in a decade. And warm, loving gratitude to my family for putting up with the time away that was necessary over the last two months.

Friday Nov 17, 2006

Ogg Videos

Just about to head home at the end of an extraordinary week, but before I leave I'd like to highlight (as Mark has done) the great collaboration between Tom Marble and Dalibor Topic to get all the videos of the event on Monday converted to the open and Free Ogg format. You'll find them at the Free and Open Source Java page along with a Creative Commons license. As some of you might guess, this involved new experiences and thinking for quite a number of folk at Sun and I would like to that all of them for their flexibility. Let's hope that in future we can maybe offer Ogg streaming as an alternative for our webcasts!

Monday Nov 13, 2006

Kudos and Grace

As I crawl to bed at the end of an extraordinary day, I know I won't be able to sleep without noting a little of the community comment (as opposed to press comment) on the news that the whole Java platform will be Free software. Thank-you Miguel (of Mono), Mike (of Eclipse) and Geir (of Harmony) for your very gracious comments, which set an example to me and to others.

I'm excited that Pamela agrees it's great news - I've read every comment to that post and I'm awed by the community response there. I am especially impressed by several comments that echo the sentiment Casey summarises thus:

But, I think I’m fine with this. Even if zero lines of code I’ve written survives into the brave new Java world, I’m really pleased at this result. More free software is better for everyone, and since my skills have improved so much by hacking on Classpath, it was not a waste of time.

And best of all, I just heard from Dalibor that despite being in a dream world, the Classpath community has already:

Simply stellar work, folks, very impressive. And I note the plans are still forming.

And now, I really really must get some sleep!

Sunday Nov 12, 2006

Free At Last

Get the Source

Yes, it's true. The thing I joined Sun to see happen in 2000 is actually announced today. The whole Java platform - SE, ME, EE - will be Free software under the GPL, with the process starting today and continuing for the next six months. We're using GPL v2 plus the Classpath exception for most of it - more in the FAQ.

Making this happen has been a hugely consuming task, both for my (wonderful and hard-working) team, for the actual Java platform teams at Sun today and for many, many people around the world in the Free software community. The contributions of those before us is also huge - this has, after all, been on ongoing topic for many years. As the saying goes, it takes a village. Thank-you, everyone.

Much more to come.

Friday Aug 18, 2006

Why Bother Open Sourcing Java?

Open sourcing Sun's Java implementations may only matter to a hard-core interested in Java internals now, but the potential to make the Java marketplace a better place for all of us is huge.[Read More]

Thoughts and pointers on digital freedoms and technology markets. With a few photos too.


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