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I was pleased at JavaOne 2012 to have an opportunity to converse with JFrog founder Yoav Landman (@yoavlandman). JFrog, in case you're unfamiliar with the company name, is the inventor of Artifactory, the Java repository management solution that won a 2011 Duke's Choice Award. They also regularly produce cool swag tshirts (see below).

Yoav was very busy at JavaOne 2012, but with advance notice he was able to schedule some moments to meet with me and Java.net home page manager Dale Farnham (@DaleFarnham). Our first question was: what impact did winning the Duke's Choice award in 2011 have on JFrog in the subsequent year? Yoav said that winning the Duke gave JFrog and Artifactory lots of exposure. We, of course, covered the news on Java.net, and Java Spotlight Podcast 95 featured an interview with JFrog's Baruch Sadogursky. As a result of the Duke, the JFrog web site received much more traffic, Artifactory received substantially increased recognition, and JFrog's already sizable community grew--then grew more!

One thing that has surprised Yoav is the adoption of Artifactory by enterprise companies. In his original concept, Yoav thought Artifactory would be attractive primarily to start-ups. That's certainly happened, but much larger, established companies have been investigating Artifactory's capabilities, and deciding it's the right match for their needs.

Now, when you have a business plan, and it succeeds, then a customer base you weren't even really thinking about starts putting your product to work -- that's a threshold any start-up would be thrilled to cross! It's happening for JFrog and Artifactory as we speak.

Yoav thinks that what happens, in larger companies, is that developers start using Artifactory, and they effectively argue for its formal adoption by their department; ultimately, more development teams within the company adopt it, which eventually leads to a broader decision higher up in the corporation. So, it's really bottom-up adoption within these companies, led by the developers. Of course, bottom-up adoption by one company can ultimately lead to top-down adoption in other companies, as CTOs and VPs of Software Development engage in work-related chat...

Yoav told us that the list of use cases for Artifactory is increasing. For example, some larger international companies utilize Artifactory's replication features to facilitate coordinated software development by teams located in different countries. Teams in India and the U.S. can work on the same project, with the developers in each location being able to pick up each morning on where the other team left off when their work day ended. Another new use case (perhaps also unanticipated by Yoav) is the situation where companies that develop non-Java software employ Artifactory for distributing software binaries. They appreciate Artifactory's capability for coherently pushing and replacing software, including scheduled updates.

Getting back to start-ups: they're discovering that Artifactory facilitates the possibility of 24-hour non-stop development. Consider a "virtual" start-up consisting of individual developers scattered around the world, across many different time zones: they can all make progress on a single code base with Artifactory. This is, indeed, a new world!

To keep up with all of this, JFrog itself is growing rapidly in terms of employees. Artifactory Cloud is a new product that really fits in with this new possibility of start-ups with global development teams. And the ideas in Yoav's head keep flowing -- but he asked us not to talk about certain things until they're announced. Given that we may have been speaking with the Frogfather himself, I think I'll honor that request!

Our conversation with Yoav didn't touch upon any potential involvement by him in creating the famous JFrog tshirts -- maybe we'll cover that in a future interview!


Articles

Our latest Java.net article from Manning Publications is Defining Functional Data Structures by Paul Chiusano and R

The just completed Java.net poll suggests that a community of developers uses or is interesting in the Eclipse AspectJ Project. A total of 661 people voted in the poll, and one comment was posted. The exact question and results were:

Do you currently use AspectJ ("a seamless aspect-oriented extension" to Java), or might you in the future?

  • 25% (167 votes) - I use AspectJ now
  • 4% (28 votes) - I'm considering using AspectJ for future work
  • 10% (63 votes) - I don't know much about AspectJ, but it sounds interesting
  • 53% (350 votes) - I don't use AspectJ, and have no plans to do so
  • 6% (39 votes) - I don't know
  • 2% (14 votes) - Other

So, while a majority of the voters don't currently use AspectJ, and don't plan to use it in the future, about 39% of the voters are current AspectJ users, are considering using it, or at least find it interesting. This perhaps makes sense, since AspectJ has its own domain of use and application. If you're not doing Aspect-oriented development, then you won't have much use for AspectJ.

rdohna commented: "CDI does 95% of what AspectJ is useful for... without the big tool stack AspectJ needs."

New poll: Lambda Expressions in Java 8

Our new poll asks "What's your current level of involvement with Java 8 Lambda Expressions (closures)?" The poll will be open until Friday, December 7.


Java.net Weblogs

Since my last blog post, there have been two new java.net blogs:


Articles

Our latest Java.net article from Manning Publications is The Foundations of Mobile First Design by Matthew Carver, author of the Manning book The Responsive Web.


Spotlights

Our latest Java.net Spotlight is Sarah Goff-Dupont's David vs Goliath - is cloud computing the new slingshot?:

Atlassian's Sarah Goff-Dupont discusses how budding startups can get the edge over their much bigger rivals with some simple steps... What's a young David-like up-start to do, armed only with a brilliant idea, raw talent and a willingness to put in long hours? How do they deliver quickly, and on a shoe-string budget? They reach for the slingshot in their back pocket: cloud-based development...

Prior to that, we featured John Yeary's What is the definition of a JUG Leader?:

A JUG leader is someone who is passionate about Java. That is the most obvious answer. However, that answer has many different levels. A JUG Leader can be a very technical individual, and some are the best developers in their JUG. This does not need to be the case. A JUG Leader understands the power of communication, collaboration, and community. As I noted, a JUG leader does not need to be the technical expert of the group, but they need to be able to identify those members (community) and get them to share (communicate) their knowledge...

Before that we highligted Markus Eisele's Java Specification Requests in Numbers:

You all know about the Java Community Process (JCP), don't you? The JCP is the mechanism for developing standard technical specifications for Java technology. Anyone can register for the site and participate in reviewing and providing feedback for the Java Specification Requests (JSRs), and anyone can sign up to become a JCP Member and then participate on the Expert Group of a JSR or...

The preceding spotlight was Roger Brinkley's A Look Inside JSR 360 - CLDC 8:

In a way JSR 360 is returning to the original roots of Java ME when it was first introduced. It was indeed a subset of the JDK 4 language, but as Java progressed many of the language changes were not implemented in the Java ME. Back then the tradeoff was functionality/footprint, but the major market was feature phones. Today the market has changed and CLDC will have its primary emphasis on...

And before that was Terrence Barr's JSR 360 and JSR 361: A Big Leap for Java ME 8:

It might have gone unnoticed to some, but Java ME took a big leap forward a couple of weeks ago with the filing of two new JSRs: JSR 360 -

In preparing for my JavaOne 2012 conversation with Java ChampionFabiane Bizinella Nardon, I was considering lots of questions about her work in the Brazilian health care system (her work as architect of what's considered the world's largest Java EE application won a Duke's Choice Award in 2005), about the state of Java in Brazil, about her co-leadership of Java.net's Java Tools Community, etc. But, the first thing I learned from Fabiane is that she's been on sabbatical from her regular job this year, and has rarely been in Brazil. That changed my planning entirely, turning our conversation into much more of a free-form chat.

I found out that "sabbatical" really does fit what Fabiane is doing. This isn't a break from effort for her by any means. She's taking time to work on projects that interest her -- as long as those projects can be worked on from anywhere in the world (which is, of course, increasingly possible today). Fabiane's taken advantage of this freedom to travel to Europe, the United States, and elsewhere, as she also engrosses herself in new areas of software technology and founding and assisting business startups.

While on sabbatical, Fabiane has focused on two startups of her own: ToolsCloud, which she co-founded in 2010 with SouJava leader Bruno Souza; and StoryTroop, which went fully live on September 25, just before JavaOne. ToolsCloud, which provides developer tools in the cloud, already has a devoted user base (it's especially strong in Brazil).

StoryTroop, meanwhile, is a kind of social network, where groups of people contribute to telling the story of a particular event or history or topic. The very first story on the StoryTroop platform, used for testing while the site was under development, exemplifies the concept. The StoryTroop #javahistorystory consists of contributed perspectives from various people who were involved in the history of Java, all from a developer's point of view. Each person contributes memories of particular events. The sum total of all the contributed memories becomes a unique telling of the history of Java, one that certainly could not be found in a book written by a single author. In a sense, it's story-telling as an open source project, where everyone's a committer. Or, in Fabiane's words: "StoryTroop facilitates the creation of an aggregate story consisting of many different perspectives from many different people."

And the stories can keep growing. Real historical stories are tagged as being so, with a location and a date (or date range). For example, Fabiane's #javahistory "It all started with a backpack" entry talks about an event that happened in 2001 in Sao Paulo, Brazil:

What very few people know is that my career as a Java expert started because of a backpack. In 2001 I met with Bruno Souza and he had this awesome backpack with the Java logo shining on it. I asked him what I had to do to get a backpack like that and he said...

While the history of Java was utilized as a starting point, Fabiane envisions StoryTroop as being a place where people who shared almost any kind of experience can gather to document what happened from their own personal perspective. As an example, she cited the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States -- people could tell their individual stories of what happened, and others who also had personal involvement would be able to share their portions of the story, and read what others experienced at that time, on that day and thereafter.

In this sense, StoryTroop seems to me to offer a new potential for uniquely documenting modern history. It's about (at least in the case of real stories) documentation of things that have affected groups of people's lives. It seems, though, that StoryTroop could also well be used for sharing stories about more general topics, such as raising children. Then there are also the fictional possibilities, as exemplified by the #realsnowwhitestory, where we currently see @snowwhite reporting having "just hacked my stepmother's mirror." I wonder how that will work out...

I asked about the StoryTroop.com platform. Fabiane said it's running on the Heroku cloud platform, using the Play framework and mongoDB. Fabiane said StoryTroop is not an open source project, but the team isn't hiding anything.

Startups are great, right? But, Fabiane had said earlier that her bank account balance was declining as her sabbatical proceeded. So I asked her, with respect to StoryTroop: "What's the business model?" Her response:

We've thought about that! The StoryTroop business model is to sell sponsored stories to businesses. For example, the Starbucks story could be told by people who participated in its founding, and who've participated in its growth. Even customers could share when and why they became Starbucks devotees.

I think if StoryTroop became big enough, sufficiently successful, this would likely work. Businesses gravitate to successful social networking sites, because they see in the communities potential new customers. It's all about attaining a kind of "critical mass" in the online marketplace.

Changing subject, Fabiane said she's also been spending time during her sabbatical helping other startups. She's a kind of venture capitalist who offers time rather than cash: she likes to provide her technical expertise to new business ventures she finds interesting. I myself consider that charity, and I hope she's well-thanked at minimum! One such company she's working with is developing a model that characterizes people based on data, with the objective of providing small companies/sites capability to push ads to their target audience at much lower cost than is possible via, for example, Google's ad program.

Fabiane said her sabbatical ends at the end of January. That's coming up soon! She'll be spending her last few months in Florida, US. Having been born in southern Brazil (where it gets quite chilly in winter), she wants to relax in warmth as her sabbatical concludes. So, I guess, after all, I won't extend that long-planned invitation for Fabiane to come visit us in New England this January!

Speaking of stories, if you've read all the way down to this paragraph, you must find Fabiane Bizinella Nardon's story interesting (I certainly do). If that's the case, you'll likely also want to read Marcus Eisele's October 2011 The Heroes of Java: Fabiane Bizinella Nardon. May the telling of Fabiane's story continue long into the future!


Java.net Weblogs

Since my last blog post, there have been two new java.net blogs:


Articles

Our latest Java.net article from Manning Publications is The Foundations of Mobile First Design by Matthew Carver, author of the Manning book The Responsive Web.


Spotlights

Our latest Java.net Spotlight is Reza Rahman's Java EE/GlassFish Testimonials:

A key question to answer for Java EE and GlassFish centers on proof of successful adoption. To that end, we have made a serious effort to ask Java EE/GlassFish adopters to tell us their stories. There were a number of such stories shared at this year's GlassFish Community event at JavaOne. One that particularly stands out is a testimonial by celebrated Java EE advocate and independent consultant Adam Bien...

Prior to that we spotlighted James Roper's Benchmarking Scala against Java:

A question recently came up at work about benchmarks between Java and Scala. Maybe you want to know which is faster, Java or Scala. Sorry to say this, but you're asking the wrong question. In this post, I'll show that Scala is faster than Java. Next I'll show why the question was the wrong question and why my results should be ignored. Then I'll explain what question you should have asked...

Before that we featured Bill Burke's What's New in JAX-RS 2.0:

JAX-RS is a framework designed to help you write RESTful applications both on the client and server side. With Java EE 7 slated to be released next year, 2013, JAX-RS is one of the specifications getting a deep revision. JAX-RS 2.0 is currently in the Public Draft phase at the JCP, so now is a good time to discuss some of the key new features...

And earlier was Geertjan Wielenga's Reflections on JavaOne 2012 by the NetBeans Community (Part 2):

Following part 1 of this series, NetBeans community members continue discussing their highlights of JavaOne 2012, which was packed with news about NetBeans IDE as Oracle's IDE for the Java Platform... Also, look for more articles such as this one in the coming weeks, highlighting the insights that NetBeans community members gathered from their attendance at JavaOne 2012!

Java News

Here are the stories we've recently featured in our Java News section:

The Java.net MSRP (Message Session Relay Protocol) project team has announced the release of Version 1.0.3.FINAL. If you're not familiar with MSRP, it's an open source library that implements the IETF's RFC 4975 (that is, the Message Session Relay Protocol). RFC 4975 defines MSRP as:

a protocol for transmitting a series of related instant messages in the context of a session. Message sessions are treated like any other media stream when set up via a rendezvous or session creation protocol such as the Session Initiation Protocol.

The Java.net MSRP project began as a Google Summer of Code project in 2008. It was initiated by members of the Jitsi project. Joao Antunes was the main developer in the 2008-2010 period, while Tom Uijldert currently takes on that role, with support from ContactMakers.

So, what's available in MSRP Release 1.0.3.FINAL? The functionalities include:

  • establishing MSRP sessions
  • sending and receiving instant messages (chat) using MSRP
  • sending and receiving files using MSRP
  • message/cpim wrapping to interface with other chat systems
  • nicknames (draft-ietf-simple-chat)
  • message composition indication (RFC 3994)

See the MSRP Tutorial to find out how to integrate the MSRP Java library into your own programs. Source and documentationare available in the project's Java.net site, and build versions are available in the Maven Central Repository.

Congratulations to the MSRP team on this important release!


Java.net Weblogs

Since my last blog post, there have been several new java.net blogs:


Articles

Our latest Java.net article from Manning Publications is Natural User Interaction with Drag-and-Drop by Rob Crowther, author of the Manning book Hello! HTML5 and CSS3.


Poll

Our current Java.net poll asks Do you currently use AspectJ ("a seamless aspect-oriented extension" to Java), or might you in the future? Voting will be open until Friday, November 16.


Spotlights

Our latest Java.net Spotlight is Reza Rahman's Wanted Now: Your Feedback on Java EE 7!:

Work on Java EE 7 presses on under JSR 342. Things are shaping up nicely and Java EE 7 is now in the Early Draft Review stage. You can find out more and get involved by visiting the Java.net project for Java EE. There are now a number of important open issues that the Java EE expert group would like to get broad community feeback on...

Piror to that we featured Neil McAllister's Twitter survives election after Ruby-to-Java move:

Micro-blogging site Twitter experienced record traffic as the results of the 2012 US Presidential election were announced on Tuesday night, but the service never faltered despite the increased load

"The Cloud" (which Larry Ellison considered a gimmick phrase not long ago) is such a big topic of conversation today, that I decided to ask people if, in a situation where they were putting their own time and money into a new business venture -- would they go to the cloud as their foundational platform? A total of 280 people voted in the poll. The exact question and results were:

Would you use a cloud platform to host a new start-up today?

  • 29% (81 votes) - Definitely
  • 26% (74 votes) - Probably
  • 8% (22 votes) - Not yet - I'd wait until cloud technology is more mature
  • 14% (38 votes) - No, I'd prefer to have my own data center
  • 13% (35 votes) - I don't know
  • 11% (30 votes) - Other

The fact that less than a third of the voters selected "Definitely" implies to me that the cloud really is still a young technology. Even though 55% of the voters (again, this is an unscientific poll) said they would probably or definitely host their start-up on a cloud platform, using the cloud is far from a given assumption at present. 45% of the voters either would wait until cloud technology is more mature, or they'd have their own data center, or they'd do something else, or they don't know what they'd do! These results, to me, are certainly not a booming consensus that's shouting out that the cloud is the way of the future, and its time has arrived now!

New poll: Do you use AspectJ?

Our new Java.net poll asks: Do you currently use AspectJ ("a seamless aspect-oriented extension" to Java), or might you in the future? Voting will be open until Friday, November 16.


Java.net Weblogs

Since my last blog post, there have been several new java.net blogs:


Articles

Our latest Java.net article from Manning Publications is Natural User Interaction with Drag-and-Drop by Rob Crowther, author of the Manning book Hello! HTML5 and CSS3.


Spotlights

Our latest Java.net Spotlight is Heather VanCura's Meet up with JCP at Devoxx - 13-16 November:

The JCP will be back at Devoxx this year. If you are attending, you can catch either Patrick or Heather at one of these events... Tuesday - OpenJDK Lab, and then we will move over to the Hackergarten (TCK/unit testing); or Beer Bash at Oracle Booth-17:30

At JavaOne 2012, I spent some time with Badr El Houari (@badrelhouari), co-founder of the Morocco Java User Group and the just-completed JMaghreb Conference 1.0. The conference was held this past Friday and Saturday in Rabat, Morocco. More than 500 developers attended the conference each day -- an impressive start for a new Java conference! Java.net was in attendance, too, in the person of Community Manager Sonya Barry.

My conversation with Badr at JavaOne started out with a discussion of the Java environment as it exists in Morocco. Badr said that most Java developers work for international companies. For example, Badr himself works for a European company. I was surprised to hear that, in Morocco, software development is not seen as a very important job. Rather, Badr said, managers and engineers are considered to be higher-level positions.

This attitude has historic origins. Thinking about our conversation in retrospect, I wonder if such an attitude reflects a society where software and computer devices haven't yet become fully integrated with the daily life of average people? For example, when I asked Badr about software start-ups in Morocco, he said that while starting a business is relatively easy, the problem would be the marketplace: who would you sell your software product to?

I asked what types of programming jobs are available in Morocco. Badr told me the main employers are banks and similar established institutions. These tend to run legacy apps developed in COBOL that run on AS400 and similar hardware. They don't do a lot of new development, and any new development typically doesn't involve Java. That's why most Moroccan Java developers work for international companies. Increasingly, Badr noted, developers can work remotely for many companies.

Badr expressed repeatedly his objective of utilizing the Morocco JUG and the JMaghreb Conference as a platform for building the reputation of Moroccan Java developers, both in Morocco itself and globally. He noted that, initially, it was very difficult to find sponsors for JMaghreb 1.0. For example, Oracle has only a sales office in Morocco, and the people there had no interest in a Moroccan Java conference. But Badr didn't let early frustrations defeat his aspirations, and ultimately JMaghreb 1.0 received sponsorship from an impressive list of companies including Oracle, the French security technology company Morpho, JBoss, Google, SpringSource, Vaadin, ZeroTurnaround... In terms of speakers at JMahgreb, Badr recently tweeted that six JMaghreb speakers spoke at JavaOne, and eight JMaghreb speakers will be presenting at Devoxx this coming week.

By the time I spoke with Badr at JavaOne, more than 1000 people had registered to attend the conference (attendance was free). Media interest was growing, and Badr was starting to wonder if the conference venue (Mohammadia Engineering School) might be filled to capacity. The signs were that Badr's persistence (and that of Morocco JUG members and other conference organizers) was truly going to pay off.

Post-conference, from looking at the @JMaghrebConf tweet stream, it seems like that indeed happened!


Java.net Weblogs

Since my last blog post, Ed Burns posted a new java.net blog:


Articles

Our latest Java.net article from Manning Publications is Natural User Interaction with Drag-and-Drop by Rob Crowther, author of the Manning book Hello! HTML5 and CSS3.


Poll

Our current Java.net poll asks Do you currently use AspectJ ("a seamless aspect-oriented extension" to Java), or might you in the future? Voting will be open until Friday, November 16.


Spotlights

Our latest Java.net Spotlight is jaxenter'sBusy Java Developer's Guide to Scala: Thinking with Ted Neward:

In this JAXconf session, Ted Neward presents a handy guide for Java developers thinking of picking up the object-oriented and functional language Scala. In this presentation, Ted focuses on going "beyond" the syntax by tackling the hardest problem of learning a new language--thinking in that new language.

Prior to that we spotlighted Andreas Grabner's Don

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