JSR 250 has just released its first draft as you may have seen. JSR 250 tries and standardize the set of common annotations that will used across the EE environment. Jboss is part of this expert spec committee. For those of you that have been sleeping under an xdoclet rock for the past 2 years annotations are truly powerful constructs when it comes to EE.

 

It turns out that *simplicity* with declarative java programming models was the true message of AO, not complexity. Finally we were able to simplify the programming model of EE while preserving the power of the services of EE. What is there not to like? No wonder EJB3 is the cat's meow. Application development is getting simplified fast.

 

JSR 250 is significant in that it strives to standardize the tag definitions across JSR's when it comes to EE behavior. It is a valid goal, a goal of "glue" a very AO goal. For example it standardize declarative annotations for security. Great idea, it is used across a variety of JSR's, each defines its model and framework that unify this are today proprietary models. The new programming model of java+metadata needs standards. Java5 lead the way thanks to Josh Bloch (what a contribution!) and EE is following the lead. EJB3 is, again, a great example of this type of simplification of the standards, it is standardizing about 7 pojo services incluing remoting, DI, persistence, transactions, security, lifecycle and interception.

 

But I have a beef with JSR250. The problem as I see it is that Annotations are usually the result of expert domain input. For example, standardizing the persistence tags alone is no trivial task. That effort is very expert intensive. In other words it is my belief that the tag definition belongs to the individual EG and JSR's. It should however be a requirement, probably enforced by JSR250, that all new JSR's focus on ease of use by providing java+metadata programming models, the equivalent of a driver for the operating system crowd, this way the stuff is easily usable out of the gates.

 

In order for this to work we would need JSR250 to be an expert at EVERYTHING. Well the good news is that Gavin sits on JSR250, so there is hope :). But basically as it stands JSR250 tries and define programming models that could potentially encroach on the work of individual JSR's.

 

There is a very valid role for JSR250 that hasn't been articulated to the best of my knowledge. It could expand its monitoring of the various groups for cross-cutting aspects, essentially it could be an AO watchdog for EE. This way the whistle blowers could call an aspect when they see one, and they can trigger "cross cutting standardization" across the specs and define that standard programming model. I will go on record *once again* saying that I believe this is the future of the EE specs, a series of standalone aspects standardizaed for the whole java platform, for example message driven pojos are a very valid construct we have had in JBoss for 1 year but that feature may not make the first cut of EJB3 due to the load of work. Well if we split it up it becomes manageable. Maybe something for EJB4 :)

 

In short JSR250 is a GREAT attempt at this new simplified, Java based programming model and its potential is huge but I do believe we rushed a little bit into forming this JSR and its scope is still ill defined in my nsh opinion. It is well intended and acknowledges that the programming model should be simplified through annotations but its scope must be clarified.

 

marcf

 

Here is one for the press! Thank you for this week's coverage.

 

I am proud of nathalie, who runs our PR. On top of taking care of our 3 kids (including the monster twins) here is the press coverage for the week.

 


NewsForge, "La Quinta reserves room for JBoss" (March 24)
Java.About.com, "Introduction to EJB" (March 24)
CNET, "Novell tweaks management tools" (March 23)
*Also appeared in ZDNet
IT World Canada, "Novell bets big on Identity Management" (March 23)
Computerwire, "Novell targets Linux at small businesses" (March 23)
ADTmag.com, "Is Eclipse the Commercial IDE Killer?" (March 23)
Computerwire, "JBoss expands Apache support" (March 22)
ZD Net Blog, "JBoss shows how to profit in open source, part 1" (March 22)
ZD Net Blog, "JBoss shows how to profit in open source, part 2" (March 22)
eChannel Line, "JBoss expands support services for Apache" (March 22)
ADTmag.com, "JBoss Inc. Lays Groundwork for JBoss Ecosystem" (March 22)
CRN, "Novell's Next Linux Server, Desktop In The Pipeline" (March 22)
*Also appeared in Informationweek
Computerworld, "Novell to add more open-source to extend, Novell and JBoss tighten their relationship" (March 22)
Computerworld, "Q&A: Novell CEO touts Linux, identity products" (March 22)
SearchEnterpriseLinux.com, "Novell CEO dismisses analyst report at BrainShare" (March 22)
LinuxWorld.com, "Today's IT Solutions Need to Be "Open, Secure and Global," Says Novell's Messman" (March 22)
NewsForge.com, "Novell's BrainShare 2005: Day 2" (March 22)
DesktopLinux.com, "Novell shares Linux plans in annual tradeshow keynote" (March 21)
eChannelLine.com, "Novell: we're all about Linux and identity" (March 21)
InformationWeek, "Novell Expands Linux And Identity-Management Strategies" (March 21)
*Also appeared in WebServicesPipeline
Open Enterprise Trends, "BEA's Vision for Eclipse' Web Tools Project" (March 21)

 

So again thanks to all of you that have covered the news and included Jboss references.

 

I wanted to focus for one second on the significance of the Novell announcement. I attended Brainshare, Novell's annual user conference with 7000 attendees. The announcement was 3 fold

 

 

  • Novell will contribute to JEMS development. Novell will first contribute to Jboss Portal by open sourcing large portions of their own portal offering. We made serious announcements at JBossWorld that Portal was going to accelerate quickly and this is part of it, they will be donating 70 portlets and dedicate some of their best developers to contribute to JEMS. And you ain't seen nothing yet, portal is about to go lightspeed, we are just getting warmed up, stay tuned :)
  • Novell will OEM JEMS. This announcement was done within their identity team. They will build their system on top of JEMS, thus replacing eXtend (ex-silverstream) as the basis for their products.
  • Novell will support JEMS. This is very much like the HP announcement we did last year (which landed us on the cover of the wall street journal) except that Novell is supporting all of JEMS not just JBossAS and Tomcat. It is significant because it continues to grow our partner ecosystem with established players that take us to market on a worldwide basis.

 

So all in all it was a good week for us. Our channels team has been firing on all cylinders this year, and for a 105 employees company we are getting some serious traction. During Messman's (novell's CEO) presentation, he mentioned 10 times Jboss and then a camera filmed me on screen (I was in the first row), I think I blushed as I realized 7000 people watched. So everyone would recognize me as I was walking through the show. People from the conference would smile and stop me and say hiand talk. They were really happy to see us there they all felt that Novell was cool again. Open source has such a cool factor attached to it that I guess it rubs off on other people. That was truly gratifying as they were grateful. Even one local guy in Salt Lake City, on the street, asked me if novell was "bankrupt" and I said it was "alive and kicking", the guy seemed truly happy about that saying that "that is positive energy".

 

The analyst community got it. One financial analyst asked if "1- Novell was taking a leadership position in open source 2- if it was big enough to pull it off". It was kind of funny to see the Novell execs struggle with that one. I mean as far as soft ball questions go, that was a soft ball. And yet, they struggled. Had it been me I would have jumped and said "yeah! and you bet yeah!". The true answer is "yes and no, but it doesn't matter". I mean between the acquisitions of Suse, and ximian novell is clearly taking a leadership position. Also because Novell is not alone in backing Jboss it doesn't depend just on Novell for this to succeed, the ecosystem includes the likes of HP. A better question would have been "is the ecosystem big enough to pull this through" and the answer there is yes.

 

Anyway, they also treated us like royalty, taught us a lesson on how to treat your partners and customers (we really felt special) and it was all in all a very enjoyable 2 days. I don't know if it was something with the air, or Salt Lake City itself or the way they treated us, but I felt truly happy and at peace walking through the streets. An overwhelming feeling I hadn't felt in 15 years. It was good.

 

Tada,

 

marcf

 

In his latest blog entry jonathan gets religion

 

Quotes such as the following show a radical change of mindset

In my view, the economics of free and open source software are identical to the economics of free search, TV, radio, checking accounts or mobile phones - the money's not in the access to the product, it's in the services and value delivered around the product.

 

and

What I've seen customers wanting is open source, open standards, and an open dialog with vendors willing to stand behind their products. They've had enough duplicity and scare tactics.

 

I would like to expand on the first point. Yes what the customers want is free software that is supported and by doing away with the license you focus your value proposition on the implementation of the software. This is a message that clearly resonates in our sales organization. OSS is in fact changing the way software is built distributed and supported. The value proposition is compelling and the movement to free software is one driven by the customers themselves.

 

On the second point of open source open standards and open dialog, jonathan is sounding very evangelical all of the sudden, pretty soon we will hear him say "and remember I love you".

 

Also for those of you that didn't catch that bit in his PS

ps. stay tuned for news on Java's open source accessibility, too...

 

marcf

 

PS: the night he was speaking at that Churchill thing, I was speaking at Stanford VLAB, it was a blast and we had a full house. That is where the action was :) So there.

 

I am still on the road so I will make this a quickie, I need to leave for the airport in 10 minutes (I am at novell brainshare where we announced a big partnership, more on that later) but these 2 articles caught my eye.

 

I am so proud of this article

Don’t let CTO Scott Stark’s outfit fool you. That’s authentic JBoss swag he’s sporting. JBoss runs what it calls the Professional Open Source Model. It ‘combines the cost savings benefits of open source with the development methodologies, support, and accountability expected from enterprise software vendors.’ Easier said than done. But have a gander at the whole JBoss management team. These are software pros. Proof of success came this week, at Novell’s Brainshare conference in Salt Lake City. Novell is handing the keys of its middleware car to JBoss. This was not done lightly. Novell spent heavily three years ago to buy SilverStream, renaming its products exteNd. Novell now plans to co-develop the JBoss Enterprise Middleware Suite (JEMS) and ship a number of its components as part of the 2006 exteNd release. For JBoss it’s distribution and development support in one deal. That’s how the open source pros do it.

 

I don't know why but I am truly proud of Scott. For those who don't know (I didn't) "swag" means "confidence". "That is how the open source pros do it", yeah, dammit, yeah! walk around with our head high, we made it. The company we built is a machine today, it is working today, it is in orbit, beating numbers month after month and stiking key partnerships like the HP and novell ones.

 

A second article gave a good overview of the JBoss federation effort, which we announced at JBoss world, and for your reference I am including it here.

 

Between JBossWorld and the love shown at Novell's brainshare, I have replenished my emotional batteries, it felt just great and I will try to blog in more detail about this soon.

 

Remember we love you,

 

marcf

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