The voting has been completed, and the winners have just been notified. They are:

 

Documentation: Markus Eisele - Arquillian  

Markus, a very active blogger in the JavaEE space, has taken an interest in Arquillian and has written multiple blogs about the project and how to use it with alternative containers. He helped translate the “Getting Started” guide into German, which gives Arquillian native language support in one of it’s biggest supported areas.

 

Wiki: Hantsy Bai - Arquillian

Hantsy jumped at the opportunity to contribute to Arquillian, and produced no less then three Chinese guide translations: “Getting Started”, “Getting Started: Rinse and Repeat” and “Getting Started Faster with Forge”. His contributions open Arquillian up to a whole new world of developers.

 

Issue/JIRA: Bartosz Majsak - Arquillian 

Bartosz started out as a early Arquillian advocate, publishing multiple articles about Arquillian on his company blog. It wasn’t long before Bartosz became a key part of the Arquillian project. Today, he is not only an active contributor, but the lead of multiple modules - Persistence, Spock and Seam2 - and an active speaker at conferences around Europe on topics related to Arquillian. He has a unique interest in the topic, and brings with him an endless source of new and interesting approaches from his previous testing-related work. Bartosz is also a well-known name on the forums, where he does everything from helping users get started, to openly discussing future directions for the project.

 

Bug Fixes: George Gastaldi- JBoss Seam 

George Gastaldi is a long time member of the Seam community, and has contributed many bug fixes and new features to the Seam project.  As community module lead for “Seam Reports” and co-lead for “Seam JCR,” George's work on these modules, and in other areas of Seam has been extremely valuable for raising the level of quality in Seam - and for providing important features for Java EE developers. He is always willing to lend a hand to other developers, and his efforts quite often go above and beyond expectation, many times assisting other developers in areas outside of his own usual areas of contribution. George has a friendly, energetic attitude and is an absolute credit to the Open Source community.

 

New Features: Esteban Aliverti - Drools 

Esteban has shown a dedication and commitment to high quality work over the years for a variety of areas in Drools. His GUI work includes complete components such as the change-set and spring editor and also many incremental improvements to the guided editor. He has also undertaken complex improvements on the knowledge agent for incremental builds.

 

Thanks again to all who participated! And we'll see the winnders at JUDCon Boston to receive their awards.

I'm off to Belfast this week to give a keynote at the newly opened Titanic Suite at the Titanic building in Belfast. This is going to be a first for a couple of reasons: the building only recently opened, so this will be the first Java (and JBoss) presentation there, and the organisers have arranged a Google+ hangout with the speakers after the event. We're also going to spend some time visiting the Northern Island Science Park, meeting some of the companies there and seeing what's happening in the area. I'm looking forward to that very much because I think it's a great opportunity for me to learn about some areas of our industry that I might not see otherwise. And of course I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little excited about the venue: I've been interested in the story of the Titanic since I was a child and watched the original A Night To Remember (I'm a long time fan of Kenneth More and those "classic movies" where fairly modern when I first saw them!) Growing up I've read a lot about the Titanic, seen various films and programs, and of course built the model (several times.) So it'll be great to see what they have in the Titanic building and I'm fairly sure I'll have the opportunity to take a few photographs of the event. So if you're in the area, come along and hear the presentations, ask some questions, have good food and drink, and soak up the atmosphere.

I'm just back from giving my keynote at JAX in Mainz. I have to say that the event was well managed and there were about 2000 people there to hear about all sorts of things Java related. The only downsides were the wireless network, which appeared to be non-existant most of the time, and that I came down with a (man) flu the day before I traveled and was definitely under the weather throughout my time at JAX. That's a shame because I really wanted to experience it and Mainz much more than I was able to in the end. However, despite this I managed to give my keynote and hopefully the fact that I had cold didn't come through and impact it. The subject of the keynote (is enterprise Java ready for mobile and cloud) is something I've spoken about before, but this time I updated the talk and went into more detail about some areas where Java and the JVM need to be improved. I got the impression during the talk that it was going well and certainly afterwards the feedback was unanimously positive. However, I'd timed it for 60 minutes, when in fact I only had 45, so the last few slides were a bit rushed. But despite that, I think the message came across: Java, the JVM and Java middleware, most certainly do have a role to play in mobile and cloud; as a Java community, the future is ours to lose, and as long as we can make the necessary changes, it should be a bright future. As I said at the end of the presentation, now is probably the most interesting time to be a Java developer with the exception of 1996 when Sun released it!

 

One thing that confused me when I arrived at JAX was that the program contained presentation abstracts in either English or German. I didn't understand why until I went to a couple of the sessions, and the rule was pretty simple: if the abstract was in German (even if the title was English), then the presentation would be in German (even if the slides were in English). Fortunately the German sessions I did go to were easy to follow via the slides, since my German is almost 30 years old and rarely practiced!

 

However, the thing that impacted me the most (quite literally) about JAX was the journey back to the airport. It started by my forgetting what time the flight was, so I had to grab a taxi instead of the train. Then I got into a teleconference as we headed down the autobahn at Break Neck mph. About half way through the teleconference (yes, Craig and Rob, it was the one we were in together!) a guy in front of us ran into the back of another car. The taxi driver slammed on his breaks and managed to stop before hitting the car in front - he didn't even need to swerve to prevent hitting. So I breathed a sigh of relief and then milliseconds later thought (and you're probably already ahead of me here!) "what about the cars behind us?!" Sure enough, one car slammed into the side of the taxi followed by another car hitting that car. So like I said, it had quite an impact! Fortunately no one was hurt, but the entire autobahn was closed. After the police arrived (one officer looking like Chris Hemsworth's Thor - you know, smiling nicely but with an undercurrent of 'don't &%^* with me or I'll smash you with my hammer') they sorted things out, but there was no way I was getting another taxi for quite a while. The clock was ticking and my flight wasn't going to wait for me. But another witness happened to be heading to the airport so he gave me a lift and I thank him very much!

 

If you're interested in seeing the carnage, then the taxi is the one closest to the central reservation (almost hidden in this view). What you can't see is the two other cars further down the road that caused the incident in the first place.

 

IMG_0260.JPG

 

So all in all, JAX was a very good and interesting conference. But next time I think I can do without the excitement on the way back from the event! (I should also add that I continued on the teleconference throughout the crash, so I don't think anyone there noticed!)

I mentioned that along with a number of my team, I have the pleasure of attending JAX Mainz in just over a week's time. I'll be giving a keynote on some of the challenges facing Java and the JVM in the future, particularly in the area of cloud and mobile. I continue to believe that these new frontiers can and should benefit from the experiences the Java communities have learned over the years. Of course there are technical challenges that cloud and mobile present which we haven't always had to consider in the past, such as scalability. But sometimes I think that the challenges aren't always technical: the "not invented here" syndrome is something I've encountered throughout my three decades of software development, so it's not just the domain of these new technological waves. But it is there and hopefully we can work together to break down these barriers. I've blogged before about how I think JBoss can help a wider range of communities than we are traditionally associated with. However, a while ago I also had to write an article that made it clear that we are still very much in the Java world. This came about because there were concerns that we may be spending more time on "sexier" languages than Java or the JVM. But recently I've started to hear another concern that can probably be summarised as: JBoss is firmly in the Java arena and has very little to offer languages that don't reside on the JVM, whether they have their roots in the 20th Century, such as C or C++, or the 21st Century, such as Go.

 

Unfortunately yet again the truth is somewhat different if you stop to think about things. Anyone who has been working in the area of SOA will understand what I'm about to discuss and if you've ever used CORBA then you're probably already at the conclusion! Like it or not, CORBA and IDL were very successful in illustrating how you can have a language agnostic approach to building distributed systems. Simply define your service or object in IDL and then have a compiler produce the associated client and server stubs. From these you can construct your application and it really doesn't need to know how the constituent pieces are implemented. And CORBA has been around long enough to support many different languages, even COBOL! Despite no longer being as popular or widely used as it once was, it and the OMG are still around.

 

Now of course you may not want to use CORBA, but the principles that it illustrated (language agnostic invocations between objects or services) can be provided in a number of other ways, several of which are also standards based. These include REST (whether over HTTP or some other protocol if you want to improve performance, such as SPDY), Web Services (yes, this is another one that will split the community into supporters and detractors, but it is very widely available and deployed), or messaging implementations such as those supporting AMQP (OK not quite a standard yet, but it's heading in the right direction and will be there soon).

 

So you can construct applications, components, services etc. out of other components or services that are not necessarily implemented in the same language that you are using currently. In fact they may not be implemented in the same language as each other, if you are using several services at once. And building applications from distributed invocations (building distributed systems) is a lot less intensive than building core components from scratch (yet again). Believe me ... I've been there, done that and got several t-shirts to prove it! You really don't want to be implementing transactions, security, persistence etc. from scratch when there are perfectly good implementations out there that can be "wrapped" in your language of choice.

 

Of course there are a different set of issues to be considered when building distributed systems. These include performance and fault tolerance, but our industry (and academia) has many decades of experience in tackling these. So they should not be used as an excuse for ignoring middleware stacks, or individual components, that exist already. And yes, although I started out talking about JBoss, this really is an argument that can and should be applied much wider. I'm not suggesting we don't consider implementations from scratch, but that we don't have that as the initial reaction to every problem that comes along! So whether you're building in COBOL, C++, Java, Ruby, Lisp etc. if you've got a need for core services that we take for granted in enterprise middleware stacks such as JBoss, don't rule out either using the entire stack or cherry picking from it just because it's implemented in Java: you don't have to know Java or even use a JVM to benefit from the years of experience and maturity we offer.

Mark Little

JAX Mainz keynote

Posted by Mark Little Apr 7, 2012

I'm going to be doing a keynote at JAX Mainz on the 18th of April. Here's a copy of the keynote abstract:

 

"Platform as a Service has gained great popularity over the past two years. Many vendors have rewritten their middleware handbooks, and discarded existing investments in Java EE. With the rapid growth in interest around mobile, we're starting to hear the same things: that existing middleware implementations and approaches are simply not right for the mobile developer. In short, Cloud and Mobile represent the death of middleware! However, we believe that this approach may be short-sighted and risky. Not only does enterprise Java (particularly Java EE) have a critical role to play in Java-based PaaS and mobile solutions, but it can also be used as a platform for other languages such as Ruby, that are finding growing adoption in both of these areas. The requirements for real world Cloud or Mobile applications include reliability, security, fault tolerance and much more: things that your typical enterprise middleware developer has taken for granted for four decades. In this session we will discuss the needs for enterprise Java in both Cloud and Mobile. We will also suggest how Java, the JVM and associated standards and communities need to evolve in order to better serve these two growing and important aspects computing."

 

In essence the traditional role of middleware in the data center has been challenged to expand and meet the ubiquitous computing demands becoming more prevalent. The way applications are built, deployed, integrated and managed must accommodate the rapidly evolving mobile and cloud paradigms, without sacrificing security or performance. Open Standards, and a more agile stewardship of the Java Community Process will enable developers, architects and IT executives increase return on their existing IT investment and spur innovation in next generation application environments. So if you're in the area or you're going to JAX, come along and ask questions. Of course I'll use JBoss and Red Hat technologies to illustrate some points, but the fundamental issues are relevant to other platforms and frameworks.

 

JAX this year has a great contingent of JBoss people, so even if you can't make the keynote you can still hear about the innovation that's going on. For instance, there's Jay, AeroGear lead, who is talking about the project, HTML5 and other mobile technologies. Then there's Aslak who will talk about AS7, Arquillian and lightweight containers. Kris is talking about jBPM5 and other things going on in the world of BPM. And Stef will be giving an introduction to Ceylon. Definitely a lot of JBoss goodness to keep you happy!

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