JBoss AS 6 Released !

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So after a fast sprint JBoss AS 6 was released at the end of the year and it passes the Java EE 6 (Web Profile) TCK. It’s great to see the culmination of efforts from fellow Red Hatters that went into this release. But Red Hat’s involvement in the future of Enteprise Java goes way beyond this release – many of the technologies delivered in AS 6 as part of Java EE 6 were driven through the JCP by people like Gavin King, Emmanuelle Bernard, Pete Muir and Jason Greene to name a few. Work on these specifications started several years ago so for some this has been anything but a sprint.

It’s great to see the release cadence of JBoss AS pick up – AS 6 had a number of milestone releases over the year’s development and I think this has gone down pretty well judging from the download rate (about 200k even before GA).

While AS 6 has been going through the last stages in the development and certification cycle, the next major release – AS 7 has already released an early alpha to demonstrate it’s “lean by default” services architecture – the feedback so far seems to be very positive.

You can read more about AS 6 from Stan, Gavin, Shelley, Jaikiran and Dimitris as well as J-Development,  InfoQ and NetworkWorld.

Java Container Popularity and a Prediction

Hey, 3 days into the New Year and my second blog post !

Another day, another survey – this one from Tools Vendor ZeroTurnaround. From what I can tell survey participants were self-selected – but the results underline what has been a solid trend over the last several years and I’ve seen the same in internal surveys I’ve commissioned.

Below is the 2009 / 2010 Container Popularity chart. Note the significant decline of Websphere and Weblogic and the growth in leaner, Open Source containers like JBoss, Jetty and Tomcat.

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Glassfish bucked this trend – likely due to uncertainty about it’s future under it’s new owner Oracle. JBoss showed only a little growth – I’ll put this down to a fairly slow year in 2010. But 2011 is going to be very, very different. We already have a Java EE 6 Web Profile container (released last week) and JBoss AS 7 is taking shape pretty rapidly. With our increased attention to slimming the footprint and increasing the speed of adopting new technology and standards like Java EE 6 — my prediction is that JBoss will catch or overtake Tomcat in the next year.

The Best and Worst of 2010

On the first couple of days of 2011 I’m sitting down to continue a tradition I started in 2005 (2006, 2008, 2009) I find this a nice way to review the year before its committed to the cobwebs of my long-term memory. So, here’s a quick review of the best and worst of 2010 :

Best Moments

The U7 Soccer team I coach has really come together this year – I’ve coached many of these kids for the last couple of years and this year was the first time I’ve seen teamwork and tactics emerge. They’re also super-competitive which I think is a “skill” that’s being eroded – there are valuable lessons in winning and losing. Making everyone a winner creates kids who are ill-prepared for the ups and downs of real-life.   


We visited Washington, DC over the Thanksgiving break – not the first time I’ve visited but it was the first time I’ve had the time to look around. Reading the inscriptions on the Lincoln Memorial reminds you of how far the United States has come in such a short time and of how great the United States has been through it’s short history – hopefully we now have a leader in office who can restore that greatness. I’m hopeful but only time will tell.


I work for Red Hat and through 2010 we continued to turn in good results; after my final few years at Sun staring into gloomy uncertainty – it’s nice to be on a wining team and looking ahead with optimism. It’s also nice to be in a smaller company where the impact of ones efforts on the company’s growth and success (or otherwise) are much more apparent.

Biggest Disappointment

Last year the TSA just edged out the Right-wingnuts but this year the axis of stupid take the prize. Every time I hear Sarah Palin or Glen Beck talk – I’m stunned at the breadth and depth of idiocy it takes for them to be considered leaders. Their followers are making the rest of America look stupid to the rest of the world.

Best Technology

This is a tough one. I held off buying an iPad for while but finally succumbed in August. Soon after – it replaced the “smart-phone” as the tech. toy I use the most. Apple have done it again and defined a new category – I’m excited about the future of tablets with many competing devices emerging – there are many tasks for which a touch screen presents a far more natural user experience. I still haven’t found the killer app. for the iPad but iCal, Things, Kindle Reader and Flipboard are some of my favorites that have embraced the new form factor.

On the other hand is the Garmin Edge 800 GPS-Enabled Cycling Computer – while it has a few kinks that need to be ironed out (I’m downloading the latest firmware update as we speak) – it generally rocks and Garmin have a pretty nice web service for collecting all the data from your runs, rides and workouts – Garmin Connect. I like Garmin products, like Apple – they generally “just work” and don’t get in the way too much – that, in my mind, is success in consumer technology – “get out of the way and become invisible”. I do need spend some more time playing with routes and maps and workouts on the Garmin – there’s a wealth of functionality that I haven’t tapped into yet.


So in the interests of continued health and well-being – I’ll go with the Garmin Edge 800.

Best Book

I’m still working through Neal Stephenson’s – The Baroque Cycle – a mid numbingly long and complex story of truly epic proportions and as with all Neal Stephenson – impeccably well presented. I’m mid way through book seven of eight so it will be another month or so before I’m finished. For that reason – I’ll go with “A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail” (Bill Bryson) – a fine way to spend a Sunday afternoon at the pool.

Best Film

The only time I go to the Cinema is when I take my kids – so generally catch-up with grown-up movies via Apple TV – a few weeks back I saw Inception – very cool visually with a good story line – good enough to watch again at some point. So I think Inception wins it this year.