Oracle and the Java Opportunity

I guess there’s a chance that we’ll know more tomorrow but regarding the future of Java under Oracle’s control – I’m still neutral to optimistic and sticking to what I said 6 months ago :

DZone: With Oracle’s acquisition of Sun, are you concerned at all about some of the potential changes that will come as a result, to the governance and licensing options to the OpenJDK?

Rich: I’m really not that concerned. There are all sorts of scenarios that people are suggesting. I still believe Oracle will do the right thing. They have far too much to lose, by either accidently or purposely sabotaging OpenJDK. They have a very healthy business based around Java. Creating unrest, creating any kind of distrust or fragmentation of the Java community really isn’t going to help Oracle. So I think they’ll do the right thing. I also think they probably have the ability to invest in Java more than Sun had over the last five years at least. Sun kind of had some fairly pressing financial issues. I think that, above all else, probably hindered some of the progress of Java over the last five years.

So overall, I’m coming in neutral to slightly optimistic. If things do go awry, I’m sure Red Hat the rest of the Java community will step up and help Oracle to get back on track. So, yeah, I’m pretty comfortable with it.

My only real concerns is that Oracle understands products and monetization much better than they understand community and collaboration so I think a misstep or two are more likely to occur than Oracle purposefully sabotaging Java. Harming Java will devalue their investment and their chances of getting a decent return.

On the positive side – I think there’s still huge growth potential for the Java platform – I see no reason why it can’t become the dominant standard for the enterprise – I personally think we’re at the start of the decline of Microsoft and Java is the only viable alternative to Microsoft’s enterprise foothold. Microsoft’s enterprise presence is not insignificant but neither is it guaranteed – it’s largely based on an historically well adopted OS and Microsoft’s missteps in that area are pretty well known by now .

Java needs some strong leadership, investment and a open, vibrant and growing community.

I raising my mug of tea to The Next Decade of Java !

JBoss Application Platform Q&A

Yesterday we started a series of Web Casts covering JBoss Application Platforms (Recording, Slides). We didn’t manage to cover all the questions in the Q&A so as promised here they are :

Q: When using your Apache & Tomcat bundled software, do you provide any additional security patches above and beyond what the Apache & Tomcat communities provide ?

A: Red Hat has a dedicated Security Response Team who’s role is to track alerts and security vulnerabilities in the community which may affect users of Red Hat products and services. They work with Open Source communities to identify, classify, diagnose and coordinate fixes. If Red Hat discovered a vulnerability in any Open Source project we would work with the community to coordinate a fix, we wouldn’t keep it secret.Where we might differ from the upstream project is in how we communicate the presence of vulnerabilities and deliver fixes to our customers.

Q: can you guys point out to any benchmarks on jboss as in comparison to the other j2ee containers available (ideally updated every once in a while) online for the people who look into jboss AS evaluation to come and compare it easily with the other AS and

We don’t currently have any public benchmarks comparing JBoss to other vendors. All proprietary vendors have specific restrictions in their EULA forbidding use in benchmarks, so the only viable way to provide a comparison is by comparing vendors submissions for some thing like SPECjAppServer2004. JBoss has long argued that SPECjAppServer2004 does not represent contemporary use of modern app. servers (a position that IBM now agree with) as such we’ve never paid much attention to SPECjAppServer2004 and we’ve never made a public submission. JBoss has been working with SPEC on a new benchmark which we think does better represent modern application server usage and we will, in time, provide our own public submissions.

Meanwhile, many customers who have moved large deployments from our proprietary competitors to JBoss typically cite overall cost saving as the main reason. Performance and overall cost are tightly linked.

Q: what is the official release date of EWP ?

A: Right now the best date I can give you is that it will be released sometime in this Calendar Quarter.

Q: why isn’t seam part of the web toolkit ?

A. That’s the long-term goal. ie. to separate the frameworks from the run-tmes as they typically evolve at different rates. We also want all the frameworks to be certified on all the run-times. This is a form of Pace Layering and I think it provides the greatest flexibility / agility.

Q: What is the level of support you give spring as part of the web toolkit ?

A. With the first version of the Web Framework Kit – Spring is a Technical Preview and not recommended for production use. The intention is to promote Spring to fully supported in the next minor release.

Q: why do you think glassfish managed to have jee5 server so soon ?

A. Because Sun is the spec. lead for Java EE – they have to deliver the Spec., the Reference Implementation and the TCK. It’s impractical for anyone to deliver an implementation before Sun. Just as it is impractical for anyone to deliver an implementation of Java CDI before Red Hat (the spec. lead).

Q: Are these versions (EWS, EWP, EAP) available in the community version, or only the enterprise version ?

A : The community version for EWS is Tomcat, mod_jk and Apache HTTP – you can see the exact versions included in EWS here. JBoss EWP only exists as a ‘profile’ in AS 5.1. You can see the exact component versions for the platforms on their respective web pages, eg. component page for JBoss EAP.

Q: When will EAP 5.0 be Java EE 6 certified ?

A. There is no plan to certify EAP 5.0 with the EE 6 TCK. EAP 5.0 supports Java EE 5, though it does include some features of Java EE 6 – specifically JAX-RS (RestEasy) and the Web Profile. If you want to see ho were progressing with Java EE 6 then take a look at JBoss AS 6.

Q: I would like easier upgrade path in RH Jboss vs when you have your customized apps.. or is this a no problem ?

A : As long as you’re using the same base versions – portability should not be a problem. You can use this page to see what version level of components are included in EAP.

Q: What type of improvements are you looking at in order to support Cloud environments ?

A. Here are some of my thoughts :

  • Larger managed domains, possibly shared across BUs, requiring delegated administration and isolation.
  • More automated – everything needs to be easily automated or autonomous by design
  • Automation is just as likely driven by pre-defined policy as by a human sys. admin.
  • Better support for virtualized environments
  • Lower resource utilization
  • More dynamic – eg. to deal with elasticity – grow and shrink environments depending on pre-defined policies

Bob McWhirter and Marek Goldmann have been experimenting and prototyping some of these areas as part of the StormGrind project – take a look.

Q: Would web application developed in Jboss work on tomcat ?

A: JBoss EWP / EAP is a superset of Tomcat – as long as you limit your app. to use just the Web Container (ie. Servlet, JSP) – your app. will be portable. The web-container in JBoss EWP / EAP is based on Tomcat 6.0.18 so obviously supports the same versions of the Servlet (2.5) and JSP (2.1) specs. Tomcat 6.0.18 is also what we include in JBoss EWS.

Q: are there any limitations in the number or requests handled by using mod_jk ?

A. Good one – let me find out. Check this space for an update.
A. I checked with Jean-Frederic Clere, his response is :
“Apart from the OS limitations and httpd limitations (configuration in
httpd.conf, MaxClients for example) there aren’t any limits in the
number of requests mod_jk could handle.”

Q. where can I get the slides ?A. At some point they’ll appear along with the recorded sessions here.

Running Part 2

Just finished week 2 of my 10 week half-marathon training. Despite being away from home most of the week – I managed to exceed my mileage goal again – but didn’t make much progress on my pace. I have goal of finishing under 1hr 50m so need to be aiming for 8 minute miles; currently I’m barely hitting 10 min. miles consistently. With the warmer weather in the Triangle It was great to be running outside for the last couple of days (I find the treadmill desperately boring) and good to hit some small hills which should help bring my pace up.

Next week I’m hoping to squeeze in 16-18 miles and it looks like it will be warm enough to do most of those outside.

For what its worth, here’s my 10 week plan, it’s a variation of one I found here.


5 Reasons to submit a paper for JBoss World 2010

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There are only 9 days left to submit your talks for JBoss World 2010, in case you need them, here are some good reasons :

  1. It’s in Boston, In June. It’s a great city and the snow and ice will probably be mostly gone by June.
  2. You get a free conference pass, good for all Red Hat Summit / JBoss World sessions, keynotes, events, meals and parties
  3. You get one free night accommodation (in a hotel)
  4. It’s very likely IMHO that there won’t be a Java One this year – if you are looking for an opportunity to talk about what you’re doing with JBoss technology then this is *the* best place to do it.
  5. If you want to get into the weeds with highly technical content – then there’s a new track for that.

Call for Papers end in just 9 days !


I’ve never been much of a runner but always found running to be a pretty decent way to keep fit. It requires very little in the way of skill or technique; you don’t need any equipment; there’s nothing to set up and you can do it pretty much anywhere. If you’re busy with kids and travel and a job then you’ll find it pretty decent from a time investment point of view.

The only time I’ve really done any regular running was over a decade ago (notably before kids) – I ran the Bristol (UK) Half Marathon 3 times (98, 99 and 2000) as well as a few other shorter runs here and there (most recently the Los Gatos Dammit Run). But I’ve really never been much of a runner and find it pretty boring (more so on a treadmill) – I find cycling much more engaging and a much easier way to ‘turn off’; but cycling needs a lot more investment.

Over the Christmas break I signed up for the Tobacco Road Half Marathon and put together a 10 week training plan. I finished the first week this morning and am slightly ahead of my target. That’s fortunate because my plan (and the time available) has absolutely no contingency for injury or travel. And you guessed it – next week I’m traveling – the hotel has a small poorly equipped gym with exactly one running machine and the temperature in Boston isn’t going to be above freezing until August. If I was a runner – I’d be a fair-weather runner at that.