Technology refresh for my BBWeblog open source project

They say most Open Source projects are born from a need for something that doesn’t exist yet or because the alternatives that already exist don’t do exactly what you want. Sometime around 2002/2003 I started building a bulletin-board/blog/notetaking app which I called BBWeblog, the source for the project which I host on SourceForge here. If you’re reading this article, this is stored in BBWeblog. (KH update 03/03/12: this content is now actually imported into WordPress).

I’ve been running this app on JBoss since 2002/2003 on my own Linux server, and have migrated through several Linux installations and a few different versions on JBoss too. The amazing thing is the app has been incredibly stable running on JBoss & Linux, and the server runs for months without a reboot. The only times it’s been rebooted have been after a power cut or to add/change hardware in the server.

As an app I’ve found it incredibly useful but there’s a few features that would improve it’s usefulness, mainly around how the data/articles are organized and how they can be shared – I’m thinking features like tagging and links to share articles to social sites.

I could add on to what I already have, but I’ve decided it’s time to take a fresh look at rebuilding the app, and at the same time use this as an opportunity to try out some new tools and libraries. The current app is built with Struts 1.x. I’d like to take a look at the annotation support in Spring MVC in 3.x, so I think this is going to be my project for the next few weeks…

Apple to donate Mac OS X implementation of JVM plus tools and support libraries to OpenJDK project

If only the timing of Apple’s announcement that they are deprecating the current version of the Java VM and no longer supporting future development coincided with this week’s announcement that they are going to donate the OS X implementation of the JVM plus tools and supporting libraries to the OpenJDK project. One can only wonder if the plan all along was to donate the code to OpenJDK, or if they decided to give it the OpenJDK project as a result of the shock they caused to the Java development community that works on the Mac platform.

Either way, Java developers on the Mac can breath a sigh of relief and be rest assured that there will be a future for Java on the Mac.

Oracle’s Premium JVM is here already

There’s been chatter this week about Oracle’s comments around offering a paid/premium version of the JVM as well as a free version, and what this mean for the Java community. As far as I know (I’m not sure because I haven’t looked at the license or cost) but doesn’t Oracle already offer JRockit, which already could be argued as their ‘premium’ JVM? It comes with tools to support and monitor apps running on JVMs in production and already comes bundled with Weblogic and is recommended as the JVM platform to run production systems.

Maybe the worry is all for nothing, because the premium vs free JVM concept is already here. As a business Oracle is obviously thinking how they can make the most money from heir acquired Java assets, and planning how much effort they split between JRockit development vs the free JVM development. If anything the community should be worried that the free JVM becomes a second-rate citizen – will be interesting to see how this pans out in the coming months.

Apache threaten to leave JCP if Oracle doesn’t grant license for Harmony JVM

The Java world is changing with Oracle at the controls. Based on recent events, it would seem Oracle is determined to destroy the Java community that Sun had invested so much time and effort to grow and foster.

Oracle are suing Google for their unlicensed implementation of Java underpinning the Android platform, and most recently this week, the Apache Software Foundation have laid down a threat that they will leave the JCP if Oracle does not grant them a license for their implementation of the JVM, Harmony. Apache is by far one of the largest contributors to the Java platform providing many tools and utilities that are used by almost all Java projects.

The JCP has up until now been central to steering the direction of the Java platform and allowing JCP members to provide input into new features and changes that are adopted as part of the Java platform. If Oracle does not see the JCP as key to Java’s future then maybe Apache’s threat is all for nothing, but either way, Apache’s departure from the JCP and/or the demise of the JCP would see the future of Java heading in a different direction, possibly with more control by Oracle themselves rather than the community.